Mayor Ed Braddy and an official delegation are gearing up for a trip to Rzeszów, Poland, to represent the City of Gainesville for the first time there.
Through the Sister City Program, Gainesville already collaborates with Rzeszów, a leading city of innovation in Poland. The weeklong conference, which is slated to run from Oct. 19 to Oct. 27, aims to establish a stronger relationship between the two.
Some of the delegates are UF professors and officials who will build relationships with professors in Rzeszów.
In February 2013, a delegation of six representatives from Poland visited Gainesville, and Rzeszów became an official sister city during a signing in a Gainesville City Commission meeting.
Rzeszów is similar to Gainesville in many ways, said Margaret Andraka, director of the Gainesville-Rzeszów Sister City Program. It has two universities, so it has a similar demographic. Rzeszów seeks to become a leader in medical and science innovation just as Gainesville has done with institutions like UF Health Shands Hospital, she said.
“Leaders in Rzeszów are anxious to learn from Gainesville,” said Steve Kalishman, president of Gainesville’s Sister City Program.
The goal is to exchange activities and formal agreements to secure relationships that will allow more opportunities for new groups to travel.
A version of this story ran on page 4 on 9/11/2013 under the headline "Sister City Program of Gainesville plans Poland trip"