Warsaw & Chicago, Illinois. Minsk Mazowiecki & Lacey, Washington. Krakow & San Francisco, California. Gdynia & Seattle, Washington. Chelm & Knoxville, Tennessee. What do all these pairs have in common? They’re Polish-American “Sister Cities” – associations designed to bring our two countries closer together by creating connections between an American and a Polish city that have a lot in common.
The Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association links two thriving port cities through exchanges and cultural programs. For the past six years, the association has brought students from Gdynia to Seattle to participate in Washington Business Week, a program for high school students that teaches entrepreneurial skills, teamwork, and creativity. In 2009, with support from Washington-area businesses, the Foundation for Private Enterprise, and the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw (among others), the Sister City Association decided to bring this program to Gdynia.
For over a week, the City of Gdynia hosted 100 Polish students, 4 American students, 20 Polish teachers, and 11 advisers from companies based inthe Pacific Northwest. Ambassador Victor Ashe traveled to Gdynia for the program’s opening, and over the week the students heard from such figures as Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament; Janusz Reiter, former Polish Ambassador to the United States; Mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek; Gdynia Deputy Mayors Michal Guc, Ewa Lowkiel, Boguslaw Stasiak, and Marek Stepa; and Michal Jaworski from Microsoft, Poland.
On Monday, August 24th, we had the honor of hosting many of the Americans who helped make Gdynia Business Week possible, including Mike Waske of the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, Steve Hyer from Washington Business Week, and many other people who worked hard to make this program happen. We thank them for giving the Embassy an opportunity to get involved in this program and wish the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association and Gydnia Business Week great success in their continued cooperation.
Gdynia Mayor, Wojciech Szczurek; Gdynia Deputy Mayors Michal Guc, Ewa Lowkiel, Boguslaw Stasiak, and Marek Stepa; former Polish Ambassador to the United States, Janusz Reiter; and Michal Jaworski from Microsoft, Poland.