Dec 15, 2015

Knighthood for Smith, Gambrell & Russell’s John D. Saunders

{photo1-left}ATLANTA (December 15, 2015) –  John Saunders, a partner and head of one of SGR’s corporate practice groups, was bestowed the honor of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland, for his work as Honorary Consul of Finland for the State of Georgia. The recognition was presented by Ambassador Jukka Pietikainen, Consul General of Finland at the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce’s Independence Day celebration in Atlanta earlier this month.

“John has served as a true cultural ambassador,” said Stephen Forte, SGR’s managing partner. “He has been relentless in promoting and representing Finnish interests in the U.S. and abroad, and his efforts to serve Finland and Finnish companies have been exemplary.” 

The Order of the Lion of Finland was founded in September 1942. It was introduced to compliment the prestigious Order of the White Rose of Finland and to facilitate the awarding of honors for military and civilian merit. This is among the highest honors the government of Finland can bestow to a non-Finnish citizen.

Saunders has served as Honorary Consul of Finland for the State of Georgia since 1996. In addition to serving in this capacity, he also represents approximately 20 Finnish-based companies in connection with their U.S. activities, as well as other European-based concerns. Saunders has authored several articles related to Finnish business in the United States. He is a past president, and currently serves as secretary and a director of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce of the Southeast. Saunders received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Emory University.

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