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I Don’t Need a Board of Advisors!

  • Legends Ballroom A-C (map)

In the past, very few small to mid-sized LSCs have had a board of advisors to help them grow, but this appears to be changing as the industry becomes more complex. In this session, you will learn how both small and large companies can use best practices to set up and utilize boards of advisors to help them expand their businesses, as well as help create time for the business owners to perform higher value and more enjoyable tasks. Lynn Elfers and Mark Thompson will present an overview and two case studies. This will be followed by a panel led by Leo Brenninkmeyer and Jesper Sandberg, where we will explore practical ways that both formal and informal boards of advisors can help you grow your business, no matter the size.

Legends Ballroom A–C

Mark Thompson, Aileron

Lynn Elfers, Affordable Language Services

Jesper Sandberg, Sandberg Translation Partners

Leo Brenninkmeyer, Compass Languages


Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson

Business Advisor
Aileron
Tipp City, OH

Mark Thompson joined Aileron in August 2013 as a business advisor, with the purpose of assisting presidents and business owners who are committed to establishing stronger professional management processes within their organizations. Mark's 14 years as a CEO of a mid-sized professional services firm prepared him for the opportunity to guide clients through strategic planning and organizational and leadership development. Mark began his career as a structural engineer. He joined the consulting firm of LJB Inc. and at age 29, opened a satellite office in Cincinnati. He developed new clients for the firm, including AK Steel, Ford, GE Aviation, General Mills, Miller Brewing, and Proctor & Gamble. After 11 years, the firm brought Mark to Dayton to serve as its president. He led the firm through the most profitable sequence of years in the firm’s history. During this time, Mark launched LJB University, which is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET) to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs). LJB University focuses on developing staff skills and reinforcing the firm's culture, while also offering training to LJB clients. Mark devotes significant time to regional economic development efforts. He served as chair of the Dayton area Chamber of Commerce from 2008–2009 and currently chairs the board of the Dayton Development Coalition. Mark holds a MBA from Miami University of Ohio.


Lynn Elfers

Lynn Elfers

Founder and CEO
Affordable Language Services
Cincinnati, OH

She calls herself “The Accidental Entrepreneur.” Lynn Elfers worked with her husband as a volunteer for a year, leading to an assignment as missionaries in Central America. Lynn has a strong desire to see people equalized through language communication. Upon her return home to Cincinnati, Ohio, due to an addition to the family, she became involved with the Hispanic community there. Through her volunteer work in Cincinnati, she became known for helping Hispanics connect through her community interpreting, which directly resulted in the birth of Affordable Language Services, now in its 16th year. Focusing on training and education of interpreters, Lynn’s company has gained a solid reputation for quality and service. In July 2014, a report named Affordable Language Services one of the largest interpreting companies in the world.


Jesper Sandberg

Jesper Sandberg

Managing Director
Sandberg Translation Partners
Whiteley, United
Kingdom

Jesper Sandberg graduated in 1990 with a vocational master’s degree in technical, legal, and commercial translation and interpreting and is a state-authorized English-Danish-English translator and interpreter under the Danish system. After working as a freelance translator for five years, Jesper started Sandberg Translation Partners (STP) in 1995 and later incorporated the company in 2000. STP has grown organically and by acquisition and today employs more than 80 full-time, in-house staff in the UK and Sweden. STP is a technology-focused Regional Language Vendor (RLV) specialized in serving other translation companies and Language Services Companies all over the world with work involving the Nordic languages, English, French, and German. As part of his job running STP, Jesper frequently attends translation industry conferences around the world to broaden his horizons. He has also been engaged on a consultancy basis to help other medium-sized LSCs grow and streamline their operations.


Leo Brenninkmeyer

Leo Brenninkmeyer

Founder and President
Compass Languages
Annapolis, MD

Leo Brenninkmeyer is the founder and president of Compass Languages, a full-service Language Services Company that has served Fortune 1000 companies and the federal government since 2001. Compass Languages is based out of Annapolis, Maryland, with support offices in Mexico and the UK. Leo has been involved with cross-cultural communication for 25 years, holding a variety of senior positions in companies in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Prior to launching Compass Languages, he was president of C&A Mexico, the Mexican division of the European fashion retail chain C&A. When not running Compass Languages, Leo is busy supporting his patient wife of 20 years, Lisa, and ferrying their seven children around.