Officials from Nuremberg, Germany, will be in Atlanta this week to build on cultural and business ties that have sustained an 11-year Sister City relationship between the two locales.

Julia Lehner, deputy mayor of Nuremberg; Norbert Schuergers, director of the city’s office of international relations; Christina Plewinski, programs officer for the Nuremberg-Atlanta Sister City relationship and Gabriele Engel, marketing director of the Association of Marketing for the Metropolitan Region of Nuremberg, will be in Atlanta Friday, May 11.

They will be available to meet with local businesspeople during an 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. breakfast reception at World Trade Center Atlanta and a 7-10 p.m. cocktail reception at the Mason Murer Art Gallery in Midtown.

The evening reception will feature German food, a silent auction and paintings from Nuremberg-born painter Joachim Kersten, who now lives in Texas. Proceeds for the auction will go toward developing the Atlanta-Nuremberg relationship.

Business and cultural ties between the two cities have blossomed over the past few years in large part because of an annual business conference that alternates every year between Atlanta and Nuremberg, according to Lucinda Smith, chair of the Atlanta-Nuremberg Sister City Committee.

“Through the [Crossing Bridges] Conference, we’ve gotten a lot of interest on both sides. People want to get involved in the other city,” said Ms. Smith.

The Crossing Bridges Conference was first held in Nuremberg in 2005 as a way for women on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to explore business and career opportunities with each other.

In 2006, it was held in Atlanta, attracting more than 150 businesswomen, and this September it will be held again in Nuremberg.

After this year’s conference, the city of Nuremberg will also be hosting the International Human Rights Conference and Awards ceremony that will honor individuals who have committed themselves to fighting for human rights. Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin is scheduled to attend.

While Nuremberg was a Nazi stronghold during World War II, it became a site for human rights achievements when German officials involved in the Holocaust were prosecuted there after the war.

Overcoming human rights abuses has been a shared point of interest for the two cities, since Atlanta is the home of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., who pushed for racial equality throughout the United States.

Like business environments have been another common interest for the two cities, with both having developed high-tech and logistics sectors, Ms. Smith said.

Director of Global Human Resources at AJC International Inc., Ms. Smith is traveling to Germany on business before the Nuremberg delegation arrives in Atlanta.

While there, she will make a side trip to Nuremberg to make plans for this year’s Crossing Bridges conference and attend a ceremony honoring Jorg Reichelsdorfer, former chair of the Nuremberg-Atlanta Sister City Committee in Germany.

Ms. Smith took over her position as U.S. chair of the Sister City committee last year. She was preceded by Teri Simmons, founding chair of the Sister City committee, who is director of the international practice team at the law firm Arnall Golden & Gregory LLP.

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Lucinda Smith

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