TRANSLATION STATION: Cofounder and CEO Maria Antezana is flanked by her children, partners Rick Antezana and Sandy Dupleich. Photo by Hayley Young.
Linguist Maria Antezana first worked teaching Spanish to English speakers and assisting executives doing business in Latin America. Directing a language school by the early 1980s, she noticed higher demand for translators in the Seattle area.
By 1985, Ricardo and Maria Antezana decided to launch Dynamic Language, which has gone from a two-person operation to 55 employees. Annual revenue of $10.6 million in 2016 is expected to reach past $11 million this year. The company taps more than 3,000 interpreters and translators as independent contractors.
Now operated by the Antezanas’ two children, Rick Antezana and Sandy Dupleich, Dynamic Language helps companies communicate in more than 150 languages.
The siblings share responsibilities, keeping only the title of partners. Dad has retired, while Maria provides mentorship and input on strategic decisions.
From the start, a commitment to community causes has been an essential part of doing business. “It’s been intrinsic to the personality of my parents,” says Rick Antezana, who completed six years on the board for Friends of Youth, supporting at-risk and homeless youth. His sister is a board member of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center.
This company value translates into outreach that provides pro bono help to immigrant and refugee populations and gives nonprofits discounted services. Employees support the company’s fundraising efforts and donate their own time. Management created a committee to find ways for staff members to volunteer and engage with charities, ultimately affecting more than 25 organizations.