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IWPA’s annual convention draws global audience

The International Wood Products Association's World of Wood convention in Miami Beach, Fla., drew nearly 300 industry leaders from more than 30 countries. Speakers provided detailed information on compliance with the Lacey Act and new Customs Classification rulings. Attendees also heard detailed economic and market projections for home building, flooring and architectural woodworking.

Delegations from Ghana, Guyana and Malaysia made presentations on the extensive initiatives these countries have undertaken to provide importers assurances on the legality of forest products from their countries. These delegations were joined by a number of other delegations from around the world who participated actively in networking and question and answer sessions.

"It was a joy to see such great enthusiasm," Scott Beggs, IWPA president, said in a news release. "The large and strong overseas delegations, in total representing more than 30 countries, led to strong business conversations and new business relationships. This convention served as a prime example for how IWPA is an excellent tool allowing importers to expand their business while at the same time staying in tune with changing laws and regulations. I'm pleased so many people took advantage of it this year.

"A top agenda item for our business meeting was announcing the winners of our new Awards Program. These companies provided stunning examples for how imported wood products are supporting innovation throughout the supply chain, advancing environmental excellence and expanding design possibilities. We have a fantastic story to share for how an architect or designer's specification of imported wood products leads to sustainable forest management in our world's great forests and supports job creation and growth here in the U.S."

Winners of the awards program included Veneer Technologies for Aesthetic Design Excellence; Durable Wood Products for Innovation Excellence, and Cikel America for Environmental Excellence.

The next convention will be held April 13-15, 2011, at the Loews Hotel in New Orleans.

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