The retired senior vice president and general manager of the number one diagnostic industry, Roche Diagnostics Corp., began his climb to the top as an undergraduate of Indiana State University's science program. After graduating with a bachelor's in 1966, Lister continued his education at ISU, earning a master's degree in business administration in 1967. He received ISU's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.
Previously to Roche, Lister had worked for Eli Lilly and Boehringer-Mannheim. With his experience from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Mannheim, Lister became the senior vice president and general manager of Patient Care for Roche Diagnostics in 1997. With Roche, he was responsible for monitoring the U.S. insulin pump business and the global Drug of Abuse Business Unit. Lister retired from Roche Diagnostics in January, 2005.
Lister was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award given by the governor of Indiana in 2004. That same year, Roche Diagnostics created the William L. Lister Award to be given annually at the National Meeting, in honor of the ISU graduate. Lister has also been previously awarded by the Sycamores as the Indiana State University School of Business Outstanding Alumni Award in 2000.