Business lessons

In June, Barron’s profiled John Faraci ’72, the CEO of International Paper and a member of Denison’s Board of Trustees. The article highlights Faraci’s climb through the ranks of the company, with 70,000 employees and a market value of $12 billion, beginning in 1974 when he was first hired by International Paper as a financial analyst.  Barron’s author Sandra Ward paints a picture of a businessman whose leadership helped IP weather the economic storm of 2008 and more than doubled the company’s return on investment since 2003, when he was named CEO. According to Ward, several skills have served Faraci well in his career, and they’re unlikely lessons in business: A love of the outdoors and wilderness survival strategies; the ability to learn from mistakes—even if they cost millions; and the realization that bigger is not always better.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Faraci’s business wisdom reflects some of the lessons he and several other Denisonians learned on Alaska’s Mt. Denison, which was named in honor of the college in 1923. Their attempt to be the first known expedition to reach its summit in 1977 was thwarted by a blinding mix of snow and ice, but they persevered through a second try the following year. You can read that dramatic story in the Spring 2006 Denison Magazine.

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