Who Went Where―The Week in Language Industry Hires

Stratus Video Interpreting recently announced a couple of senior appointments; both from healthcare IT company CareCloud and both 25-year veterans of their respective industries.

Meanwhile, AAC Global, which, as Slator reported, was acquired by private equity fund Korona Invest, has begun “an intriguing next phase in its journey,” by hiring an advertising veteran to head its finance, personnel, and vendor groups.

TransNation also hired an industry vet as its very first Director of Business Development, and Memsource just hired a BDM away from the healthcare industry.

This is the week in language industry hires.

Lee Horner – Stratus

Stratus Video Interpreting recently announced it had appointed Lee Horner President of its Telehealth Division from March 31, 2016. The entire Telehealth Division, from Product, Engineering, Sales and Marketing to Support, will report to Horner.

Communicating with Slator, Horner said he reports to the Board of Directors of the Florida-based company. When asked how he came to Stratus, he simply said, “through my relationship with Kinderhook Industries.”

Lee Horner
Lee Horner

Private equity firm Kinderhook Industries acquired Stratus in February 2015. Slator covered Stratus’ acquisition of Optimal Phone Interpreters back in January.

Horner is a 25-year veteran of the enterprise software and healthcare IT industries. Prior to joining Stratus, he was President of CareCloud, a healthcare tech company that specializes in electronic medical records. Before that, he held senior executive roles at healthcare IT firms Vitera Healthcare and Eliza Corp.

Horner will work alongside David Fetterolf, President for Video Remote Interpreting. While Fetterolf focuses on the video tech side of the business, Lee will focus on broader telehealth solutions for healthcare; that is, patient healthcare within the home, Horner explained.

Brad Blakey – Stratus

A week after it announced Horner’s appointment, Stratus said it had also named Brad Blakey VP of Sales and Marketing. Like Horner, Blakey also comes to Stratus by way of CareCloud, where he served as VP of East Coast sales for four years. He has also worked as VP of Sales at healthcare tech companies NextGen Healthcare and athenahealth.

With more than 25 years of market strategy expertise, Blakey has been tasked to run all sales efforts at Stratus and will be responsible for some 17 sales reps.

Ville Ojala – AAC Global

Finnish language service provider AAC Global appointed Ville Ojala Director of Finance and Vendor Management from May 9, 2016. He is based in Helsinki and is responsible for Finance, Human Resources, and Vendor Management.

Ojala leads “a small team of five people,” he told Slator, and works as part of the management team that reports directly to Managing Director Mika Perttilä.

Ville Ojala
Ville Ojala

Prior to joining AAC Global, Ojala worked in marketing and advertising. He was “looking for the next challenge” when he ended up in talks with the company, about which Ojala said: “Given that a private equity fund acquired AAC Global earlier this year, I think the company is facing an intriguing next phase in its journey.”

The finance and business development professional with experience from several industries, from SMEs to large corporations, had this to say about his current industry: “Translation, like many other professional services, can be seen as an artisan-type profession. However, the human factor remains the same in all industries. Fundamentals like attitude, respect for others, trust, and integrity are key to any successful organization.”

About the language industry, Ojala noted that digitization and globalization have generated demand for translation and multilingual content. “This is what makes the industry very interesting! There will be new business opportunities throughout the industry value chain, such as enhancing interactions among customers and suppliers, or enabling new business or operating models,” he said.

He added, “Companies can adopt very different strategies to exploit this. There is now a huge number of startups alongside more established players. If the market continues to grow as anticipated, there are likely to be even more newcomers in the future.”

Michael Ward
Michael Ward

Michael Ward – TransNation

TransNation Translations appointed Michael Ward Director of Business Development from February 24, 2016. From the company’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, Ward told us, “I’m the first person to take this position in the company.”

He reports directly to Executive Director Yvonne Stegall, who founded the company in 2002. He has built a career in the language industry for 10 years, which began, Ward told Slator, with “closed captioning and subtitling for TV and movies.” He then went on to develop a platform for content creators to find and compare prices for closed captioning and subtitling for their own media.

Ward, who speaks some Spanish and German, recalled an incident that happened in Berlin a few years back: “I walked into a cafe. It was freezing and raining outside. I ordered ‘heiße Schokolade’ (hot chocolate). I get back chocolate with chunks of ice floating in it. The barista heard my American accent and figured I was saying ‘iced chocolate.’ Needless to say, I wish my German was better.”

About what the future holds, he pointed out, “I know there’s a contingent that believes human translators will be out of work sooner rather than later, and machines will take their place. But I think that language, like art, is a deeply human experience. It’s changing and evolving all the time. And because of that, we’ll want real people to communicate with other real people.”

Sarah Pokorna
Sarah Pokorna

Sarah Pokorna – Memsource

Memsource appointed Sarah Pokorna Business Development Manager from June 1, 2016. Working out of the headquarters of the CAT-tool provider in Prague, Czech Republic, she reports “directly to our head of sales, Josef Kubovksy,” Pokorna told Slator.

“I’ve been in the industry for over five years, starting off as a freelancer before going into sales and marketing for an LSP and, now, moving over to technology with Memsource,” she said.

Pokorna worked as a Czech-Slovak-German–English freelance translator for three years and a foreign language teacher for close to six years. She is of the opinion that, although technology will play a big part of translation workflows in the near future, “we will be doing a lot to try and keep the human side of it too.”