Sabrina Vespoli joined Versacom as Vice President – International Business Development in May 2018.
As a member of the executive team, she said her role is “to oversee and execute a global sales strategy that will drive corporate growth, brand awareness and profitability consistent with Versacom’s strategic business goals.”
Based in Montreal, she reports directly to Versacom President François Chartrand.
Vespoli has over 15 years’ experience selling language and technology solutions to customers in all vertical sectors. Before joining Versacom, she was a Business Development Director at SDL.
Asked to comment on challenges she sees in the language services industry at a time when machine translation has become pervasive, she said “there is more content to communicate, distribute, reproduce, integrate and translate than ever before.”
“Translation technology, whether it be MT or CAT, has never been a threat more than it is a tool for making a professional activity more efficient,” she said.
“In recent years, video and audio content over the Internet, fueled by advances in mobile bandwidth, has exploded, and created an even greater need for content creation and translation,” she added. “We have also seen an exponential rise in the amount of “editorial” content, with companies paying ever closer attention to customer reviews and experiences.”
Outside of work, Vespoli said her hobbies are traveling and spending time with friends and family.
Nicholas McMahon — United Language Group
United Language Group (ULG) acquired VIA in March 2018. VIA’s Chief Operations Officer and GM at the time of the acquisition — Nicholas McMahon — joined ULG in June 2018 as VP for Legal Operations.
McMahon, who was part of the management team that helped bring the two organizations together, said that in his new role he is responsible for all localization-related global operations for ULG.
He is based in Portland, Oregon, and reports to CFO and COO Karrie Willis, who is based at ULG’s headquarters in Minneapolis.
Prior to joining ULG, he held management roles at Lionbridge, SDL, and Jonckers. He helped develop SDL’s TMS solution and was with the company through several M&A activities. While at Lionbridge, he helped release the company’s cloud-based crowdsourcing platform, opened regional offices, and helped develop and deploy MT and NMT at an enterprise scale.
“It’s an exciting industry!” he said. “I was very lucky during this time to experience a lot of changes in the language services industry.”
At an industry level, he believes that there is a significant opportunity for some very big acquisitions in the next 12 months. “The industry has to continue to mature and be more open to change,” he said.
Arturo Bobea — Transglobal Incorporated
As the newly appointed Senior Director of Remote and Onsite Interpreting at Transglobal Inc., Arturo Bobea’s role is to oversee the logistics and strategies related to the company’s language interpreting solutions, which include onsite, conference, over-the-phone, video-remote consecutive, and remote simultaneous interpreting.
“Every organization’s needs are unique, so I’m here to make sure that those needs are met efficiently while being cost-effective,” he said.
Transglobal’s main office is in Virginia, near the Washington DC area. Bobea works at the new office located in Reading, Pennsylvania, and reports to Executive Director Natalia Vernigora.
Bobea has been a Spanish interpreter and translator for 13 years now. “I’ve had the opportunity to build on skills that have forged my career. My background also includes call center operations, sales, staff training and telecommunications,” he said.
He also founded an agency with a group of fellow interpreters, which is still operational in the Caribbean, supporting the local market.
“I arrived in the US from the Dominican Republic six years ago, breaking my way into this industry, which was at a point and time just a distant dream. Today, I’m very lucky to be working with many local visionaries in very interesting projects that aim to help build up the profession,” he shared.
How he came into contact with Transglobal is also an interesting story. “I had the opportunity to work with a volunteer effort for Hurricane Harvey after it hit the Houston area. You would not believe the overwhelming response we received from all over the country and overseas from interpreters that wanted to help, even if remotely,” he said.
“We were lucky to have the technology available to schedule professional interpreters to cover shifts at a local shelter. We even received the support of various language agencies, which is how I initially came into contact with Transglobal, to provide OPI services for the harder to find languages. This came in handy with a special case that required Somali, for example,” he said.
Bobea said he still interprets locally whenever he can. He is currently waiting for his final health care interpreter certification score this month.
Michael Blass — ITS Traductions
Joining ITS Traductions, a family business based in Geneva, Switzerland, as Managing Director at the age of 28 seems like the natural path for Michael Blass.
“My father will retire in two years and it was the perfect timing for me to enter the family business,” he said.
Blass, who has an MBA from the University of Gloucestershire, however, said that he didn’t really train for the role. “I worked in a multinational company for three years after my MBA. The company is named MSC. It’s in the shipping industry, so nothing related to translation. I was in Finance department. [But] I learned a lot during these years.”
Today, he said he takes care of the full process of translation — from the first contact with the client to the delivery of the translation. “I also do the invoicing process, accounting, and marketing. It’s a family-size business and we basically have to do everything.”
There is, however, something in Blass’ youth that is serving him well now that he is the man at the helm of the business — he trained as a professional tennis player and played on the junior tour until he was 18 years old.
“This period of my life is important because it is what made me who I am — competitor, ambitious, hard-worker, cosmopolitan,” he told Slator.
The challenges that he sees in the industry? Automatic translation. However, he said it “can be a problem in the future but definitely not now.”