Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States Žygimantas Pavilionis was in Brattleboro on June 6 to announce that local resident Kerry Secrest will serve as the Vermont Honorary Consul of Lithuania.
Pavilionis said for a small country like Lithuania the honorary counsuls serve an important role in reaching out to local populations to spread Lithuanian culture, as well as to open up business opportunities and trade between the two countries.
The consulate was opened in Vermont during the Strolling of the Heifers weekend to recognize that both Lithuania and Vermont have strong agricultural economies.
The ambassador encouraged summit attendees to take the opportunity for bilateral cooperation and use strengths of the both countries.
Kerry Secrest is an American Lithuanian of the fourth generation. After graduating from Vilnius University in 1991, she spent two years in Vilnius, where she was teaching English. After returning to the United States Secrest joined the new Lithuanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., as the Advisor for Educational and Cultural Affairs. She left four years later to get her graduate degree at SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, and after working a few years in Washington, D.C., for the American Red Cross Secrest moved in 2003 to Brattleboro.
In an intreview to Reformer Secrest said:
I am fortunate to know a lot of people in Lithuania in a number of sectors and how to leverage those relationships to facilitate economic and cultural opportunities for both Lithuania and Vermont. Lithuania is situated at the geographic center of Europe. It could serve as a great connection to Europe for Vermont exports, and a gateway in particular to Eastern Europe for Vermont businesses.