Allison Magness
Vice President Manufacturing
International Paper

“I have always been passionate about working in manufacturing because I feel it is the heart of our economy. I especially love the aspect of working with people to make products that help everyone in their daily lives.”

Allison began her career with International Paper (IP) as an engineer at the Courtland Mill in 2000. She quickly emerged as a top talent, with both technical and leadership capability. Within ten years, Allison became Mill Manager of the Franklin Fluff Mill in Virginia. It had been closed in 2010 due to declining demand, so Allison and her team had an extra challenge in converting its equipment to fluff pulp and restarting operations across the board. Allison’s great success in this startup was a testament to her leadership and perseverance. Her career milestones continued in 2016 when she was named Vice President, Containerboard Manufacturing. 

IP hires over 100 engineering graduates from colleges annually, including many young women. Allison is a sought-after mentor whose guidance has impacted many. She has also led initiatives with the goal of significantly increasing diversity retention and promotion within IP. Her efforts focused on improving work/life balance for young mothers who aspire to manufacturing leadership roles, increasing access to affinity networks, and arranging targeted career development discussions with key leaders. 

Allison’s leadership has made a strong impact on her community, particularly with regard to the Franklin Mill startup. Many lost their jobs in the wake of the 2010 closure, which strongly affected local employment rates. While the reopened mill can only employ a fifth of its old workforce, the community has benefited far beyond direct employment. Much of this improvement is thanks to Allison, who was responsible for providing grants from the IP Foundation to local schools, municipalities and nonprofit organizations. These grants addressed critical needs in the community such as literacy improvement, heart defibrillators for local EMS services and food pantry contributions. The Franklin Mill also provided grants to charitable organizations, and IP employees spent many hours volunteering in the community. Allison’s community involvement continues today in her work as a board member for the Children's Museum of Memphis. 

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