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Record-Breaking Attendance at 2015 IWPA World of Wood Conference

Thursday, April 2, 2015  

For Immediate Release

April 2, 2015

Media Contact: Mike Burita

202.420.9361 or


Record-Breaking Attendance at 2015 IWPA World of Wood Conference

Alexandria, Virginia – The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) closed a successful 59th World of Wood Convention at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with the passing of the gavel from Immediate Past President Chris Connelly of Wood Brokerage International to Incoming President Craig Forester of Rex Lumber Company. The Convention also saw the election of new Board Members Hugh Reitz of UCS Forest Group and Lenny Shibley of Northwest Hardwoods. IWPA saw a 26% growth in attendance over last year's convention, with attendees representing every segment of the global market for wood products as well as several trade facilitators and service providers, non-governmental organizations, and government partners.

“I look forward to an active year as the new IWPA President,” IWPA President Craig Forester said. “Our industry faces many challenges and opportunities in the growing global trade market and my focus will be on growing our membership to meet them head on. I also look forward to developing and implementing our Due Care training program in conjunction with the World Resources Institute to help ensure our members have access to the most up to date resources for Lacey Act compliance.”

World of Wood 2015 hosted dynamic presentations including innovative sales strategies from Keynote Speaker Don Cooper and critical market updates from Scott Clemons, the Chief Investment Officer of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. and John Min, the Chief Economist of World First Currency. Attendees were also able to get the latest information about legality verification and sustainable sourcing from both industry associations and non-governmental organizations working on the ground in producing countries, as well a tips and trends from our government partners at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, USDA-APHIS and the International Trade Administration. Another well-received panel was a joint presentation by World Wildlife Fund and The Borneo Initiative on sustainable sourcing.

World of Wood 2015 also hosted a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Global Timber Forum, the new international timber sector networking and communications body that links timber trade federations, national and regional industry bodies in this dynamic sector of the economy. GTF Members also participated in panel discussions on global legality verification schemes and regional developments affecting global trade in wood products.

IWPA has posted the speakers' presentations on our website both for attendees who would like to refer back to them as well as those who were unable to join us in Las Vegas.

Mark your Calendars: IWPA now turns to planning World of Wood 2016, which will take place at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas on April 6-8, 2016.

Established in 1956, the International Wood Products Association ( is the leading international trade association for the North American imported wood products industry, representing 220 companies and trade associations engaged in the import of hardwoods and softwoods from sustainably managed forests. Association members consist of three key groups involved in the import process: U.S. importers and consuming industries, offshore manufacturers and the service providers that facilitate trade.


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