Founder Cindy Pasky on Entrepreneurship and the Local Economy

By Amanda Lewan on June 1st, 2015 / Comments

Cindy Pasky first entered the world of technology learning how to code. She realized quickly that technology was the future of the economy, starting Strategic Staffing Solutions in 1990 to help staff the growing need of technology jobs.

A very successful company active in Downtown Detroit, Pasky shared with us a few insights from this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference. Her company  sponsored a small business pop-up event that was widely promoted and well received at the conference. Below is a recap from our chat with this local entrepreneur.cindy

Tell us a little about the building bridges with small businesses event here at Mackinac and why you supported it. 

“It is really important to me that we highlight successful businesses that have started from nothing in the city of Detroit, that now employ people, they pay taxes and are striving.”

Urban revitalization is a theme for this year’s conference. Being headquartered in Detroit, could you tell us about your efforts Downtown?

“Absolutely. We’ve been headquartered in Detroit for 25 years. I’ve lived in Detroit since 1986. I think my view and perspective on urban revitalization has been different than most individuals. I think that the first starting point is you need a strong city to have a strong state. You could use revitalization, you could use preservation,  you could use growth but you have to start with the point that people understand that the city is important.”

 What are some things S3 does to help with that conversation?

“Well, we choose to be in the city. We’ve always been headquartered in the city for 25 years. We employ Detroiters. We create jobs. We engage in the community. We sit on boards to help drive change. We basically put our money where our mouth is every single day.”

What conversations would you like to see other business owners engage with when it comes to supporting Detroit’s economy? 

“A couple things. I think you can buy from Detroit companies, which has to be an intentional decision. You need to look at your procurement process to purchase in Detroit. You can buy from Michigan companies. Recognize the importance of a vibrant city. Recognize that the city needs to look and feel many different cities in one. And always lead by example.”

As an entrepreneur and leader, what characteristic traits do you think it takes to really be a founder and help grow a company?

“You have to be disciplined. You have to be willing to sacrifice. You have to believe in yourself and your team. You’re going to have to work harder than anyone else in the company every single day.”

What helps you get through some of the growing pains you’ve experienced?

“Perspective. You think about where we are.  Let’s start with the fact that when we wake up in the morning, you wake up in the United States. We come out of the gate, every single morning, better than most in the world. Business is really important, but it’s business. The worst thing that’s going to happen is you lose a customer, you lose money, it’s not your choice but in comparison to other things that happen to other people, it’s not that bad.”

In the technology world, there’s not enough women applying for tech jobs. Do you have any advice for women who are in technology?

“Absolutely. I think the thing that people forget with technology is everybody uses it in every form and every way. Technology, if you love music that’s your entry into the music business, if you love retail and clothes it’s your entree into Neiman Marcus. When you look at technology, everything uses it. If you’re good at it then it let’s you be in the middle of what you love.”

Learn more about Strategic Staffing Solutions. 

*This interview is from our week at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Blogger Zone at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Follow along tweets and stories with the hashtag #MPC15, and let us know questions or conversations you’re interested in most.


About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.