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IWPA convention draws larger crowd

The International Wood Products Association’s recent convention drew 270 industry leaders from 25 countries to Indian Wells, Calif. The 10 percent increase from last year’s attendance speaks to improving market conditions, but also the strength of the educational program content.

The included Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson Guitar CEO; Lori Dennis, HGTV celebrity designer; Lynn Michaelis, current RISI economist and previous chief economist with Weyerhaeuser; and several U.S. government and international speakers, including the Hon. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

A half-day workshop on Lacey Act compliance and presentations on outstanding global efforts to advance tropical forest management by the Tropical Forest Foundation and what can be done to enhance global marketing of hardwoods by the National Hardwood Lumber Association rounded out the full three-day program.

International delegations from Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia joined more than a dozen other groups offering input on their initiatives during the tradeshow associated with the event. IWPA’s PAC was treated to a special presentation by Howard Marlowe, President of the American League of Lobbyists on what to expect in this election cycle related to trade issues.

“IWPA’s conventions are known for strong business networking amongst industry CEO’s and outstanding educational programming. But this year the event was taken to a whole new level. The sessions were packed every day and the expanded business networking sessions generated fantastic feedback from attendees,” IWPA president Alan McIlvain said in a statement.

“The tangible value of IWPA membership was clear for all to see. From our work on legislative issues like our Capitol Hill efforts to improve the Lacey Act and advance compliance, to our close work with leading architects and designers to advance the specification and use of international species and products, IWPA's work drives direct financial value to our members. IWPA has made it through the toughest economic downturn since the Great Depression without ever running a deficit because our members clearly see the value provided by the association.”

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