For NAMM, It’s All About Relationships

For NAMM, It’s All About Relationships
From left: Albert Germick, Martin Guitars; Erin Otto, APHIS; José Granada, APHIS; and

By Claire Kreger-Boaz

Staying current on regulatory compliance is critical to the music industry's international trade landscape, and so is maintaining relationships with key stakeholders.

NAMM Policy Program Manager Claire Kreger-Boaz attended the International Wood Products Association (IWPA) World of Wood Convention in San Diego, CA, April 9–12, 2024, on a mission to gather the latest information on sustainability and international trade compliance for member companies. The IWPA’s annual convention convenes the globally sourced wood products industry, and with 300 importers, U.S. manufacturers, exporters, wholesalers, offshore suppliers and service providers, attendees get critical information that is essential to doing business.

Topics this year included the proposed addition of hundreds of plant-sourced materials and products that may be included in Phase VII of the Lacey Act—an importation law to combat illegal harvesting of plants and plant products as well as certain wildlife. There was buzz about upcoming CITES discussions in Geneva, Switzerland, scheduled for this July, as well as other regulatory updates, daily social gatherings, and evening receptions.

But the overarching theme was developing relationships, and Claire made it a priority to strengthen NAMM’s connections with the regulatory and enforcement agencies in attendance, including APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of the USDA), the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Establishing and maintaining communication between NAMM and these agencies plays a critical role in assuring regulators that NAMM provides its members with regulatory updates, and it gives us a chance to share the challenges our industry faces despite a commitment to sustainability.

NAMM hosted a small gathering with C.F. Martin & Co. Procurement Manager Albert Germick, APHIS National Policy Manager (Lacey Act) Erin Otto and APHIS General Natural Resources and Biological Sciences Manager José Granada for an in-depth discussion that delved into the nuances of education, compliance and enforcement of various issues related to international trade. Conversations with APHIS and other regulatory agencies allow us to highlight that many NAMM members are at the forefront of sustainable practices, and that NAMM’s leadership demonstrates a shared sustainability vision.

 Nurturing relationships also provides access to invaluable resources. For example, through a grant facilitated by APHIS, and in partnership with IWPA, NAMM is pleased to offer Lacey Act training at no cost to members through September 2024. This vital partnership allows members to uphold their commitment to environmental sustainability and is a significant step towards empowering businesses to navigate an evolving and complex regulatory landscape with confidence.

 For more information, please visit or contact Claire at