Anne Callaghan, the United States' Consul General based in Vancouver since Aug. 2011, visited the Royal City on Monday and was taken for an hour-long tour by Mayor Wayne Wright.
Callaghan only spent an hour in the city, but she managed to get out and see some of the sights.
"The visit was terrific. I think she was impressed enough that she will be coming back to see us again in the future. ... I took her to Pacific Breeze Winery to show her some of the products we'd like to export," said Wright. "We also went down to (Westminster) Pier Park to show where we would like to have a new dock for small personal (yachts)."
Wright said Callaghan was particularly interested in seeing what trade opportunities existed between New Westminster and the United States and how the city is managing its growth.
"It was a pretty light meeting, but I had a chance to show the city off to her," said Wright.
Callaghan's visit was actually delayed for several minutes.
"She was coming from (the east) and said she had never seen that many trucks lined up on Brunette," said Wright. "And when we talked about traffic, that's when I said that's why we need to get going on the Pattullo Bridge project and better truck routes from the United States into the Lower Mainland."
Wright said Callaghan saw first-hand how congested Lower Mainland traffic was.
"She had meetings all day, and she said the traffic was horrendous almost everywhere," said Wright.
Wright also tried to lobby Callaghan to make a quick side trip to the Queen's Park area, where another visitor was spending the day.
"I was invited by Billy (Ranford) to come see the Stanley Cup, and I asked (Callaghan) if she wanted to come, but there wasn't any time," said Wright. "It would have been great for her to see the Cup, but we accomplished a lot in her time here."
Wright has extended open invitations to con-sul generals based in Vancouver and was surprised when Callaghan's office contacted him several weeks ago to arrange a visit.
Callaghan, originally from New Jersey, has a long and distinguished foreign service career that has included stints in Iraq, Rome, Washington, D.C., and Bogota, Colombia.