Women in Localization Announces Cecilia Maldonado as 2021 President

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California, USA, January 11, 2021. Women in Localization (W.L.), the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry, is proud to announce Cecilia Maldonado as the 2021 President of Women in Localization. In addition, Maldonado will lead the Operations and Metrics Programs.

Other 2021 organizational changes include Michele Carlson and Maria Kania joining the Board to manage the Chapters & Global Growth and Sponsorship programs respectively and Liesl Leary-Perez returning to the Board to lead the Marketing program. After completing her term as 2019-2020 President, Loy Searle will lead the Membership & Global Community programs. Eva Klaudinyova (Nonprofit), Silvia Avary-Silveira (Treasurer), Monica Bajaj (Technology) and Jill Goldsberry (Partnerships/Events) will continue in their current roles on the W.L. Board.

“I strongly believe in Women in Localization’s mission and am looking forward to leading the organization,” said Maldonado. “We are doing something good for a huge community and I would love to see women coming to W.L. to find everything they need – mentoring, jobs, training, support – since we can offer it all.”

Outgoing 2019-2020 W.L. President Loy Searle is proud of the organization’s accomplishments during her two-year tenure, including the fast transition in 2020 from in-person to remote events across all global chapters.

“The whole organization, especially the chapters, really pivoted when in-person events were cancelled due to the pandemic,” Searle said. “Suddenly, our plans for Q3 or Q4 to add new chapters, host virtual events and create a global community were all accelerated. All of the global chapters were creative and continued serving members by holding virtual meetings and building camaraderie, even though we were unable to meet in-person.”

The July 2, 2020 launch of Women in Localization’s Global Community broke new ground for the organization. This new program was created to reach more members globally, regardless of their location or existence of a local chapter. With the Global Community, W.L. members without a chapter nearby or unable to get to one of W.L.’s 28 local chapters can participate in webinars and network with their peers around the globe in our exclusive online portal. The virtual presentations have also been critical during the pandemic to foster W.L.’s sense of community and support its mission to further education, professional development and inclusion.

Another highlight of 2020 was the spectacular growth of Women in Localization’s sponsorship program. Growing from 6 sponsors in 2019 to 12 in 2020, W.L. secured the support of some of the largest brands in the industry.

“Thank you to our generous sponsors for enabling our programs and continuing to support our organization,” Searle said. “Our sponsors and our volunteers make everything possible!”

Incoming W.L. President Cecilia Maldonado is looking forward to furthering the organization’s mission in 2021.

“COVID-19 had a big impact on creating a more robust online presence for W.L. in 2020,” said Maldonado. “In 2021, we will work hard to create stronger connections with our global members, finding out what they want and how we can better support them through training, mentoring, learning and networking.”

Based in Cordoba, Argentina, Maldonado has over 20 years of experience in the translation and localization industries. During her career she has held project management, sales and business operations roles in three companies that she co-founded, managed and merged. To help translators and language companies stay on top of industry happenings, Maldonado co-founded the first language industry association in Argentina and organized more than 30 training events across Latin America, the US and Europe to discuss technology, CAT tools and business processes. Co-creator of Think Latin America, the event aimed at raising awareness about doing business with language companies in Latin America.

Maldonado joined Women in Localization in 2017, managing multiple chapters in the Americas and promoting W.L.’s global expansion efforts. She joined the W.L. Board in 2019 and served as Vice President and Board Sponsor, Chapters and Global Growth during 2020.

“Having been an active member at the program level and working with global chapters, I bring a unique perspective as President. I know how hard it is to start a chapter, I understand all the concerns, questions and issues our members around the world have. It is critical that we recognize the importance of our members and volunteers and do our best to support them”.

Maldonado stresses W.L.’s global impact will only continue to expand in 2021. She sees Women in Localization as a safe place for women to share their ideas and grow professionally.

“They can be part of something bigger, even if they are early in their careers and don’t have years of experience or executive-level titles behind them,” she said.

“I learn from everything I participate in and try to always get something for my own personal development. Everything that I’ve accomplished, I’ve learned on my own from other people, organizational structures and the way things are done,” said Maldonado. “You don’t have to come to W.L. with fully developed skills or always know what you want to do – these can be discovered or developed here at Women in Localization.”

Searle is excited to pass the leadership baton to Maldonado. “Ceci is a superstar with incredible energy. Over the past few years, she has engaged with all of W.L.’s programs and has already begun to make her mark. I expect Ceci to achieve amazing things and we are truly honored to have her as our President in 2021!”


About Women in Localization
Women in Localization (W.L.) was founded in 2008 by Silvia Avary-Silveira, Eva Klaudinyova and Anna N. Schlegel, and is the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry with over 5,000 members globally. Its mission is to foster a global community for the advancement of women and the localization industry. It aims to provide an open, collaborative forum where women can share expertise and experience and help each other move forward in their careers. Started in the San Francisco Bay Area, W.L. has expanded its membership to include women across the globe, encouraging members to meet in other local geographies. To learn more, visit www.womeninlocalization.com. You can also follow W.L. on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.