Caterpillar’s Storyteller - Go Behind the Mic with Rusty Dunn

May 4, 2021

You might recognize Rusty Dunn’s voice as host of the Caterpillar Podcast or perhaps you’ve seen him interview Caterpillar leaders on enterprise strategy and the latest innovations. With more than 30 years of experience in broadcast journalism and communications – Rusty uses his skills and expertise to share the Caterpillar story with people around the world.

Through his work, Rusty has had the opportunity to connect with some of Caterpillar’s most prominent leaders- past and present. He characterizes his frequent work with Chairman & CEO Jim Umpleby as being focused and sincere. He says, “I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with Jim on a number of occasions during his tenure as CEO. Despite his challenging schedule and every hour of the work day being filled, Jim has an incredible ability to focus on the moment at hand, and concentrate on what’s in front of him – whether it’s sharing quarterly results or offering employee recognition – he is completely present and sincere in his words.” Rusty has been inspired by these attributes. He says, “I’ve learned a lot seeing Jim’s preparation, his balanced tone and presence in the moment. Those are lessons that transcend work activities, really. Qualities like that are helpful in all aspects of life.

Rusty Dunn

Rusty also shares that many of his favorite conversations have been more emotional in nature. “The best conversations you can have are those where the person being interviewed is vulnerable a little bit. The conversations where they talk about themselves and their own strengths and weaknesses, and the moments in their personal life that have helped define the person they are today- that’s the good stuff. That is where you learn lessons about them and can identify with their experience.” He recalls an interview with Senior Vice President of Solar Turbines, Tom Pellette, where he shared his early experience working with his dad under the hood of a car and how those moments helped shaped who he’s become.

One commonality that’s always impressed Rusty is the focus of Caterpillar leaders during interviews. “I know that the people I’m interviewing have so much going on before and after my interview with them, and yet they are able to give me their complete attention when we’re working together.” He says that their ability to be present and transparent has undoubtedly made a difference in the quality of conversations he has been able to have. In an interview with Director of Global Integrated Logistics, Wendi Gentry-Stuenkel, Rusty recalls an appreciation for her candidness about her career journey. “This was a podcast recording in front of a live audience. Wendi was very candid. She talked openly about her career development and challenges she faced being a woman in the industry starting out. I was surprised she shared so much of that but was glad she did because her experience is likely one that many can relate to and be inspired by.”

Rusty talks to many unique individuals with diverse career paths and experiences but says that Caterpillar employees all have one thing in common, a commitment to values. “No matter where you’re working or who you’re talking to, everyone just wants to do the best job they possible can and drive success. I am reminded that our values remain very consistent across Caterpillar and really unite us as a company.”

No matter what your role is, your experience is critical to the success of Caterpillar. Are you ready to do the work that matters?