Language Industry Hires at Alexa, The Language Group, Eriksen, and lengoo

Daniel Lepine, Chief Client Officer & Vice-President Operations – Montreal at Alexa Translations, describes himself as “the new kid on the translation block.”

“I come from the legal industry where I managed marketing, business development, business strategy and human resources,” he said of his professional background. Before that, he had worked for an accounting firm where he was head of marketing, communications and business development. He also worked in the insurance industry in similar functions.

Daniel Lepine
Daniel Lepine

For many years, however, in his various roles in these industries, he had overseen translation teams and had been a client of Alexa Translations for many years.

“My relationship with the CEO has broadened over time, and we saw a compatible opportunity to work together,” he said.

Lapine joined Alexa Translations in July 2018, and he said his role, on the operations side, is to “address organizational strategies to be more efficient as a company and combine processes and client value. “With technology evolving at a fast pace, there is room to bring in new tools to be more efficient.”

He is based in Montreal but makes the trip to the Toronto office every other week. While he directly reports to CEO Gary Kalaci, he said they prefer to collaborate as a team.

Asked what he sees in the language services industry as challenges at this time, he cited the changing needs of clients and rapid expectations.

“Turnaround times are shorter than ever, and clients have a better feel of what they are looking for in terms of translation services. They know that beyond words, there is a need for having their translations done by people who get the technical sense of the documents they need to translate,” he said.  

“The arrival of more sophisticated and advanced machine translation that uses neural networks also arises uncertainty in the market. We can pretend this is not happening and ignore it, but in the long run, this will be chewing off more and more business opportunities as it evolves. I believe that we need to jump on these business opportunities and combine mechanical and human translation services as a unit,” he added.

David Vanlten — The Language Group

David Vanlten joined The Language Group (TLG) as VP for Sales in July 2018, tasked with driving new market share and leading the company’s sales efforts with a focus on onsite, over-the-phone, and video remote interpreting, mostly in the healthcare segment.

David Vanlten
David Vanlten

Before joining TLG, Vanlten had held a number of senior-level executive positions for some of the industry’s leading language services providers.

His professional expertise includes generating sustainable revenue and establishing key global account relationships, including children’s hospitals, health systems, and group purchasing organizations (GPOs).

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Vanlten said he will be relocating soon to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  He reports to Managing Partner Giovanni Donatelli and SVP & General Manager Thomas Edwards.

With the many challenges in the language industry, including the squeeze on pricing, Vanlten said he believes in going back to the core of the industry, where clients or users of translation services trust their vendors.

“The quality of services provided has diminished considerably as price as dropped,” he observed. “Based on my own personal experience in this industry the no-show rate for onsite requests for healthcare is near 50%.”

In his free time, the new TLG executive enjoys playing competitive sports including softball, tennis, and golf, having gone to college on a full athletic baseball scholarship at the University of Missouri. He also serves as a volunteer, both within his community and abroad.

Kevin Hudson — Eriksen Translations

Kevin Hudson
Kevin Hudson

Kevin Hudson, Eriksen Translations’ newly appointed Director of Client Services, lives in Brooklyn and bikes to and from the Eriksen headquarters. He reports directly to Founder and CEO Vigdis Eriksen.

“I am responsible for cultivating strong relationships with existing clients and for supporting our sales staff in the onboarding of new clients, with the overall goal of increasing Eriksen’s volume and profit margins,” he told Slator.

Hudson’s career with the language services industry started with TransPerfect in 2002, where he worked his way up from project manager to desktop publishing manager and eventually production technology specialist. In 2007, he joined LanguageWorks as a client relationship manager and was eventually promoted to director of production. Shortly after Ubiqus US acquired LanguageWorks, he was named managing director of the Translation Division.

As a lover of history, he said he moved to Eriksen drawn by the company’s specialization in providing language solutions to museums, cultural institutions, and historic sites.

“I was also impressed by Vigdis’ commitment to seeking out clients who advance good causes. This includes working with nonprofits and government agencies that advocate for immigrant rights and promote diversity and inclusion as well as partnering with UN agencies that support humanitarian causes and women’s rights around the world,” he said.

An industry veteran, he sees that changing technology (NMT, proxy servers, etc.), increasing M&A in the industry, and the sheer size of some competitors’ sales teams are just a few of the challenges faced by independent, mid-sized LSPs.

Despite these obstacles, he said he firmly believes that there remains—and shall remain—a role for high-touch, high-quality language consultants.

“I also am a believer in the trend towards LSP specialization, i.e., a focus on growth within selected verticals, rather than struggling to be all things to all clients. This fosters the development of deep expertise in the chosen fields, guides hiring and refinement of processes, and ultimately leads to clients viewing you as an indispensable partner,” he said.

Lena Kohler — lengoo

Lehna Kohler joined lengoo as Marketing Manager in June 2018. She describes her role as “broadly diversified.”

Lena Kohler
Lena Kohler

“On the one hand, I am responsible for Offpage SEO, which means looking for potential cooperation partners and building up backlinks. These cooperation partners are for example bloggers who deal with IT issues or the topic “Internationalization of enterprises” on their blogs and whose readers could be interested in our product,” she said.

“On the other hand, I am responsible for building a PR network and reaching out to journalists. Furthermore, I am involved in our brand building process by designing new pages for our website,” she added.

Born in Freiburg, in the southwest of Germany, Kohler has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language Literature and Culture and English & American Studies from Freiburg University. Then she moved to Berlin for her master’s degree in Romance Languages and Literature at Humboldt University.

After her studies, she said she decided to start a trainee program in Online Marketing at webworks, an online marketing agency in Berlin. She eventually became a Junior Online Marketing Manager and, one year later, joined lengoo as Marketing Manager.

“At lengoo, I can combine my two passions: languages and marketing,” she shared with Slator. “People from 8 different countries work at lengoo, which means I can develop my foreign language skills and for me, as a language enthusiast, I couldn’t imagine a better workspace.”

Kohler is based in Berlin and reports to CMO Alexander Gigga.