On March 29, Ambassador László Szabó traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to present Honorary Consul John Parkerson with the “Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit,” one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a non-Hungarian citizen.

Since 2007, Mr. Parkerson has served as Hungary’s Honorary Consul to Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. In 2013, he was granted the additional title of Honorary Economic Counsellor to recognize his exceptional contributions to the development of trade and economic relations between Hungary and the United States. Mr. Parkerson has served as a bridge between our two great nations, linking Hungarian government representatives, businesses, and schools with American companies, academic institutions, and economic development officials. His relationship with Hungary dates back to his time as a member of Delta Air Lines’ law department (1993-2008), during which he helped Delta fly into Budapest in 2006.

“We came to celebrate John” said Ambassador Szabó before a ceremony was held in honor of Mr. Parkerson at his law firm, Hall Booth Smith PC. “He is a great pioneer for Hungary in Atlanta,” the Ambassador added, “working together with our technical universities, bringing MBA students to Hungary every year, developing marketing strategies, helping start-ups and overseeing bilateral trade and investment portfolios.”

Among those in attendance at the ceremony were Ambassador Detlev Ruenger, Consul General of Germany,  Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Consul General of Israel who previously served as Israel’s Ambassador to Hungary, Miguel Alemán Urteaga, Consul General of Peru, and Aadu J. Allpere, Honorary Consul of Estonia.

In addition to his legal practice and teaching position at Emory University’s School of Law, Mr. Parkerson has devoted his career to raising Atlanta’s global commercial status. He served as President of World Trade Center Atlanta, and is currently a Board Member and Secretary of the Atlanta Consular Corps, a Board Member of the Georgia Council for International Visitors, and a Board Member of the Atlanta Council on International Relations.