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December 14, 2015

Posted By Cindy L. Squires, Esq., Monday, December 14, 2015
The first signs of winter can mean only one thing for IWPA: World of Wood Convention planning is in full swing. We are just a few months away from the one event that brings together every sector of the North American imported wood products industry, the 60th World of Wood Annual Convention which will take place April 6-8 at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas.

We are particularly excited to hold the World of Wood in Austin due to its proximity both to the Port of Houston as well as large markets such as the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and San Antonio. If you have customers or colleagues in the area, encourage them to join us for a full program of informative, useful, and entertaining events. If you are still undecided about attending I’ve got two words for you: armadillo racing.

I am also excited that executive coach Dean Savoca will be our keynote speaker. Savoca has conducted more than 8,000 individual executive coaching sessions and dozens of corporate strategic planning sessions on his way to compiling the Eight Essential Attributes of Successful Leaders. He will walk attendees through processes that focus attention on core issues in their businesses and drive action that will result in improved performance, higher productivity, enhanced teamwork and an improved bottom line. Savoca will also lead a smaller breakout session that will help attendees understand their role as a coach who must push their team to achieve success in every task they undertake.

One issue that will be front and center at the Convention is the compliance challenge that wood products importers face under laws and regulations such as the Lacey Act and CITES. This is particularly timely following the recent settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Lumber Liquidators for violations of the Lacey Act and customs laws. In conversation after conversation with our Members, we have heard about the considerable uncertainty that importers feel as they put procedures in place to meet their compliance obligations. Frequent readers of Import/Export Wood Purchasing News know that IWPA has spent considerable time and resources developing our Wood Trade Compliance Training and Due Diligence Tools course. This course and other compliance resources and procedures will be discussed from both a government and industry perspective.

Coincidentally, there is a very good chance that EPA will issue its final regulation on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products either in the weeks immediately before the World of Wood Convention or shortly thereafter. To help IWPA Members and attendees prepare for either eventuality, we will also host a panel featuring senior policymakers and private sector experts that will give you the latest information to help you put the necessary procedures in place.

We also want to assure prospective attendees that the program will contain networking receptions and lunches that will provide valuable opportunities to catch up with old friends from across the industry and make new ones that will lead to new opportunities for your business.

We will continue to post the latest information about the schedule and events for the 60th Annual World of Wood Convention through our weekly Member E-News newsletter and on our website at We look forward to seeing you in Austin!

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