Leslie Petrie
Regional General Manager – Kentucky/Indiana/Michigan
International Paper

“Manufacturing has been the cornerstone for achieving a continuously improving world. We are able to use our creative and technical abilities to create products people depend on every day. Through manufacturing we are able to provide safe, rewarding jobs that provide livelihood and deliver value to our world.”

Leslie’s contributions as Plant Manager, Manager of Technical Services, and Director, Global Safety Program have had a tremendous impact on International Paper. She has developed world-class strategic plans for the company’s coated paperboard division, assimilated a team to support paper mills across the country, and supported a portfolio of projects that enable excellence in manufacturing and global safety standards.

Leslie’s character, capability and change management skills make her an exceptional leader. While managing two large paper mills, Leslie quickly gained the respect of her team and was recognized for her ability to engage and motivate others. In this role, she fostered effective partnerships between both a union and non-union plant to ensure the success of both facilities despite operational and labor complexities. She has worked with unique, self-directed work teams where her inclusive leadership style enabled and strengthened key methodologies.

As an avid learner, Leslie cares deeply about strengthening the leadership capabilities of both herself and her teams. She serves as a role model for women in manufacturing at International Paper and actively supports STEM education and opportunities for students. Through her involvement with the Women in International Paper Mentoring Board and International Paper Leadership Institute programs, Leslie speaks at companywide trainee events and champions safety leadership as a core value.

While serving as Mill Manager, Leslie was very active in the community participating in numerous charitable events and campaigns. In addition to her involvement in International Paper’s United Way campaign, she hosted a "Kids for College" campaign at a local elementary school with high poverty levels to increase awareness on the importance of education to children. She has also supported a local Junior Achievement chapter and was an active member of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

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