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10 To Watch: International Paper [INFOGRAPHIC]

Each of this year’s 10 companies to watch has an inspirational story to tell. Among them, there’s something for everyone: a classic comeback; an impossible dream made into a reality; sweet success born of perseverance and hard work; trial and error that finally ends in triumph; even a testament to the power of faith.

And although their individual stories are quite different, these 10 Memphis businesses all have at least two things in common. For one, their accomplishments in 2013 were inspirational enough to put them on our annual list. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, all of the following business leaders see their success as an indicator that Memphis continues to grow as a promising place to work and live — a place where great ideas are born.

International Paper

International Paper (IP) has been around for 115 years, but it’s not the same company it
was just 10 years ago. We’ve watched over the last decade as Chairman John Faraci and his leadership team have transformed IP from a lumbering giant with more than 10 different forest products businesses into a highly focused packaging, paper and distribution company that has turned once-skeptical investors into fans. “Bigger doesn’t mean better,” Faraci says. “International Paper’s goal is not to be the biggest, but the best at what we do. We’ve repositioned our company on a global scale, and now have all the pieces in place to deliver results that keep International Paper competitive and create value for our shareholders,”
he says. “Our focus on safety, ethical business practices and doing what we say we will do has made International Paper a company where investors want to put their money, customers want to buy from and the best-of-the-best talent wants to work. That’s a great place to be,” Faraci concludes. IP’s stock price is up nearly 88 percent over the last three years, and the company recently announced a quarterly dividend increase of 17 percent and a share buy-back of $1.5 billion over the next few years.

-- Erinn Figg

Memphis Crossroads Magazine is a quarterly periodical published by the Greater Memphis Chamber. The full-color print publication is distributed four times annually, mailed to over 6,000 member subscribers, and available online for free. Read the latest edition of Memphis Crossroads Magazine anytime online with the digital edition.

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The latest news from the Greater Memphis Chamber. For more information, contact Director of Communications Christina Meek at (901) 543-3504 ( or Communications Specialist Jenny C. Fish at (901) 543-3558 (