Kayla Repp, 31
Digital Analytics Manager
Kayla has always been drawn to data, strategy, and problem-solving, “So being an analyst was the perfect career fit!” she said.
Kayla began her career in 2010 during an internship for Citibank, where was selected to participate in a competitive operations program, promoted to associate analyst, and later promoted to assistant vice president at the age of 23. She transitioned to Sonepar USA in 2016, starting off as a digital analyst, and was promoted to her current position in 2018.
“My interest in digital was what really attracted me to my role at Sonepar USA,” Kayla recalled. “I was excited at the prospect of helping an organization digitize its business and stay competitive in today’s environment. There are a lot of unique opportunities for digital solutions in the B2B industry. Electrical distribution was new to me and learning the nuances of the business over the past four years has enabled me to understand both our customer and internal business needs better. Electrical distribution is still an area where I have much to learn, and through my network within Sonepar USA and across the industry, I make it a personal objective for myself each year. Understanding our products and the role of the manufacturers, distributors, and contractors, even down to our contractors’ end customer, is critical in every role throughout the organization, whether you are in sales, HR, or the digital team.”
Kayla acknowledges that electrical distribution has historically been a male-dominated industry and is drawn to how Sonepar USA fosters a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion. To help support this mission, along with her long-standing passion for female empowerment, Kayla became one of the founders and steering committee members for WATT (Women Advocating Today for Tomorrow).
“This is the first employee resource group at Sonepar USA and has already inspired the creation of additional resource groups across our organization,” she said. “The mission of WATT is to empower and inspire women to reach their full potential through professional and personal development. We have had several events this year, including networking events, a self-defense class, and book discussions. In October we will virtually host a female leadership panel of inspiring businesswomen across Sonepar USA and the industry.”
When asked what keeps her excited about electrical distribution, Kayla referenced the autonomy she has at Sonepar USA to identify areas of opportunities and implement change. “Senior leadership is receptive to new ideas and fosters an environment around creativity and collaboration,” she said. “In the past, I have implemented a data visualization software for our digital team and led a customer attrition initiative leveraging predictive analytics. Both projects were areas of opportunity that I identified and was passionate about implementing. What’s next for me is finding a new innovative project I am excited about that fills a critical need within the business. I hope to empower people with consumable data to enhance our organization’s ability to best serve our customers.”
To someone new to the electrical industry, Kayla has this advice: “Your outside perspective is incredibly valuable. Our industry is highly nuanced, and background knowledge is critical as you develop your career in the industry.” That said, however, she also sees the advantage of seeing things through new eyes. “A new perspective can challenge the way we have always done things for the betterment of our company and our customers,” she said. “Explore your curiosity and don’t be afraid to ask questions or propose new ideas.”
Outside of work, Kayla has a passion for traveling, adventure, “and immersing myself in different cultures.” In 2019 she traveled to Switzerland. “I went skydiving over the Swiss Alps and did my first Via Ferrata, which consisted of using steel cable guides to do a challenging climbing route 3,000 feet in the air,” said Kayla, who also recently bought a house and enjoys working on projects—“like upgrading all my light-fixtures to LEDs!”
Each year tED magazine recognizes 30 of the industry’s best and brightest under the age of 35. Please visit tedmag.com/30Under35 for nomination information and updates about the 2021 program. Questions can be sent to tED Editor Misty Byers at email@example.com.
Tagged with 2020 30 Under 35, 30 under 35, Sonepar, Sonepar USA