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Pasky to co-chair new Lithuanian-U.S. biz council

Pasky to co-chair new Lithuanian-U.S. biz council

A pilgrimage to her grandparents' homeland in Lithuania in the mid-1990s has turned into good business for Strategic Staffing Solutions Inc. founder Cindy Pasky and her appointment as co-chair of the American-Lithuanian Business Council.

Pasky, S3's president and CEO, is sharing the leadership of the Washington, D.C.-based council with S3 Executive Vice President Denise Kurowski.

In addition to Detroit-based Strategic Staffing, the council's founding members are Chevron Corp., Exelon Generation, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) and Western Union Co.

The nonprofit council came together in April to promote commercial relations between the U.S. and Lithuania by enhancing trade and investment, and to advance the relationship between the two countries while educating the public about its importance.

It ensures that American executives and key Lithuanian and U.S. government leaders have a forum to advocate for further trade and investment opportunities in Lithuania and to amicably resolve issues that might prevent future growth in the two countries' commercial relationship, the council said on its website.

The council plans to sponsor policy conferences, briefings and major events featuring senior U.S. and Lithuanian officials, academics and business leaders.

The relationships Pasky and S3 have forged in Lithuania are also giving the company a base for expansion to other Eastern European countries.

S3 recently opened an office in Latvia, where it is recruiting employees for several customers, including Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, a Swedish financial bank serving corporate customers.

S3 is also exploring presences in Poland and Romania.

A large U.S. agricultural company in Poland and a United Kingdom Bank in Romania "have approached us and asked if we would be able to support them in those markets," Pasky said.

"So we're exploring those markets. ... We've never gone into a new market without already having established business with a customer."

Pasky and her husband, S3 Chairman Paul Huxley, were following the Detroit Symphony Orchestra around on its European tour in the mid-'90s when they decided to detour to Lithuania.

Pasky's grandparents had emigrated to the U.S. from the Eastern European country in 1911.

While there, Pasky sought out the Lithuanian prime minister and began a dialogue that led to S3 opening an office in the country around 1999 and a seat on the prime minister's economic advisory council.

"We were Eastern European pioneers," Pasky said. "Everyone was going to India in the late "90s we weren't big enough."

But Pasky and S3 were right at home in Lithuania.

"It was an opportunity for us to make a difference there, and for us to be part of a country as it rebuilds its economy from scratch," she said.

S3 provides contract staffing and IT services, executive search, vendor management programs and call center services for customers in the financial, insurance and energy industries.

Pasky said the company has placed nearly 2,000 people in jobs in Lithuania.

The company posted revenue of more than $200 million last year and is projecting $240 million to $250 million this year, Pasky said.

Many Eastern European countries are poised to grow their economies because of their access to the Russian market, said Charlie Streeter, vice president, sales and marketing for Warren-based MSX International Inc.

MSX serves as a managed service provider, overseeing contract employees and contracts for customers and providing contract staffing itself.

Among its clients is Poland, which is a growth market, particularly for the auto industry, he said. MSX has offices in Poland and also in Moscow.

"Obviously, we'll be moving into other Eastern European countries as well," Streeter said.

MSX looks to serve its customers not only in the U.S., "but wherever they may be or where we think they may be going," he said.

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