Language Industry Hires at ZOO Digital, LanguageWire, BTI Studios, and CIOL

ZOO Digital has appointed Norie Negishi as Head of Operations and Business Development for Asia. The company said in a statement that the appointment builds on the growth of the company’s cloud dubbing service in key territories in the region.

“The role will involve working with dubbing directors, voice artists, and potential partners to help ZOO’s clients access more talent and reach new audiences around the world,” it further stated.

Negishi joins ZOO with a 17-year track record with the Walt Disney Company in Asia-Pacific, including studio sales distribution, marketing, publicity and working as Executive Director of Operations for Disney Character Voices International.

“I am a bi-cultural, tri-lingual mum with two daughters who loves connecting with people from all walks of life, and always on the hunt for great documentary films,” Negishi told Slator in an email interview.

“Before joining ZOO, I have had the greatest opportunity from selling movies to emerging markets, to touring Hollywood film stars and promoting films in Asia and getting in-depth improvement in the localization workflows for Disney Character Voices International in Asia, and to be the first region outside of the US to be certified in ISO 9001 & 27001,” she shared.  

Negishi is based in Hong Kong and reports to Gordon Doran on Business Development for Asia and Duncan Wain on Operational workflow for Asia.

Norie Negishi of Zoo Digital
Norie Negishi

“It’s an exciting time as we extend our partnerships and services in Asia. We’re delighted to welcome on board some of the most experienced dubbing professionals in the industry like Norie,” Gordon Doran, President, ZOO Digital.

With all the major studios and media broadcasters expanding into the digital platforms arena, Negishi said contents are produced and sold overnight. Under her leadership, she said ZOO Digital “will be growing the cloud-powered dubbing services in Asia” as well as develop “the next new wave of dubbing talents.”

Ruvan Fernando — LanguageWire

When LanguageWire acquired FrontLab, a company which develops a software solution for the advertising industry, its founder and chief technology officer Ruvan Fernando joined the Copenhagen-based language service provider (LSP) as Software Director.

“They offered me a leading position as director as part of the deal. The Languagewire strategy is very aligned with my own take on the challenges this industry is facing,” he told Slator in an email interview.

Ruvan Fernando of LanguageWire
Ruvan Fernando

FrontLab’s product portfolio will be integrated into Languagewire’s platform.

Before Frontlab, Fernando worked for the biggest advertising agency in Denmark, and he also co-founded an internet shop where he created a Content Management System and other groupware products for internal departments.

“The amount of content that needs to be translated is exploding, and it originates from a myriad of data stores. The only way to properly engage and deliver the final product is via a sound technology platform, largely through integration,” he said. “If you are a big enterprise client, it’s impossible to work with an LSP without automated and custom workflows.”

His view on machine translation? “The machine translation era is erupting and will transform the role of a translator. This is super exciting, and PEMT will be the enabler in the exponentially growing content,” he said.

One of the key challenges that he sees is the ability to adapt to big clients’ needs, and “in this context adapt means, how to technically adapt.”  

Joe Kahle — BTI Studios

Joe Kahle of BTI Studios
Joe Kahle

Joe Kahle joined BTI Studios as the company’s new SVP of Sales, The Americas in May 2018.

Based at BTI Studios’ facility in Los Angeles, his role is to manage the US sales team and support BTI’s fast-growing client base across the USA, Canada, and Latin America.

“With the increased demand for multi-language localization services, spurred by the expanding number of content providers and numerous global distribution platforms now available, Joe’s responsibility will be to ensure BTI Studios and its clients have access to the full spectrum of BTI Studios’ owned and operated global dubbing and subtitling studios,” the company said in a statement.

Kahle joins BTI Studios from ZOO Digital where he worked as Director of Sales, North America from June 2013 to May 2018. His previous employers also include Deluxe, and SDI Media, where he focused on sales and business development in the theatrical, home entertainment and broadcast sectors.

“There are few individuals within the localization field that truly understand the business but also possess the experience and service-minded approach that Joe delivers,” said Carlo DeCianti, Global SVP Sales and Business Development.   

Dom Hebblethwaite — Chartered Institute of Linguists  

Joining the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL)  in June 2018, Dom Hebblethwaite said he has two primary roles: to raise the profile of the institute’s work in professionalizing the language industry, and to expand CIOL’s qualifications such as the Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) and DPSI while developing the range of bespoke examination services internationally.  

Dom Hebblethwaite of Chartered Institute of Linguists
Dom Hebblethwaite

Hebblethwaite, however, stumbled into this opportunity “by a pretty unorthodox route.”

“I am always looking for ways to develop my skills and knowledge, and having used Italian for the best part of my working life I decided to take the DipTrans with Italian as my source language,” he shared. DipTrans is the so-called gold standard translation exam run by CIOL Qualifications.

“Anyone who has sat the DipTrans knows that there’s an agonizing wait for the results. Anyway, getting nearer the due date I went onto CIOL’s website to see if the results had been released … and I happened to notice an old job posting there,” he continued.

Hebblethwaite eventually met CEO Ann Carlisle and got the job. He is based in London and reports to Carlisle directly.

Before joining CIOL, he had worked with SDL as Business Development Manager. He had also run his own business, Live, in Italy for 11 years, helping English speakers purchase property in Italy.

“As a child, I lived in Italy, and my passion for languages developed from there. As well as Italian I’m fluent in French and Spanish, and I’m learning Mandarin,” he told Slator.

As a professional linguist, his take on machine translation is different from most people. “Here is the paradox of technology: the better it gets and the more you rely on it, the more you need an expert when it breaks down. And sometimes you need an expert to know when it has broken down,” he said.  

“As machine translation improves, the need for professional linguists becomes greater. For marketing and publishing, a human will always write more convincing and persuasive content. Machines do not understand emotion,” he added.