PITTSBURG, Kan. — Lisa Little keeps herself busy. From a full a time job with Progressive Products, to volunteering with numerous organizations around town, not to mention at the same time being a single mother raising three young kids, her days are filled to the brim.
“It’s not so much that I like to keep myself busy,” Little said with a laugh. “It just sort of happens that way.”
Little, who grew up in Walnut, Kansas, came to Pittsburg for school in 2000. She graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s in business administration and since then has held numerous jobs in sales around town including at the local radio stations, Ascension Via Christi and with Nexstar Broadcasting Group, which owns local news stations in the area.
“A teacher had told me in college that I would be great in sales and customer service, and I was like ‘yeah right, probably not,’” she says. “I actually got my start in Pittsburg at the radio station at 96.9 and 860 AM. I started working there in college and did pretty much every role possible there and then stayed on after I graduated.”
After her two oldest children were born, she decided to find a job that required less travel, which landed her at Progressive Products — a manufacturing company located in town — as an account executive. That was nearly a decade ago.
“I enjoyed working for the TV stations,” she said, “but the role at Progressive Products was more 8 to 5 and it was not as much travel. I had two small children at the time and so I felt like that was going to be a better situation and nine years later I’m still there.”
Since then, Little has gone on to become the Director of Sales and Business Development for Progressive Products.
“I’m constantly working with customers, working with the office, with the shop, taking orders and helping customers decide which products are for them,” she said. “I could work 7 to 5 every day and still not ever be caught up with what we do on a regular basis.”
But outside of her job, Little is also very involved in the Pittsburg community. She recently wrapped up her term as both the PTO president at St. Mary’s Colgan, where her kids go to school, and as the President of the Board at the local YMCA.
“I don’t like to sit back and complain about issues if I’m not going to try to have a solution,” Little says. “I just felt like ‘hey there’s things that need to be done and I can absolutely help.’”
Little says her term as YMCA Board president wrapped up her fourth year on the board, adding that members of the board serve for six years. She says she got involved with YMCA for the same reason most of the board members do, because of their kids.
“It started with my son. He got involved on the swim team and I started volunteering a lot to help with the swim board,” she said.
Little’s kids, who are ages 13, 10 and 6, have been involved with various YMCA activities for years. Her oldest son, 13, was on the swim team at the Y and her daughter, 10, currently competes on its gymnastics team.
Little says she loves getting involved in the community and hopes that by doing so she has shown her children the importance of volunteering.
“I really want to be good role model for them,” she says, “and show them that ‘hey you can give back. There is a lot of stuff to do and there are definite opportunities to give back.’”
Little’s commitment to the Pittsburg community, her job and her family landed her a spot as a Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce 2021 Woman of Distinction.
“Talk about just such a great honor,” Little said. “It was just amazing to be considered to begin with and talk about an amazing group of women to get to join and I just hope that I can continue to follow in their footsteps and help make Pittsburg an even better community than it already is.”