IWPA Celebrates Successful, In Person 2022 World Of Wood Convention; Elects JoAnn Gillebaard Keller Of Holland Southwest International President

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Alexandria, Virginia– The International Wood Products Association (IWPA), headquartered here, recently concluded its 66th World of Wood Convention, held in Orlando, Florida. The successful event was attended by 230 attendees, including 52 overseas attendees from 16 countries. It marked a return to being held live and in person for the key industry gathering, which was held virtually in 2021 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The World of Wood Convention is a key event for our industry, so it was refreshing to be back in person with our members and guests,” said Brad McKinney, Executive Director of IWPA. “We had very productive exchanges, and the energy you feel being in person with everyone is irreplaceable. We have a great deal of momentum with which to deliver value to our members throughout the year.”

The IWPA leadership also elected new leadership. The new President of IWPA is JoAnn Gillebaard Keller, President & CEO of Holland Southwest International. She succeeds Mike Schultz of Floor & Decor, who remains in leadership as Immediate Past President.

“I am excited to begin this new term as President of the International Wood Products Association, a group that has done so much for our business over the years, and that provides such value to the industry,” said Gillebaard Keller. “Over the next year, I look forward to working with the IWPA staff on growing our membership, building out our compliance training programs, and continuing our all-important government and public affairs work.”

IWPA’s newly-elected Vice President is Jordan McIlvain of Alan McIlvain Co., and the new Treasurer is Colin Miller of Clarke Veneers and Plywood. Re-elected to three-year terms on the IWPA Board of Directors were Elizabeth Baldwin of Metropolitan Hardwood Floors; Chris Connelly of Wood Brokerage International; Dan Lennon of Robinson Hardwood; John Herzig of Robert Weed Plywood; and Caroline McIlvain of J. Gibson McIlvain Company. Newly-elected to the Board of Directors is Bryan Courtney of Genesis Products, Inc.

The annual World of Wood Convention is a critical meeting for importers of international wood products, overseas suppliers, service providers, government officials, industry stakeholders, and media to discuss key issues impacting the industry, network, and conduct business. Highlights included a keynote address by retired Navy SEAL and author, Thom Shea, about “Leading Through Chaos”; a presentation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about Lacey Act enforcement priorities and wood trade with Brazil; and a panel of overseas suppliers and organizations with representatives from Brazil, Ghana and Indonesia, who spoke about unique market factors in their countries and regions.

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.

Learn more at www.IWPAwood.org.

By Paul Miller

Paul Miller President Miller Wood Trade Publications

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