An Inspiring Leadership: Les Powell and His Commitment to Safety at International Paper

Source: International Paper

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

International Paper highlights one of its dedicated employees, Les Powell, the Environmental Health, Safety and Security Manager at the Carrolton Beltline mill in Dallas.

Les' story is an inspiring tale of leadership, empathy, and commitment to safety, both within IP and in his community.

Les' journey in safety began long before his career at IP. Inspired by his father and uncle, both Vietnam veterans, Les pursued a career in the military, serving for 8.5 years as a military police officer, supply sergeant, S-4 ANCOIC, and ambulance driver. This experience instilled in him a strong safety culture and a deep sense of duty towards others.

Growing up in a military family also exposed Les to a great diversity of cultures and experiences. "I learned about many cultures at a very young age," explains Les. "It gave me a great respect for others and their differences."

Les applies the "no man left behind" mentality he acquired in the military to his role at IP. His experience as an industrial firefighter, paramedic, and volunteer fire captain gave him the skills and agility needed to navigate demanding and ever-changing environments.

Les is passionate about sharing his knowledge and empowering others. "Knowledge is perishable if you don't share it," he says. He believes in empathetic leadership, where employees feel comfortable coming to him with personal or professional issues.

Les' commitment to safety and community extends beyond IP's walls. He is the Vice President of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians' Member Committee and a member of the IPVets ENC team, where he helps veterans.