By Anna N Schlegel, Chair and co-Founder, Women in Localization
“Déu n'hi do” is a Catalan expression I have never been able to translate to another language, but it means something along the lines of “OMG”, “You are achieving a lot”, Catalans use it to express admiration, or to confirm that “Wow, this is quite a bit”. This applies to Women in Localization. Large magnitude.
When I asked our teams for a progress recap to prepare for our mid-year Board review, I had to take a moment to sit down to embrace the width, depth, and speed of this organization. You have to take this in and celebrate it. The number of programs coming our way is long and innovative, it is professional, it is an orchestra. We are not a small group of friends anymore, we are no longer just a few sites and chapters. We are a powerful engine, a global tribe, a role model, a group with 4500 plus members that grows daily, with presence across all continents, we are in publications of “How to”, we have partnerships with every single major globalization outfit, and we have at least 2 other non-profit organizations now modeling themselves against our structure, we are asked to speak and share our innovation, we offer 4 panels a year across 16 chapters, that is a lot of innovation. It is a phenomenon, it is a think tank. I am so incredibly proud of every decision we have made along the way to get us to where we are.
2018 is a big year for us, this is the year when we will be granted our non-profit status. So much to line up for this, calls, forms, paralegals, new learnings, bylaws! Silvia Avary, co-founder of Women in Localization has been leading that effort with Mimi Hills and Dr. Duaine Pryor, two of our Board Advisors.
2018 marks our 10th anniversary – so many people have helped us along the way. In this decade, we have had Board Members, Chairs, Sponsors, Corporations letting us crash at their offices, and now, in our new 2018 structure, Board Advisors, Executive Directors, dedicated Committees and even an Office of the Chair. Where do we start to thank everyone? How do we thank our members who keep coming, who are raising their hands at each event to volunteer. Our 16 Chapter Leaders and their local leadership teams! So many people to thank. I see a global party coming up…
Our Global Expansion team is an incredible Committee led by Michele Smith and Kristin Hansen that paces our growth. These ladies know how to go global, with their teams we have just opened our 2nd Chapter in China, and Chapters in Warsaw, Singapore and Utah! The wait list…is long!
Equally impressive is the Marketing Committee led by Liesl Leary and Erica Haims, who are about to launch a rebranded website that will make your day! And the newly launched Education Committee with Loy Searle and Martyna Pakula creating a much anticipated Localization Knowledge Base and Mentoring Program. And Sonia Oliveira and Jill Goldsberry, expanding our partnerships, just led the flawless execution of LocWorld Tokyo and are finalizing all the last touches for LocWorld Warsaw.
Fadwa Asaad, Fabiano Cid, Allison McDougall and Silvia Avary are the fabulous committee leading the newly Sponsorship Program and planning our 10th Anniversary party. That party looks better and better by the week. And the incredible support of my dear friend, co-founder and Secretary Eva Klaudinyova.
And finally, I wanted to share that we have launched The Office of the Chair, with key roles such as our new CTO, Vilma Campos, our new Chief Compliance Officer Monica Bajaj, and Senior Talent Director Bridget O’Brien - all supporting me in making foundational decisions.
How did we get to be this big, this lucky, and this significant with almost no funds? It is the people. It is the people we surround ourselves with. I think we “hire” well. I think it is our values, I think it is our structure, I think it is giving ourselves the opportunity and permission to lead and show up as leaders. Together, we are making it happen. It is also all of you reading this piece, the friends of Women in Localization that we’ve made along the way. We thank you for your trust, your support and contribution as we grow with enthusiasm!
I hope I was able to give this Catalan expression some justice: Déu n'hi do!
Anna N Schlegel