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Slate of Candidates

The following ELIA Members have announced that they wish to participate in the 2024 election of the ELIA Board of Directors for three (3) available positions. Each is offering to volunteer her or his time and experience for the betterment of your association. Below you will find each candidate’s vision for helping ELIA serve you better in the future.

To view the qualifications and skills each Candidate has chosen to highlight visit the Slate of Candidates – Qualifications and Skills page or click on the link provided in each of the profiles below.

Election information

The election will begin Monday, 17 June, and end on Tuesday, 25 June. ELIA Full Members will receive a special mailing with information on how to vote. You are strongly encouraged to review their statements below and any additional materials produced which will help you understand who they are, what they stand for, and, ultimately, who you should vote for.

The Candidates

Maii Abdel-Wahab

Business Relationship Manager, Arabize

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

Passion for Language and Ethical Practices
The language industry has always held a special place in my heart. Witnessing the power of communication bridge cultures, ignite understanding, and unlock opportunities is a constant source of inspiration. This passion fuels my belief that my experience would be a valuable asset to the ELIA Board of Directors.
Particularly, I’m deeply invested in promoting ethical practices and fostering collaboration within the industry. I am committed to ensuring fair treatment for language professionals while upholding high ethical standards.

Fostering Collaboration and Growth
I believe collaboration across the industry is crucial. I envision language professionals working seamlessly with academic institutions. This can be achieved through stronger relationships with universities and other industry organizations.

Equipping Professionals for Change
The dynamic landscape demands adaptable professionals. My experience as a Business Relationship Manager in Arabization, combined with my second-generation industry understanding, positions me to translate evolving industry needs into actionable educational programs.

Advocacy and Strong Skillset
Advocating for language professional rights is a passion. I’m committed to ensuring their value and support. My proven strength as a team player with open communication skills makes me a valuable addition to the boardroom.

Strategic Thinking and Fresh Perspectives
Fifteen years of experience honed my strategic thinking and problem-solving skills. I’m confident in my ability to analyze challenges, develop solutions, and adapt to change.

Eager to Contribute to ELIA’s Focus
I’m eager to collaborate and contribute fresh perspectives informed by my experience and passion. I’m particularly interested in aligning with ELIA’s current focus on navigating change and fostering growth for its members.

In conclusion, my dedication, experience, and skills make me a strong candidate for the ELIA Board of Directors. I’m confident I can significantly contribute to ELIA’s mission and propel the industry forward.

Alina Birsan

Founding Manager, AB Language Solutions

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

As a long-time member of ELIA and an active participant in the language services industry, I am passionate about contributing to the growth and development of our community, the ELIA Family. My motivation to serve on the ELIA Board of Directors again stems from a strong desire to continue enhancing the collaborative spirit within our industry, fostering innovation, increasing its visibility, and creating meaningful partnerships that drive members’ success.

Being on the Board will allow me to leverage my experience and insights to help shape the strategic direction of ELIA, ensuring it continues to offer valuable benefits, events, and initiatives that meet the evolving needs of our members. I believe that by working together, we can address the challenges facing our industry and unlock new opportunities for growth and excellence.

I have successfully chaired ELIA’s Focus on PM conferences from 2020 to 2023 and contributed to the program committee for the ELIA & ATC Project Management eLearning Course, as well as serving as a speaker for the Communication track. The pandemic challenged ELIA’s traditional ways of doing things, creating space for increased collaboration and new initiatives, one of them being the Focus Forward webinar series developed with Diego Cresceri. These roles have equipped me with valuable experience in organizing events, developing educational content, and fostering industry collaboration.

I am deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to be actively involved in various speaking engagements and conferences, discussing topics such as empathy and feedback in the workplace, communication, leadership, and the impact of new technologies on the language industry. Whenever I have the chance, I proudly speak about ELIA’s incredible family spirit, where I discovered that competition can be transformed into coopetition and that together we can have a much stronger voice.

In these fast-paced changing times, I feel that my job serving as a member of the Board is not yet done.

Anu Carnegie-Brown

Managing Director, Sandberg

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

In the past 20 years, the company I work for has been a member of seven different language industry associations, and I have benefitted greatly from these memberships. Learning from my peers, I have grown from a linguist into a company director and leader, gained access to trustworthy industry information and had opportunities to contribute through 50+ international speaking engagements.

Our industry keeps changing: Digital transformation combined with an agile approach to creating and updating content drives the need to work faster and automate processes. External investment creates super agencies. We have market research organisations, recruitment companies, M&A experts, mentors and consultants specializing in our industry. All this enables language service providers to develop new service portfolios and create new roles for our staff and collaborators.

In this shifting landscape, ELIA needs to remain relevant and continue to offer meaningful membership benefits; in addition to providing networking opportunities and a collective voice, we must identify what other needs our member companies have and develop solutions for them.

In the past, I have volunteered at the UK Institute of Translation and Interpreting, representing corporate members in a committee that guides and supports translators and interpreters in their CPD efforts. I’ve also been a mentor for Women in Localization and I was one of the founding members of the ELIA Exchange initiative. In 2021, ELIA and the ATC invited me to the programme committee that put together the Project Management eLearning Course that is now available for our members.

Impacting the pipeline that supplies human resources for our industry is one of my key interests. I teach an ‘Introduction to the Translation Industry’ course at the University of Helsinki in Finland and work closely with the University of Surrey in the UK, where I have also served on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Translation Studies.

I love exploring new innovative ways of collaboration, and I believe an international industry association is a great platform and framework for realising them. I have enjoyed my first two years on the board and would like to serve for another term to develop the ideas we have launched during my presidency.

Nuria Castro Gay

Co-founder and CEO, Globalingua

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

Joining ELIA was one of our objectives for 2024. At the present time, the association’s role in defending the needs and interests of the language service companies is essential. I believe that being a member of the Board of Directors would be a step further and a greater commitment from the beginning to contribute more actively to the goals of the organisation.

In addition, I believe that this role would allow me to keep up to date with the current situation in the translation industry, which is constantly changing. I find it very interesting to have the opportunity to hear first-hand the perspectives of other colleagues, who will provide insight into their companies and their particular countries and contexts. As a language enthusiast, performing the duties I will be assigned with partners from other cultures is a motivation in itself. I believe that this cultural exchange is very enriching, both on a personal and professional level.

Considering that the day-to-day management of a company can isolate us to some extent from the outside world, being a Director would allow me to get out of my daily routines and feel useful within the association. While I understand that being elected would involve considerable dedication, I have no doubt that the rewards in terms of learning outweigh the effort required.

Another reason for my application is my personal motivation to study and deepen my knowledge of the language industry, even it means undertaking challenging tasks.
In short, I would love to play an active role in the association and contribute to the future of ELIA for the benefit of all members.

Alp Dilgen

Founder-Partner, Anova

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

I am thrilled to be joining the ELIA Board of Directors due to my strong dedication to advancing the language services field and promoting global communication. With extensive experience in strategic planning and organizational development, I am well-prepared to contribute innovative ideas and solutions that will support ELIA’s mission. I am particularly passionate about promoting professional development, industry standards, and collaboration among language service providers. By serving on the Board, I intend to utilize my expertise and network to help ELIA address the industry’s evolving challenges and ensure it continues to lead in promoting excellence and fostering growth within the global language services community.

Jakov Miličević

CEO and Τeam Leader, Verbosari

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

I am excited to express my interest in joining the ELIA Board of Directors and contributing to the organization’s mission of advancing the language industry and supporting language service providers worldwide. With 19 years of experience in translation and localization, coupled with a deep passion for innovation and collaboration, I believe I can bring valuable insights and leadership to ELIA.

Throughout my career, I have demonstrated a strong commitment to elevating industry standards and promoting excellence in language services. As the founder and CEO of Verbosari, a boutique language experts team, I have firsthand experience navigating the challenges and opportunities within the language industry. Our focus on human-centered linguistic expertise aligns closely with ELIA’s values of promoting quality over quantity and fostering meaningful client relationships.

I am particularly drawn to ELIA’s emphasis on education and professional development. My background in continuous learning and knowledge sharing aligns with ELIA’s commitment to empowering language professionals through training programs, workshops, and networking opportunities. As a board member, I am eager to contribute ideas for expanding educational initiatives and promoting best practices across the industry.

One of my core values is transparency and ethical business practices. At Verbosari, we prioritize honest and direct communication with our clients, and I believe these principles are essential for driving positive change within the language industry. As a member of the ELIA Board of Directors, I am committed to upholding these values and advocating for integrity and professionalism in all aspects of our work.

Furthermore, my international background and multicultural perspective equip me to navigate the global landscape of language services effectively. I have experience working with diverse clients and language experts worldwide, which will be instrumental in fostering global partnerships and advancing ELIA’s global reach.

In summary, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute my leadership skills, industry expertise, and passion for innovation to the ELIA Board of Directors. I am confident that my unique background and values-driven approach will complement ELIA’s mission and help drive the organization forward in achieving its strategic goals.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the possibility of serving on the ELIA Board and making a meaningful impact on the future of the language industry.

Kristina Mokrović

Sales and Marketing Manager, Alpha prijevodi

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

I am eager to join the ELIA Board of Directors because I am passionate about advancing the language industry and believe that my skills, experience, and vision can contribute significantly to ELIA’s mission and goals. The language industry is at a pivotal moment, with rapid advancements in technology, globalization, and the increasing importance of multilingual communication. I am excited about the opportunity to help and shape the future of our industry during this transformative period.
I am passionate about fostering professional development and education within the language industry. As a Board member, I would work to create more opportunities for training, mentorship, and networking for our members. By supporting the growth and development of language professionals, we can ensure the sustainability and continued success of our industry.

I also see great value in strengthening ELIA’s role as a leading voice in advocating for the interests of language service providers at both the European and global levels. I am committed to working collaboratively with other Board members to develop strategies that enhance ELIA’s influence and visibility, promoting fair practices and standards that benefit all stakeholders in the industry.

In conclusion, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to contribute to ELIA’s strategic direction and initiatives as a member of the Board of Directors. I am confident that my experience, vision, and dedication to the language industry will enable me to make a meaningful and positive impact.

Kostas Samaras

Managing Director, LTES

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

I’ve been working in the industry since its early days, and I believe I have accumulated significant experience. In the recent years I remained distant from the association and related common activities, i.e. my approach to industry affairs was quiet. Pericles had made a strict comment for case like mine: “We alone [the Athenians] regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless, but as a useless character”. After all these years I have decided to live upon the society standards of my ancestors.

I believe that collaborative activities will play an important role in today’s turmoiled business environment, and I see the participation in the ELIA board an opportunity that will allow me both to offer and benefit at the same time. Offer to my own community of which I have been a member for such a long time and benefit by being closer to the developments that I consider crucial. ELIA can act as a point of steadiness while facilitating the steering of the coming changes.
While my technical profile allows me to feel comfortable with technical developments, my aspiration is with the human factor rather than technology. If I may criticize the approaches adopted by our associations over the years, I would say that they were too technology oriented than human oriented. We were and still are “excited” about technology developments and always assumed a positive impact on humanity. We celebrated generous TM/MT discounts for the global market and probably missed to fully capitalize on these discounts. The values of language and culture that inspired some of our pioneers were also discounted in the process.

In the early days, I was impressed by the investments made in localization by corporations in the process of entering into new markets. I felt grateful to these corporations for sustaining and even developing local values, culture and identify. And I don’t think there was a language industry association at the time…. Over the years, things have become more cynical from a business perspective and less romantic from a linguistic and cultural perspective. Our associations followed the developments but maybe did not drive. I feel we should revisit our value chain and exercise more leadership towards the realization of our vision. I have a passion to raise my case towards local and cultural values, and this is why I want to become a member of our Board.

Milena Spelta Parenti

Key Account Manager, Dema Solutions

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

As a passionate and dedicated, long-term member, I would be honoured to serve on ELIA’s Board of Directors to further strengthen the footprint of LSPs and their recognition in these new, challenging times and markets. I feel I can contribute to the Association’s and its members’ success collaborating with my fellow peers and working on new activities and actionable solutions.

My focus will be on:
• Championing Small/Medium LSPs: Ensuring the voices and needs of smaller Language Service Providers are met by facilitating access to resources and fostering a supportive community.
• Enhancing Engagement and Growth: Promoting ELIA’s unique benefits to emphasize active participation of existing members to maximize their value and attract new members
• Expanding Educational Initiatives: Prioritizing continuous education to expand our members’ knowledge base and equip them with practical tools for navigating industry advancements.
• Leveraging Professional Experience: With over 30 years on the client side of the language services industry, I aim to enhance communication and collaboration between clients and LSPs for mutual growth.
• Promoting Cross-Industry Collaboration: Advocating for initiatives that align our industry’s goals with those of our clients, driving innovation and shared success.

Together, we can ensure ELIA remains a beacon of support and innovation, empowering all members to navigate the future of the language industry with confidence.

Ursula Steigerwald

Owner/Strategies, Rheinschrift

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

After being around 30 years in the industry and having lead and grown my LSP company, I feel ready to give back to the industry.
I would bring my extensive experience to the table. I would like to help preparing the industry for the future and make sure, that we will still be relevant and can proof ourselves as an attractive industry to be in and to contribute to.

ELIA as an organization is dedicated to work on exactly these goals and therefore would allow me to do something meaningful for the localization community.

Julia Ventskovska

CEO & Founder, Localica.io

LinkedIn profile

Qualifications and skills

I believe that technicity is the next stage of Translation and Localization industry development.

Taking into account my personal (I have a Master Degree in Translation studies and Philology) and entrepreneurial (my strong points are: Innovation in Management, B2B Sales and Marketing) background (My strong points are: Innovation Management, B2B Sales and Marketing) it helped to make our niche is more competitive and up to date. So my contribution to the ELIA would sound like that:

1. Extensive industry experience. As the CEO of a localization company Localica.io and a translation company MK:translations, I would share my industry experience and leadership during the war period, that helped us to grow up to X3 for that time.
2. Exchange geographical insights: we operate in Estonia and Ukraine, so it would open a unique perspective on the Eastern European market. This diversity can help ELIA members better understand and address the needs and dynamics of localization in different regions, promoting a more inclusive and comprehensive approach.
3. To stay focus on quality and innovation: last year we implemented a loyalty system for freelancers that had helped us to build a strong HR brand on the market. I want to put into a practice such approaches not only on the corporative level, but on the industry stage.
4. To build a strong networking and collaboration system inside: I believe that partnership is new luxury for B2B companies, so I want to be one of the leaders who would be developing that trend.
5. To build a strong brand of the industry. Localization and translation services are far from how people perceive us. It’s a significant core that underlies the business process of companies. So I want to make everyone understand it and reckon with our authority and responsibilities (especially considering the main idea the AI will kill the niche:)
6. To participate in Miltech development as a reliable partner with proves standards and industrial qualification.

May 24, 2024 at 15:17 by John Terninko ELIA, Industry
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