Canada and Georgia: uniting for tomorrow

Georgia has always enjoyed a strong partnership with Canada, its largest export buyer. But in recent years, trade disputes followed by a pandemic have brought unusual uncertainty to the usually dynamic relationship between the United States and Canada.

Both parties have discovered a renewed sense of purposeful collaboration, especially as supply chain challenges and geopolitical upheavals force a rethink of globalization.

The return of the annual conference of the Southeastern United States-Canada Provinces Alliance to Savannah on June 19-20 provides ample opportunity to reflect on the state of Georgia-Canada relations and to discover prospects for future investment and business partnership.

Atlanta World recently made a preliminary trip to Quebec, the province that spearheaded the alliance 15 years ago with Georgia. The itinerary included interviews with leading companies in complementary sectors such as healthcare, aerospace, film, energy and electric mobility – all areas where a collaborative approach could strengthen both parties.

Join the editor Trevor Williams and a panel of experts from Cobb Chamber of Commerce June 7 at 5 p.m. as Global Atlanta recaps the trip, releases a special report, and renews the conversation about Georgia’s ties to Canada in Atlanta, starting with a focus on Quebec.


  • Main speech: James Hill, Consul General of Canada in Atlanta
  • Opening remarks: Dina KhismatulinaAtlanta Attorney General, The Manly Company

Round table:


Speaker Biographies

James Hill

Consul General of Canada in Atlanta

Mr. Hill recently served as Canada’s Ambassador to Costa Rica; he enjoyed serving as an envoy to that Central American country as well as to Honduras and Nicaragua. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hill was posted to Seattle as Consul General. A young Mr. Hill studied history at the University of Saskatchewan and taught English in Japan, where the sense of immersion was exhilarating; he joined the Foreign Service in 1989. After an initial posting in Tehran, Mr. Hill was posted to Rio de Janeiro, where he served as Canadian Consul and Trade Commissioner in that part of Brazil. As he rose through the ranks – aided by his fluency in Portuguese – Mr Hill never shied away from a challenge, serving as High Commissioner (equivalent to Ambassador) to Mozambique, Chargé d’Affaires in Kuwait and Libya; deputy head of mission in Afghanistan, head of the diplomatic observation mission in Kosovo, among other positions at headquarters in Ottawa. Now he brings that resume to wear for Canada in Atlanta.

Dina Khismatulina

Atlanta Attorney General, The Manly Company

Originally from Siberia, Russia, Dina Khismatulina graduated in law from Emory University School of Law. She received her first law degree in 1999 from Tomsk State University, one of the best law schools in Russia. After graduating, Dina worked as an in-house lawyer for an Internet media company in Siberia. From 1999 to 2002, she worked as an in-house lawyer for one of the subsidiaries of Gazprom JSC, Russia’s largest natural gas producer and one of the largest companies in the world, where she focused on contractual matters , corporate and antitrust.

Dina is fluent in English and Russian, and she is a member of the American Society of International Law as well as its Women in International Law section.

Dina lives in Sandy Springs with her husband and children. She is an avid tennis player and a member of ALTA and USTA. Dina is admitted to practice law in Russia as well as here in Georgia where she has been admitted to the State and Superior Courts of Georgia, as well as the Court of Appeal of Georgia.

Dina and the Lawrenceville team have been proudly recognized by Gwinnett Magazine as Gwinnett’s Top Family Lawyer of 2021 and 2022.

Dina is active in her professional community and has served as Co-Chair of the Gwinnett County Bar Family Law Section since 2019, where she actively helps lead and support Gwinnett Bar events. Dina is an active partner of Global Atlanta in serving and supporting the Georgia consulate community. She was selected as a 2020-2022 Super Lawyer and featured nationally in Super Lawyer magazine’s article “Catching the American Dream” which showcases her professionalism and international experiences. Additionally, with the recent move of The Manely Firm’s Atlanta office, Dina is now acting as Attorney General in Atlanta.

Trevor Williams

Chief Editor, Atlanta World

A versatile digital journalist, Trevor Williams has spent more than a decade writing about international business and trade for Global Atlanta,
an online news service covering Atlanta’s intersection with the global economy.

He has undertaken journalism trips to more than 30 countries on five continents, uncovering stories that reveal both peril and promise.
globalization by voluntarily crossing cultural, linguistic and socio-economic barriers. Trevor has an intense focus on Asia and has also written extensively on foreign direct investment, trade policy and exports, Georgia’s ties to China, and Atlanta’s emergence as a payments hub, among many other topics. His in-depth knowledge of Atlanta’s business landscape, coupled with his understanding of international business, has made him a sought-after moderator for globally oriented events in the city.

Trevor graduated from the University of Georgia with a dual bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism and religion, as well as a minor in
Chinese language and literature. He is a proud husband and father of two young sons, as well as the publisher of “Making Men: Five Steps to Growing Up,” a book outlining five steps fathers can use to make their sons grow. He recently edited Consular Conversations, a book compiling interviews with 25 diplomats over two years of live events he led and moderated at Global Atlanta. He recently took over as publisher of Grounded Global Media LLC, the publication’s parent company.

Trevor’s freelance work has been published in AramcoWorld, China Daily, Site Selection magazine (online), Nuernberger Zeitung, Khabar, InSite
magazine, Breakaway magazine, Brio,, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and China Business Review.

Laura Dawson

Executive Director, Future Borders Coalition

Laura has experience advancing policy research and thought leadership at the intersection of digital transformation and public sector innovation. She has sixteen years of experience advising government officials on international policy issues and twenty years of experience in designing, executing and managing projects.

His past experiences include: North America Lead, Amazon Web Services Institute; director of the Canadian Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Founder, Dawson Strategic; Senior Economics Specialist, US Embassy in Canada; Professor of International Affairs and Public Policy

Laura is a former Senior Advisor on US-Canada Economic Issues for the US State Department ($1.3 trillion in annual bilateral trade and investment). Experienced interagency liaison on economic affairs with the US State Department, National Security Council, USTR, Treasury, Homeland Security, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Customs and Border Protection.

David Weiner

To delegate, Quebec Delegation Atlanta

Appointed Québec delegate in Atlanta in March 2021, David Weiner took office the following May. A career diplomat, Mr. Weiner served in Canada’s foreign service for 30 years, with postings in seven cities on three continents.

Mr. Weiner most recently served as Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta, where he and his team were instrumental in bringing about several major investments in Canada.

Mr. Weiner previously worked at the Consulate General of Canada in Dallas, where he won the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers award for outstanding business success for Canada. In Dallas, he was also recognized for the outstanding performance of his team, which ranked third in the world in terms of commercial success. While in Texas, Mr. Weiner also completed several major projects that led to new foreign investment in Canada.

Mr. Weiner also served in Detroit, where he helped revive auto trade between Canada and the United States after the economic downturn. During his stay, he also stood out for his impressive results in attracting investment.

Mr. Weiner has also served in the Canadian Embassies in Washington, Brasilia and Berlin, and helped open the Canadian Consulate in Philadelphia. He has extensive experience in international business development and trade policy. Prior to joining the foreign service, Mr. Weiner held international sales and marketing positions in the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries.

David Weiner is a graduate of McGill University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and international trade. He is married to Marilda Weiner and has two adult children.

*Benoit Montreuil

Coca-Cola Chair in Handling and Distribution; Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology

Benoit Montreuil is the Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair and professor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech. He is also director of the Physical Internet Center and co-director of the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute.

Dr. Montreuil leads the International Physical Internet Initiative, engaging academic, industry and government leaders around the world in research and innovation projects on smart logistics, supply chains, transportation, businesses and regions , hyperconnected and sustainable.

His main research interests relate generically to the development of concepts, methodologies and technologies to create, optimize, transform and enable companies, supply chains and value creation networks to thrive in a hyperconnected world by rapid evolution.

Jean-Francois Marchand

Marketing director, UgoWork

Julianna Egressy

Vice President of Supply Chain, Medicom inc.