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10 to Watch: Kemmons Wilson Companies

The following is a preview of the 10 to Watch issue of our Memphis Crossroads digital magazine. The full magazine debuts soon, but you can click here to see past issues.

After one year since the transition, the 3rd generation continues to lead Kemmons Wilson Companies.

The Memphis-based company gave the world Holiday Inn Hotels, which completely changed the hotel industry. But it didn’t stop there and now includes interests in aviation, financial services, hotels, insurance, real estate, energy management, and resort timesharing.

KWC was founded here by the legendary Kemmons Wilson. The next generation of family leaders stepped up to successfully run the company after him, including Spence Wilson Sr., Robert Wilson, and Kemmons Wilson Jr., and they will remain members of the company’s board.

But the day-to-day functions of KWC are now being run by the third generation of the family including, Spence Wilson Jr., Kemmons Wilson III, McLean Wilson, and Webb Wilson.

“We are honored and excited about the opportunity to advance this great legacy created by our grandfather and continued so successfully by our fathers and uncles,” said Spence Wilson, Jr., Principal. “We’ve worked at the company for over 35 years collectively so we feel incredibly well-prepared for this opportunity.

The new team has already refreshed the company’s logo, website, and foundational items like its vision statement, and core values. The team held town hall meetings last year to communicate its new vision:

“To honor and advance the entrepreneurial legacy of Kemmons Wilson while enriching the lives of our families, associates, partners, and the communities in which we live and work.”

Story by: Toby Sells
Photo by: Troy Glasgow

Posted: 3/17/2015 7:30:00 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: 10, Companies, Crossroads, Jr., Kemmons, Memphis, Spence, to, Watch, Wilson

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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 (