Sandy Springs, one of the newest cities in the metro area, has worked hard over the past few years to carve out an identity separate from Atlanta.  

In addition to helping attract international offices like the soon-to-be-opened Consulate General of India, that effort has caught the eye of a Chinese city. 

Taicang, which shares Sandy Springs’ status as an affluent suburb of a major economic center (Shanghai), has sent delegations to Georgia in the past to pave the way for further business collaboration. 

Eva Galambos, the worldly Sandy Springs mayor, has embraced the partnership, signing a sister-city arrangement with Taicang a few years back. An economist by training, Ms. Galambos is a staunch advocate of free trade and has become a frequent guest at local Chinese events. 

While that relationship has gradually warmed, the Sandy Springs-Perimeter Chamber of Commerce has bolstered its own efforts to help member companies tap global business opportunities. 

In addition to launching a course on emerging markets, it has also promoted Sandy Springs as a prime location for headquarters and sales offices of global companies. The city is already home to Cox EnterprisesUnited Parcel Service Inc., Newell Rubbermaid Inc. and some other corporate heavy-hitters.

The chamber is now looking outward and is in the process of organizing its first business mission to China at the beginning of December, said Rick Woroniecki, vice president of international brokerage for Ackerman & Co., a real estate brokerage and relocation services firm based in Sandy Springs. 

“This is not a 50,000-foot, build-a-relationship trip as many of them are,” said Mr.Woroniecki, noting that the groundwork has already been laid by Ms. Galambos, who has traveled to Taicang and spearheaded high-school exchanges between the cities. 

Mr. Woroniecki, who also was part of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed‘s trip to China in March, went to Taicang in May to discuss potential collaborations with economic developers and officials for the city’s port, which is located on the Yangtze River.  

He also helped broaden the focus of the trip, traveling down to Savannah to reach out to the coastal Georgia city’s government, its new World Trade Center and the Georgia Ports Authority, which are all weighing participation, he said. 

“What we’re looking for on this trip is people to actually do business,” said Mr. Woroniecki, a main organizer of the trip. 

He added that the group will spend time in Shanghai and Hangzhou, where business meetings will also be held. He expects about a dozen people from metro Atlanta and Savannah to make the trip. 

Read more: Beyond Atlanta, Sandy Springs Carving Global Niche 

For more details or information on how to join the China trip, call Mr. Woroniecki at (770) 331-9324 or email him at

For more on the chamber’s international initiatives, visit

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...