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Rockville - RSCC

Pinneberg (Official Sister City)

Jiaxing  (Friendship City)
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Rockville Reports

German-American Society

40th Anniversary Brochure

50th Anniversary Brochure

60th Anniversary Brochure

60th Anniversary - 2017 !

For an amazing 60 years Pinneberg and Rockville have maintained a meaningful and intense friendship.  The initiators were former mayors Henry Glissmann (SPD) and Dickran Hovsepian.  The German-American Society Rockville-Pinneberg, founded in 1984, is under the leadership of Bernd Hinrichs since 2007.  The Pinneberg City leadership has dedicated a Rockville Room at City Hall.  The corresponding organization in Rockville was founded in 1983 under the name of Rockville Sister City Corporation.

60th Anniversary Logo



The RSCC Monthly Board Meeting is held on the third Wednesday of each month, at City Hall, starting at 7:00 PM (except December).  The public is invited.

WELCOME!   WILLKOMMEN !     (huan yíng)

This is the official site of the Rockville Sister City Corporation (RSCC) in Rockville, Maryland, representing a long-standing relationship between the people of Rockville, Maryland, and the people of Pinneberg, Germany.  The relationship was established in 1957.

Rockville developed a Friendship Relationship with the city of Jiaxing, China in 2009.

(Updated April 14, 2018) - please double-click on most photos to view in original size)

Special Message Regarding Rockville’s Jiaxing, China Relationship

Many in Rockville are familiar with Rockville’s Sister City relationship with Pinneberg, Germany.  Just last year we celebrated our 60th anniversary with Pinneberg, which is one of the oldest and longest lasting Sister City relationships, under President Eisenhower’s people-to-people initiative, in the world.

Rockville also enjoys another relationship with Jiaxing, China.  The Rockville Sister City Corporation wishes to continue our unique partnership with Jiaxing, a dynamic city of five million.  Moving forward, the Rockville Sister City Corporation is in the process of forming a committee, which will assist RSCC and the City of Rockville in nurturing and maintaining this important relationship.

If there are any people, especially in the City of Rockville, who are interested in helping out with this endeavor, please contact RSCC at or by calling 240-314-5029.

Once such a committee has been formed and sanctioned by RSCC, the Rockville Sister City Corporation will fully support developing a successful foundation and ongoing programs upon which the Rockville – Jiaxing relationship can flourish.

The Rockville Sister City Corporation and the City of Rockville value our relationship with Jiaxing and will do what it takes to move this important relationship to the next level.

Most sincerely,

Drew Powell


Rockville Sister City Corporation

After the highly successful month of March as an intern with the Rockville City Government, Pinneberg resident and employee Lena Ousvatova said "Auf Wiedersehen" to the US and returned to our sister city in Germany.  Under the tutalage of Kathleen Conway (Rockville's City Clerk/Director of Council Operations), Lena attended many meetings and discussion groups where she could assess the way our city operates in comparison and contrast to the city of Pinneberg.  Housing and housing protocols were of special interest to Lena.

During her time in Rockville, she did not lack for "things to do" during her free time.  She was the guest of RSCC Director Marika Brown for approximately two weeks, then moved to be with RSCC Director Christian Jessen-Klingenberg and his family for the remainder of the month.  Numerous RSCC members provided Lena with the opportunity to experience many things "American", from eating various ethnic foods, to tours of Rockville, Washington DC and the metropolitan area, to celebrating St. Patrick's Day, to an orchestral presentation in Baltimore.  Thanks go to all who made Lena's experience one of true friendship and people-to-people relationships.

German Sausages and Beers were on the menu at Hagerstown's "Best of the Wurst" Festival.

Lena (center) with Rockville City Clerk Kathleen Conway (right) and Kathleen's daughter Megan - at the Lahinch Tavern and Grill in the Cabin John Shopping Center.  St. Paddy's Day (if you couldn't tell).

Lena (left) with RSCC Director Ying Chen in Baltimore -Lena said she had not been to an orchestral performance since her family emigrated from St Petersburg, Russia in 1999!

A Farewell Party was held in Lena's honor on Saturday, March 31 at Hunter's Bar and Grill in Potomac.  It would be a long night for her, because her return flight to Germany departed later that evening!

Lena with Marika Brown

With George Albrecht and Brigitta Mullican

Talking with Gilbert Santiago and Chris Malone

Jack and Pat Rodgers talk with Margrit Ziegler

Margrit with Markia Brown, Jack Rodgers and Brigitta Mullican

Kathleen Conway bids Lena a fond farewell from all of us!
Rockville applauds our Sister City Pinneberg for allowing Lena the opportunity to take an insider's look at how we do business on "this side of the Pond".  We hope it has been a rewarding time for her personally and professionally, and that a similar exchange might soon be in the works on "that side of the Pond".  Auf Wiedersehen, Lena!
Coincidentally, Lena's farewell was held in conjunction with a welcome for
Margrit Ziegler, Vice-President of DAGRP (Pinneberg's German American Society) and her grandson.  Margrit had arrived for a Rockville area visit that she had promised to her German grandson, and a highlight during the time here was his rendition of the American National Anthem during Lena's farewell party!
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"Established in 2003, The Avalon School brings the spirit of adventure and friendship to boys grades kindergarten (kindergarten is co-ed) through twelve in an independent day school featuring a challenging liberal arts curriculum. The school seeks to cultivate in its students a sense of intellectual freedom and personal responsibility; to foster the gifts of faith and culture that are within each boy's reach; and to help them fulfill the deep desire to live a noble life that resides in all men.
These ideals form the foundation of the school and are encouraged through rigorous study, hearty athletics, broad activity and the daily example of both faculty and parents. The Avalon School aims to develop not only fine young men but a vital intellectual and social community of families in Montgomery County." 
Welcome to Richard McPherson, President, and to The Avalon School as the newest sponsor of RSCC!

The Nelson family will have a memorial service for former RSCC Director Robert Lloyd "Bob" Nelson at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at The Village at Rockville Lutheran Chapel, 9701 Veirs Drive, Rockville, MD.   Refreshments will follow the service in Lang Hall.  The family would love for you to join them in celebrating his life.

by RSCC Director Ying Chen
It was a  wonderful day with Lena Ousvatova on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

RSCC Director Ying Chen picked Lena up and headed to the Far East restaurant in Rockville where Director Bing Huang met them.  Lena was amazed at the many varieties and different tastes of Chinese food in Rockville!  We discovered Lena enjoys cooking and loves to try new dishes!  This dim sum lunch had her realize that Chinese food is not the same around the world!

Ying then took Lena to the University of Maryland (UMD) where Ying's daughter Cathy Wang is a junior studying environmental science and music education.  Cathy is also a trip leader in UMD's Adventure Program.  Under Cathy's guidance, Lena saw the UMD's campus - various departments, the library, and the campus mall.  Lena said that UMD is truly a big school and we discussed the differences in education management in Germany and America.  We learned that Lena and her family emigrated from St. Petersburg Russia to Germany in 1999 when she was 12. 

At the Far East

Dorm Rooms

Hallway Art

The UMD Pool

Classical !

A "Blues?" Crab
We then went to the music school and visited the practice rooms and Clarice Music center. On the way to the adventure program, we stopped by the UMD gym and swim center.  The grand scale of the pool, cardio work out facility, and indoor track had Lena stunned about how lucky the American students are with their public schools!  We also learned that Lena is finishing her own course work in April.

From UMD, we headed to Baltimore for some Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky!  We were happy the weather had warmed up!  As immigrants, Lena and I had a lot of comparisons to share.  Life in China and in Russia, hard economic times, changes required by moving to another country, and more importantly how to merge into one's current society were among the discussions.  How to get younger people involved in Sister City programs and what we can do as future exchanges were also discussed.

A principal clarinetist from mainland China was the center of the concert at Meyerhoff Music Hall that Sunday afternoon and the house was full!  However the surprise at this concert came after intermission; it was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2, the "Little Russian" - a perfect treat for Lena!  She said she had not been to a symphony since she was in Russia and she totally "merged" with the music!

For dinner Cathy found an Ethiopian restaurant in walking distance and the three of us went for an international culinary adventure.  Finally, we went to Baltimore's Inner Harbor where Lena found the "Cheesecake Factory".  She is a cheesecake fan and had longed to taste "American" cheesecake!  She left Baltimore happy, with a boxed slice of cheesecake on her lap......


On March 30, 2018, a special meeting was held at Rockville City Hall welcoming the Honorable Tekeba Tebabal, Mayor of Gondar, Ethiopia and his delegation. The prevailing topic was public infrastructure, such as water, sewer and the electrical grid as well as other municipal services.
Also in attendance were, the Honorable Mayor of the City of Rockville, Bridget Donnell Newton; City Clerk and Director of Council Operations, Kathleen Conway; Rockville Director of Public Works, Craig Simoneau; Montgomery County Community Liaison to the African and Caribbean Communities, Daniel Koroma; RSCC Secretary, Steve Fisher; and Rockville Sister City Corporation President, Drew Powell.  The prevailing topic was public infrastructure, such as water, sewer and the electrical grid as well as other municipal services.


From left: Michael Patt, Hans-Dietmar Bethke, Bernd Hinrichs, Birgit Drechsler, Torsten Hauwetter, Margrit Ziegler,
Herbert Hoffmann, Felicitas Lorenz and
Bianca MendeStolzenberg

From the Pinneberger Tageblatt newspaper: "Pinneberg and Rockville (in the US state of Maryland) have been twinned for 61 years ... making more and more contacts between the citizens.  How close and heartfelt these friendships have become ... became evident again in the reports to DAGRP's annual general meeting....  Nice experiences marked the 60th year of twinning.  This was the topic of Bernd Hinrichs, who was confirmed as President of the Society for two more years.  Highlights of the year were the visit of Pinnebergers in Rockville in June 2017 and then the return visit from Maryland in October....  Hans-Dietmar Bethke did not run again for his position, after 16 years in office.  (He is now required for grandfatherly duties.) ... As Bethke's successor, Torsten Hauwetter moved into the leadership position. Secretary Bianca Mende and executive board member Herbert Hoffmann were re-elected. ... For 2018, the company also has a lot in mind.  A main focus is the expansion of student exchanges.  The co-ordinator is Christian Jessen-Klingenberg [who]...also is on the Board of Directors of the Rockville Sister City Corporation.  As a cultural highlight Hinrichs announced the visit of an American madrigal choir.  And not only that.  The President had also compiled for the members of his society, what kind of music such a choir brings to the fore, namely sounds from the Renaissance and early Baroque."  [reported by Karl-Heinz Stolzenberg]

Former RSCC President Jim McConkey recently relocated from his home in Derwood to a one-bedroom apartment in the Brightview West End complex in Rockville.  He invited a few RSCC members to help him celebrate "Happy Hour" at the new facility.  Jim keeps busy in his new "digs", and enjoys greatly the independent living style afforded him, as well as a more-or-less "care-free" living environment.  "It sure beats worrying about home maintenance," he said.  "The food is good, and the staff is just super."

(From left) Jim McConkey, Ying Chen, Brigitta Mullican, George Albrecht
(English translation)
  click here


Montgomery Sister Cities Annual Meeting (March 29th)

(Center) Bruce Adams, Director Office of Community Partnerships, Montgomery County

SCI President Dr. Roger Mark De Souza and RSCC President, Drew Powell

Mayor of Gondar, Ethiopia, Tekeba Tebabal and RSCC President, Drew Powell

Montgomery County Sister Cities 2018 Annual Meeting Panel
On March 29, 2018, Montgomery County Sister Cities held their Annual Meeting at the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza. This year’s theme was “The Importance of Global Citizenship” and included a panel moderated by County Executive Ike Leggett, along with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of Montgomery College, Dr. Sanjay Rai, Ph.D., the Director, Department of the Global Humanities Institute at Montgomery College; Dr. Rita Kranidis, Ph.D., the former Director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at the Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Nicholas Arrindell, Ph.D.; and President of Sister Cities International, Dr. Roger Mark De Souza.
Attending RSCC Members included President Drew Powell, VP Brigitta Mullican, Secretary Steve Fisher and Director Ying Chen.
In addition to the panel discussion, Tekeba Tebabal, Mayor of Gondar, Ethiopia, was honored with a proclamation presented by Montgomery County Executive Leggett.
Food and other cultural delights were provided to attendees by representatives of Montgomery County’s five Sister Cities, which include:
1) Morazán, El Salvador, 2) Gondar, Ethiopia, 3) Xi-an, China, 4) Hyderabad, India, and 5) Daejon, South Korea..

RSCC Member Donates Sound System

Bill Michie as part of the 2017 Rockville Delegation in Pinneberg

In the month of March 2018, Rockville Sister City Member Bill Michie donated a Public Announcement / Sound System to help RSCC with our numerous events.  The sound system accepts a microphone input and is Bluetooth compatible.  It has already been put to good use at a recent RSCC event and will come in handy for future RSCC events such as our annual meeting and World of Montgomery.  The Rockville Sister City Corporation wishes to thank Bill for this wonderful contribution; a gift that will be put to use frequently in furthering RSCC programs.

"Here’s a link to a video of the [presentation] made during the Mayor’s reception on October 5th.  Our guitar guy, Jeff, records all our shows so he made this one especially for you.

Thank you,
Tom Miner
The Digits!"

Cherry Blossom Time in DC
"You might have seen images of the cherry blossom trees that blanket Washington, D.C. every spring. The 3,000 trees around the Tidal Basin were a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912, symbolizing the friendship between the two countries. Once the trees begin to bloom, the city is filled with festivals, celebratory events and a parade marking the occasion.

"Although the District has an abundance of cherry blossom trees, Japan has gifted its prized sakura trees to several other countries, including Brazil, China, Turkey and Germany. And in Germany, the blossoming trees have been growing in popularity!
"In Germany, the trees bloom a few weeks later than in the US, but nevertheless come with their own celebrations. In the 1960s, Hamburg received approximately 5,000 cherry blossom trees from Japan, which were planted along the city's riverbanks. Since 1968, the city of Hamburg - which is home to about 2,000 Japanese residents and 100 Japanese companies - has hosted an annual cherry blossom festival, complete with fireworks, a Japanese Kulturtag ('day of culture') and a bi-yearly pageant for a cherry blossom princess.
"Other German cities host smaller cherry blossom festivals of their own. And in Bonn, the cherry blossoms have become a major tourist attraction in recent years. In the mid-1980s, the city decided to plant cherry blossom trees all throughout Bonn's Altstadt ('old town') in order to make it a nicer place to live. The plan worked: Bonn's Heerstraße is now one of the most attractive springtime destinations. Locals sometimes refer to it as 'Cherry Blossom Avenue.' Photographs depicting Bonn's tunnel of pink have become an internet sensation, bringing tourists from around the world to visit the city during peak bloom. Japan's gifts have brought beauty to cities across the world, including Germany!"  Nicole Glass, Editor, The Week in Germany

Great work done by Rockville’s Channel 11 Television Team!

 Peerless Rockville 2018 Homes Tour - the Historic West End
May 12, 2018 - 1-5 pm
Tickets available soon at 
The 2018 Homes Tour will visit neighborhood homes and gardens and explore their history.

3rd Tuesday of every month - 7:00 - 8:00 pm

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Sister Cities Association

Sister City Association

German-American Heritage Society

Chinese Culture and
Community Service Center

The German International School

German Life Magazine

Rockville Science Center

Peerless Rockville

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Please do it NOW.  Do it

We urge new and renewing members to send in their Membership Dues for 2018 as soon as you can.


By recommendation of the Board of Directors, RSCC has instituted a new three-tiered
membership structure
Student, Individual/Family, and Corporate Sponsors.

The change in RSCC dues is necessary in order to continue our mission of facilitating Rockville's Sister City relationship with Pinneberg, Germany and Rockville's Friendship City relationship with Jiaxing, China, which includes an increasing number of local and international cross cultural activities and events.

RSCC has created a new Student Membership category.  There is no fee for this membership.  The Student Membership is designed to introduce students to the activities and programs of the Sister City organization and attract students to become active in these activities.  The student membership provides students with opportunities to create projects related to our German and Chinese sister and friendship cities and earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.  The new Point of Contact is RSCC Committee Member Christian Jessen-Klingenberg (   As of January 1, 2017, Membership Dues were increased to $25 for Individual Membership and $40 for Family Membership.   At the February 2017 Board Meeting, it was decided to create three levels of Corporate Sponsorship (Gold, Silver and Bronze), based on a corporation's ability and desire to provide support to RSCC.

All three forms can be found HERE.  The Board feels these modest increases are in line with other Rockville-based non-profit organization's dues, and the fact that RSCC's dues had remained at fixed low prices for decades.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.   And THANK YOU again for your continued support of RSCC!

Drew Powell


The Rockville Science Center is offering to provide tours, etc., of local science, technology and nature facilities for visitors coming to Rockville.  This would also be a great opportunity for RSCC members to learn about technology in Rockville.  If you have a suggestion for a tour or visit, please let us know and we will try to arrange things.

Year of the Dog started February 16th

Our Sister City - Pinneberg Our Friendship City - Jiaxing


Rockville residents are urged to include Pinneberg on their itinerary whenever traveling in Europe. The Rockville Sister City relationship is very well known in Pinneberg, and you are bound to receive a special welcome when you mention Rockville.

Frequently, students and other visitors from Pinneberg seek short-term accommodations in Rockville.  Residents who are interested in hosting visitors from our Sister City Pinneberg or our Friendship City Jiaxing are encouraged to volunteer.  Contact RSCC at

German Life Magazine - as described by David E. L'Heureux, former President Emeritus, RSCC:  

"One of the finest magazines I have seen.  Over a period of time this very informative bi-monthly magazine in English provides you with an excellent view of Germany, German life, culture, society, festivities, food, sightseeing and everything else you might want to know about in a very attractive glossy-paged publication.  Not only are the presentations wonderful, but there are also ads leading to German clothing, food, recipes, books, music, souvenirs and activities in the United States.  Pictures abound.  Issues are not only informative, but educational as well.  Great for adults and children as well....  By the time you put down one issue, the next one is at hand."

Paid members of RSCC are eligible for a discounted annual rate of $17.95 (vs regular subscription rate for one year - 6 issues - of $24.95) when subscribing to German Life Magazine.  Here is the form you should use:

German Life is a high-quality, highly interesting magazine about life and culture in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.  We hope you will take advantage of this extraordinary offer, as part of your membership in the Rockville Sister City Corporation.

For a preview of German Life Magazine go here:

Events    *Become an RSCC Member*

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Corporate Sponsors - Calendar Year 2018
The Rockville Sister City Corporation gratefully wishes to acknowledge the following Corporate Sponsors.
(Sponsor since...)

Please remember our Sponsors in your shopping and professional travels.


International Travel Consultants
POC: Gabriele Williams

1010 Rockville Pike - Suite #401 - Rockville, MD 20852
Phone:  301-294-0222 or 1-800-466-4660     Fax: 301-294-5324


B. F. Saul Co.
POC: Todd Pearson
7501 Wisconsin Avenue - Suite 1500E - Bethesda, MD  20814
Phone:  301-986-6000


Westat Inc.

1600 Research Blvd, Rockville, MD  20850 Phone:  301-294-3830


Sigy's Service Center - BMW Specialist
110 Crabb Ave., Rockville, MD  20850 Phone:  301-881-6725


Nexus Holidays DC - Xiaosheng Bi, Owner
932 Hungerford Drive  #7A, Rockville MD  20850
Phone: (301) 917-2222 • 1 (800) 919-8041 •  Fax: (301) 917-2240


City of Rockville, Maryland
111 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD  20850


Law Office of Thomas K. Brown, LLC
22 West Jefferson Street Suite 401, Rockville, MD  20850
Phone:  1-888-783-9180


Rockville Economic Development, Inc.
Laurie Boyer, Executive Director

95 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD  20850
Phone: 301-315-8096


Rockville Volunteer Fire Department
Serving the citizens of Rockville for over 90 years

PO Box 1547, Rockville, MD  20849
Phone:  301-424-0310


Kiwanis Club of Rockville, Inc.
POC: John Tyner
Rockville, MD  20849-1401
Phone:  301-468-2146

David Johnston - Senior Financial Advisor
Managing Director - Investments 
7901 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-230-5734 | 800-777-3664    Fax: 301-907-2062


The Avalon School
Richard McPherson, President

200 W. Diamond Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
School Office: (301) 963-8022
General Information:

Rockville Sister City Corporation (RSCC)
c/o Rockville City Hall
111 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD  20850-2364
RSCC Phone Line:
or  via E-mail:

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