Event to Commemorate Landmark Legislation Banning Trade in Illegal Timber and Wood Products

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An event to commemorate the first law of its kind to prohibit the import, sale or trade of illegally-harvested wood and wood products, gathering a diverse group of experts from industry, government and the environmental community to share early successes, lessons learned and anticipated benefits of the Lacey Act. The presentations and panel discussions will be followed by a cocktail reception for all attendees.

WHO:     Confirmed speakers and panel participants scheduled to appear at this media event include:

  •     Senator Ron Wyden, US Senate
  •     Congressman Earl Blumenauer, US House of Representatives
  •     Don Finkell, CEO, Shaw Industries
  •     David Williams, Sustainable Development Analyst, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
  •     Carlos Eduardo Beduschi, Manager, Sao Paulo Friend of the Amazon Program, Sustainable Development Department, Sao Paulo State Environment Secretariat
  •     Scott Poynton, Executive Director, The Forest Trust (TFT)
  •     Jameson French, CEO of Northland Forest Products and Chairman of the Board, The Hardwood Federation
  •     George White, Head of WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN)
  •     Adam Grant, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute

WHAT:     An event to commemorate the first law of its kind to prohibit the import, sale or trade of illegally-harvested wood and wood products, gathering a diverse group of experts from industry, government and the environmental community to share early successes, lessons learned and anticipated benefits of the Lacey Act. The presentations and panel discussions will be followed by a cocktail reception for all attendees.

WHEN:    Thursday, June 17, 2010, 5:00 to 7:30PM.

WHERE:    US Senate, Rules Committee Room (Senate Dirksen 562)

Editor’s Note:
Media coverage of the event is welcomed, and journalists are invited to interview event speakers and panel participants. Please find bios enclosed. Select speakers and panelists will be available for interviews immediately following the event, from 6:30 to 7:00PM. To schedule an interview, please contact Betsy Hickman, WWF’s GFTN, betsy(dot)hickman(at)wwfus(dot)org, (202) 492-2464 or Lisa Handy, EIA, lisahandy(at)eia-international(dot)org, (202) 262-1587.

Bios of Speakers and Panelists

Senator Ron Wyden, US Senate
Ron Wyden was first elected to Congress in 1980 to represent Oregon's 3rd District. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election, becoming the first U.S. Senator to be elected in a vote-by-mail election. He was sworn in on February 5, 1996, to the seat once held by his mentor, U.S. Senator Wayne Morse. Elected to his second full term in 2004, Senator Wyden received more votes than any other candidate for office in Oregon's history. In the U.S. Senate, Senator Wyden serves on the following committees: Finance, Intelligence, Aging, Budget and Energy and Natural Resources. On the Energy Committee, he chairs the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests. On the Finance Committee, Wyden chairs the Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness. He was the lead sponsor of the Lacey Act amendments in the Senate.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, US House of Representatives
Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996, Mr. Blumenauer has created a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure. From 1996 to 2007, he served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he was a strong advocate for federal policies that address transportation alternatives, provide housing choices, support sustainable economies and improve the environment. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee from 2001 to 2007. Now a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee, Congressman Blumenauer also serves as Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He was the lead sponsor of the Lacey Act amendments in the House. Congressman Blumenauer’s academic training includes undergraduate and law degrees from Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Don Finkell, CEO of Shaw Hardwood
Don Finkell is presently CEO of Shaw Hardwood. He became CEO of Anderson Hardwood Floors in 1988 and led the family-owned business until September 2007 when he consummated a sale of all company stock to Shaw World Industries, part of the Berkshire-Hathaway group. In September 2009 Don assumed the responsibility for all Shaw Hardwood operations including Anderson. Shaw/Anderson is the second largest producer of wood flooring in North America. Trained as an architect, Don has had a life long interest in the environment and sustainable forestry. He currently serves as Chairman of the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA). He was responsible for NWFA adapting a formal stance against illegal logging leading to support of the Combat Illegal Logging Act (commonly known as the Lacey Act amendments). In 2002, Don was a founding board member of the Certified Wood and Paper Association, a trade association for FSC companies. He holds a Bachelors of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee.

David Williams, Sustainable Development Analyst, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
David Williams serves as the Sustainable Development Analyst for Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI), the premier specialty retailer of home furnishings in the United States and Canada. David joined WSI in 2007 as a Vendor Compliance Analyst, providing a strong working knowledge of WSI's vendor base, regulatory and compliance issues as well as cross-functional relationships with many different departments in all brands. In 2009, he transitioned to WSI's lead on implanting the WSI Responsible Wood Procurement Policy and developing the company's internal wood policy action plan, goals and reporting. Before joining WSI, David served as a sourcing manager in catalog apparel with Redcats, a division of PPR, for seven years and possesses extensive experience in project management and vendor negotiations.

Carlos Eduardo Beduschi, Manager, Sao Paulo Friend of the Amazon Program, Sustainable Development Department, Sao Paulo State Environment Secretariat
Carlos Eduardo Beduschi serves as the Manager of the Sao Paulo Friend of the Amazon Program and Director of the Centre of Sustainable Use Programs for the Sustainable Development Department of the Sao Paulo State Environment Secretariat in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prior to this role, Carlos earned his master’s degree in Applied Ecology from the University of Sao Paulo. Earlier in his career, he worked as an Environmental Consultant for Instituto TERRAMAX and Capuã Etê.

Scott Poynton, Executive Director, The Forest Trust (TFT)
Scott Poynton has served as Executive Director of the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT) since its inception in March of 1999. He anchors the organization with a deep knowledge of timber operations in tropical countries gained from two decades of experience managing a variety of complex public and private sector forestry and wood production initiatives in 19 countries. Poynton helped establish the TFT while working as Managing Director of the Vietnam subsidiary of ScanCom International, the world’s largest supplier of wood outdoor furniture products. Prior to his work at ScanCom, Poynton served as a forestry specialist for the World Bank, where he led forestry-related economic development efforts in Romania, Vietnam and India. Poynton began his career in forestry when he was only 21 years old and one of his first jobs involved supervising planning for wood production for a large native Eucalyptus forest in Tasmania. He holds a Master of Science (Forestry) from Oxford University where he was awarded the Oxford Forestry Institute’s Jubilee Prize.

Jameson French, CEO of Northland Forest Products and Chairman of the Board, The Hardwood Federation
Jameson French is President and CEO of Northland Forest Products, an exporter, processor and distributor of hardwood lumber, with operations in NH and VA. He has been active in many industry associations and is the Chair of the Hardwood Federation, a past Chair of the HMA (Hardwood Manufacturers Association) and AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council) and the first industry leader to chair the FSC-US Board (Forest Stewardship Council). He has been active in global environmental forestry issues as well as a wide range of regional and national NGO's in the environment, arts and community service. He currently is Treasurer of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, on the President's Council of the National Wildlife Federation, a director of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation, Chair of the NM based Cottonwood Gulch Foundation and a Director of the Foundation for Seacoast Health. He is past Chair of the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and the Music Hall and Strawbery Banke Museum. He holds a BA in history from Trinity College (Hartford CT) and did graduate work in economic history at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

George White, Head of WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN)
George White is Head of the GFTN, WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management, while transforming the global marketplace into a force for saving the world’s valuable and threatened forests. George previously served as GFTN’s Responsible Purchasing Coordinator, co-authoring the “Responsible Purchasing of Forest Products” and “Keep It Legal” guides, building the systems within the GFTN to support participating companies in putting this guidance into practice and driving improvements in forestry practices in WWF’s priority places. Prior to joining WWF, he worked for nearly 10 years with J Sainsbury plc in the UK and US on diverse sourcing issues for products such as timber, paper, peat, fish and fuels and previously had a several years in the UK timber trade. He holds a First Class Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Forestry & Forest Products Technology from Brunel University in the UK and is an Associate of the Institute of Wood Science.

Adam Grant, Senior Associate, World Resources Institute
Adam Grant manages the World Resource Institute’s Forest Legality Project, a new initiative to combat illegal logging of the Population Environment Program. The goal is to achieve good governance and biodiversity conservation in tropical and other biodiversity-rich forests by reducing demand for illegally harvested wood and increasing the capacity of supply chains to deliver legal wood. Adam was most recently in Southeast Asia, where he worked in improved tropical forest management and responsible supply chain management. Based in Indonesia, he worked initially for the Rainforest Alliance’s FSC SmartWood program and then as a consultant for major forest product producers trading throughout Asia and Europe. Prior to living in Indonesia, he worked as a forest contractor and timber importer in Sweden, Finland and the UK, and had also been based in China working on projects related to poverty alleviation centered on natural resource management in the province of Sichuan and the Tibetan Autonomous Region. He holds a Msc degree in Natural Resource Management and Development from the University of East Anglia and a Bsc in Forestry.

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