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The successful annual student nursing exchange between The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Houston Baptist University offers a model for co-operation between Grampian Region and the City of Houston.

This was stated by Professor Rita Marcella, Dean of the Aberdeen Business School at the Robert Gordon University,. speaking on 4 March, 2014 at the second Aberdeen-Houston Gateway event involving a business breakfast at the Norris Conference Centres, Houston, linked by satellite to a business lunch at the Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen.

Prof. Marcella said the student nursing exchange was now in its 20th year and she went on, “This is something I would like to see more of as one of the ways our colleges and universities can work together to greater effect.”

Gordon McIntosh, Aberdeen City Council’s Director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure praised the long-standing Sister City relationship between Grampian and Houston. He said it had proved a “fantastic partnership” and Houston City Councilman Oliver Pennington paid tribute to the individuals who had made the relationship work.

The Gateway event, organised by Granite PR, of Aberdeen and Houston, was attended by close on 400 in the two cities with Andrew Millar, British Consul General in Houston, and David Rennie, Scottish Enterprise’s International Sector Head for Oil and Gas, chairing the discussions.

Speakers in Houston were Regina Lindsey, Chief Development Officer for Greenspoint District, Marshall E. Schott, of the Lone Star College and Dr Alan Lumsden, Medical Director of Houston Methodist Hospital’s DeBakey Heart and Vascular Centre.

In addition to Prof. Marcella and Mr McIntosh, speakers in Aberdeen were Eddie Leigh, Managing Director of Simmons and Co. International Ltd and Prof. Andy Porter, Chair of Molecular and Cell Biology at Aberdeen University.

 During the event Regina Lindsey announced that Brett Jackson (pictured), Managing Director of Granite PR and Vice Chairman of the Grampian-Houston Association, had been named as Greenspoint District’s International Partner of the Year in recognition of his assistance in promoting the North Houston district’s economic development opportunities.