IWPA Event Microsite
65th World of Wood Annual Convention
April 14-16, 2021
SaN Diego, CA

Speakers (2020)

Click here to view 2020 Conference Presentations

Don Cooper
The Sales Heretic™

Named one of the “Top 30 Social Salespeople in the World” by Forbes, Don Cooper helps salespeople, business owners, and professionals dramatically increase their sales. His clients include Yamaha, Johnson & Johnson, Bloomberg Media, Costco, Nissan Canada, and Hot Spring Spas. A frequent guest on television and radio, Don has written regular columns for five different business publications, has co-authored three books, and is currently working on two more.

Why Should I Choose You? Presented by Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic™

The wood products marketplace is more competitive—and more challenging—than ever before. How do you stand out among the competition? And how do you persuade a buyer to choose you over them?

Alberto Lerin

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico. November 6, 1966. Lawyer by National University of Mexico, and Master in Philosophy of Law, by School of Law at National University of Mexico. Agricultural Economist by Chapingo University, and Master in Economics by El Colegio de México. From 2001 up to this date, is partner on Law and Economics in Chávez Lerín Consultoría, SC, advising industrial and commercial Chambers as Wood National Chamber, Furniture Jalisco State Chamber, Footwear Guanajuato State Chamber, Fruit and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Associations, Plywood importers Associations, US potatoes council, Pulp and Paper Associations, etc.; as far as companies as the Chilean ARAUCO and MASISA, Nacional Financiera, Clavos Nacionales, FINCSA, and others. Mr. Lerín is Litigation Lawyer in administrative, commercial and constitutional matters, in national and international Courts, and its advisor for free trade agreement negotiations. He was special advisor in Economics and Law at the Ministry of Economics (1998–2001) and General Director for Antidumping and Countervailing Investigations (1996– 1998)

Jeffrey S. Grimson
Mowry & Grimson

Jeffrey S. Grimson has more than twenty years of experience advising industries in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and resulting appeals to the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. In multiple industries, he has achieved groundbreaking rulings for his clients. Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. Grimson has represented a wide range of importers and U.S. and foreign producers in disputes involving agricultural products such as chicken, apple juice, citric acid, greenhouse tomatoes, canned tomatoes, pasta, garlic, honey, gum Arabic, mushrooms, fish fillets and shrimp. Mr. Grimson has also represented clients in numerous wood products trade actions, including furniture, flooring, paper in numerous forms, lumber and plywood.

Mr. Grimson counsels companies in planning for potential threatened unfair trade cases with the objective of improving the likelihood of a successful result and gaining a competitive advantage in the event a case is filed. After an antidumping or countervailing duty order is in place, he assists companies in designing restructuring strategies to maximize refunds of duty deposits made on past entries.

In addition to unfair trade proceedings, Mr. Grimson has counseled U.S. and foreign companies on compliance with due diligence obligations relating to U.S. trade laws regarding initial public offerings as well as mergers and acquisitions. He has also advised U.S. retailers and importers on environmental compliance issues affecting international trade, particularly the Lacey Act.

Rebecca F. Dye
Federal Maritime Commission

Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye, of North Carolina, was nominated by President George W. Bush on June 13, 2002 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on November 14, 2002. She was nominated to her second term by President Bush on July 12, 2005 and confirmed by the Senate on July 22, 2005. She was nominated to her third term, which expires on June 30, 2015, by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2011. On May 26, 2016, Commissioner Dye was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate on June 29, 2016, for a term expiring June 30, 2020. Prior to her appointment to the FMC, Commissioner Dye was Counsel to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. She held that position from 1995 until 2002. As Counsel, she provided advice to Members of Congress on issues pertaining to commercial shipping, international maritime agreements, oil pollution, maritime safety and law enforcement, the Federal budget process and Federal financing. Commissioner Dye comes to the Commission with an extensive background in maritime matters. She began her Federal career as a commissioned officer and attorney in the Coast Guard’s Office of the Chief Counsel, then served as a law instructor at the Coast Guard Academy. After two years as an attorney at the U.S. Maritime Administration, she joined the staff of the former Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and served there as Minority Counsel from 1987 to 1995.

Commissioner Dye graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1974, and earned a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977.

Ruth Nogueron
Associate, World Resources Institute

Ruth Noguerón is an Associate with the World Resources Institute’s Forests Program. A researcher for both the Forest Legality Initiative and Global Forest Watch, Ruth focuses on forest private sector engagement and on Latin American forest issues. At WRI, Ruth has conducted research on and managed projects and multi-stake holder partnerships in Canada, the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala. Ruth’s Latin American work concentrates on promoting forest monitoring efforts and transparency in the forest sector, integrating forest monitoring data in land use and forest legality decision-making processes, and fostering multi-stakeholder dialogues and South to South collaborations around various forest legality related topics. On the private sector side, Ruth leads the Forest Legality Initiative’s work documenting better practices to incorporate emerging technologies in corporate supply chains to reduce the risk of sourcing illegal forest products. She also leads the Sustainable Procurement Guide project, a partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which provides guidance for corporate buyers as they develop and implement procurement policies for wood and paper-based products. Ruth also manages an emerging body of work to build small and medium size enterprises’ capacity to comply with global market legality requirements such as the U.S. Lacey Act and the European Union Timber Regulation. Ruth has a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in México City, an Associate’s degree in applied geography from Montgomery College, Maryland, and a Masters’ degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Samuel Witten
Arnold & Porter LLP

Mr. Witten's practice spans public international law, national security law, corporate social responsibility, compliance issues, and international law enforcement cooperation. His clients include the Governments of South Africa, Israel, and the Federated States of Micronesia. He advises the International Wood Products Association (IWPA) and IWPA members on Lacey Act, CITES, and economic sanctions issues. He has also represented clients in arbitrations at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Witten served at the US State Department as Deputy Legal Adviser (equivalent to Deputy General Counsel) and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. As Deputy Legal Adviser, the top career legal position at the State Department, he supervised the Department's legal work on East Asian and Pacific matters; economic and business issues; human rights; environmental matters; international law enforcement cooperation; and Latin American matters. As Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, he managed the US Government's worldwide refugee relief programs, including heading the State Department's diplomacy on these issues at the United Nations. Earlier roles in a 22-year career at the State Department included Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence, Acting Director of the Office of War Crimes Issues, and Legal Counsel to the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. Mr. Witten earlier was a Trial Attorney in the Foreign Commerce Section of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, specializing in transnational antitrust issues and investigations, and was an associate in the corporate and regulatory practices at another international law firm.

Neil D. Kelly
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Neil is a trial lawyer whose practice focuses on complex civil disputes, corporate investigations, pre-litigation dispute analysis and transaction and risk due diligence for clients active in oil and gas exploration and development, energy-related manufacturing and services, real estate, wood-products testing and private equity investments. Neil achieves results for clients through the early assessment of critical facts and controlling legal principles to develop a comprehensive strategy. Specific experience includes disputes involving purchase and sale agreements, supply and service agreements, commercial building leases, mineral leases, joint operating agreements, areas of mutual interest, trade secret disputes and non-compete and related employment agreements, as well as investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, Fraud Division and the Federal Trade Commission.

Neil has served as lead trial counsel or the principal lawyer on numerous matters, including wood products. Outside general counsel for wood products testing company; negotiated and prepared service agreements, confidentiality provision, NDAs and other agreements that address compliance with various statutes and regulations, including the Lacey Act, California Air Resources Board regulations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 and related regulations.