ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The International Wood Products Association (IWPA) closed its 62nd World of Wood Convention with a celebratory second line parade and the passing of the gavel from immediate past president, JoAnn Gillebaard Keller of Holland Southwest International, to incoming president, Caroline McIlvain of J. Gibson McIlvain Company.
IWPA also welcomed Alan Futscher of CDC Distributors, Inc., Gregg Wilkinson of Clarke Veneers & Plywood, and John Barber of Benchmark International as Board Members. Representatives from every segment of the global market for wood products as well as several trade facilitators and service providers, non-governmental organizations, and government partners attended the annual event at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“This was a truly successful and informative event for anyone with a stake in the global wood market,” says Cindy Squires, IWPA executive director. “The complexity of legal and regulatory developments continues to grow and World of Wood is the best venue to get the latest intelligence on the issues affecting our industry and network with colleagues.”
Highlights included an in-depth discussion on financial and economic trends led by renowned economist Win Thin, renowned economist and Brown Brothers Harriman global head of emerging markets strategy. Mary Kelly, author of Master Your World: Executive Leadership Strategies and 15 Ways to Grow Your Business in any Economy, led a discussion on leadership, productivity, communication, and business growth.
Said to be one of the most popular features of the convention was the new supplier-importer exchange and lunch, which was a form of “speed dating” in which attendees connected with wood products suppliers of all types from around the world for a few minutes at a time.
Attendees and their families took advantage of the IWPA Annual Golf Classic at Bayou Oaks at City Park and a New Orleans walking tour and lunch at the iconic Antoine’s Restaurant. IWPA says 287 importers, U.S. manufacturers, wholesalers, offshore suppliers, and service providers to the global wood products industry from nearly 30 countries attended this event.
The 2019 World of Wood is set to take place April 3-5, 2019, at the Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Arizona.
Established in 1956, the IWPA is an international trade association for the North American imported wood products industry, representing 200 companies and trade associations engaged in the import of hardwoods and softwoods. 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.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.