For our series showcasing our Chapter and Geo Managers, here comes Ceci Maldonado. Ceci is the Women in Localization Geo-Manager for the Americas and she supports all the Chapter managers and members located in North and South America. She has tirelessly worked to launch companies and build organizations and events in support of our industry in Latin America for 18 years. Her story is inspiring and we can truly say that the translation and localization industry in Latin America would not be the same without Ceci.
With a degree in translation from the National University of Cordoba, my 18-year experience in the industry includes co-founding, managing and merging language service companies, co-founding the first language industry association in Argentina, volunteering with different international organizations, as well as organizing more than 30 training events such as the Language & Technology Conference, Think Latin America, and the Vendor Management Seminar in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, Peru and the United States.
Member of the Association of Certified Translators of the Province of Cordoba, Women in Localization, Globalization and Localization Association, Association of Language Companies, Translated in Argentina
1. What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Cecilia Maldonado, and I am Business Development Manager at Latamways, a language service provider with expertise in the Latin American market.
2. Where do you live?
3. How many countries have you lived in?
I was a Rotary exchange student when I was 18 and spent a year in upstate New York.
4. What is your global footprint? This is our way of measuring how global our group of women is. so, you can tell us in how many countries you have lived, you have visited or you have traveled to.
After my year as an exchange student, I came back home with the idea to return to the US to study, but my mom got sick and I decided to stay close (these situations can suddenly change everything you have ever planned for).
Even though I ended up staying in my hometown, I created a job for myself that allows me to feel like I’m not. I work with people around the world and it feels like I am around the world too.
5. What did you study?
I studied Translation at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, hoping to become an interpreter at the UN, but obviously that didn’t happen.
When I graduated, there were no translation jobs in Argentina but I was determined not to end up teaching English as second language or being a bilingual secretary. I did teach English to kids and hopeless adults for some time, until I got enough projects that would allow me to make a living out of translation.
Now my experience not only includes starting and managing (now three) translation companies, but also having an active role in the professional development of the local community. Efforts to put the local industry in the spotlight include organizing international events such as the Vendor Management Seminar and Think Latin America, and co-founding Translated in Argentina (the first industry non-profit association). Efforts to connect the academic sector and the marketplace include joining the Board of the local Certified Translators’ Association and co-organizing the first and largest independent translation conference in Argentina back in 1999.
6. What do you like about your job?
I like to enjoy what I do. I like to have options. But, I don’t know if it has to do with my job or with a state of mind. I love to travel, connecting with different people from all over the world, change. I can’t imagine myself at a job where things were always the same! I always find projects to get involved with and keep me busy.
7. What surprises you in the world of localization?
How important localization is for businesses, and how little attention (and therefore investment) it actually gets.
8. How did you get involved in WL?
I met the ladies behind Women in Localization when I was involved with Think Latin America. We always had their support, even with the organization of the Silicon Valley version back in 2011.
Sometime this year, Maria Kania-Tasak, EMEA Geo-Manager, contacted me, said the position for the Americas was open and that I should apply. She then connected me to Anna Schlegel and Michele Smith and here I am.
9. What is your role in WL?
I have a fancy title: Executive Committee member, Americas Chapter Management. My role within the organization is to support the different chapters in the Americas, connect with women interested in collaborating and keeping our global expansion alive.
10. In which direction would you like WL to develop in the future?
I would love to see it grow in Latin America and become a source of inspiration for all women in our region. Also, I think it would be a great platform for projects on gender equality.
11. Are you planning a WL event?
WL will take part of a panel at Translated in Argentina’s event in Cordoba, August 4-6, 2017. Since Jessica Rathke will be here and she’s the UK Chapter Manager, I asked her to introduce the organization to the audience and answer questions. This will give WL visibility and hopefully promote expansion in the region.