Woman Of The Year


Woman Of The Year

Meet The Winner Of Our Woman Of The Year Contest, And Learn What Sets Her Apart From The Competition

Entrepreneur Magazine - June, 2004

The power to create has always been a woman's prerogative. And for Liz Elting, the winner of OPEN: The Small Business Network From American Express and Entrepreneur magazine's Woman of the Year Contest, that means creating a life and business that anyone would want to emulate.

Selected as the woman entrepreneur who best exemplifies competitiveness, compassion and clarity of vision, the president and CEO of TransPerfect Translations Inc. in New York City does not measure success in sales alone. Although she expects 2004 gross sales for her company -which provides translation, interpreting, typesetting and multicultural marketing to companies worldwide - to hit $35 million, for Elting, 38, success is wrapped up in the goals she meets for her business as well as the company culture she offers her more than 160 employees. "We are very entrepreneurial, very much a group of people building a company together," says Elting. "They're part of a professional organization with goals and a vision. It's a great place for overachievers."

People who want to control their own destinies flourish in the meritocracy that Elting has created. She prides herself on offering not only raises and opportunities for advancement (typically faster than other companies), but also benefits programs that include comprehensive medical coverage, a Caribbean vacation incentive, and company-wide celebrations that include networking and training exercises twice a year. Employees even get their birthdays off. Though they work hard, long hours are not as painful with the free dinners and car service that anyone from vice presidents to interns can use when working late nights.

Starting in 1992 out of her dorm room at New York University (NYU) with $5,000 in startup funding from credit cards, Elting set a goal: in six months, the company would move into office space. It did. She continues to set specific goals with her team each year, detailing the cities they want to expand into, the sales they want to reach, and the milestones needed to get there. "[It's good] to have a business plan," she says, "but you need annual goals."

This focus on goal setting and an employee-friendly corporate culture have helped Elting achieve her competitive advantage. To gain the customer service edge, she says, she and her employees listen and go above and beyond their clients' needs. "You don't need a novel idea - you [just] need to do it better."

Elting rounds out her business/life strategy with charity and community service - from involvement at NYU, where she speaks to student groups and does seminars to encourage the next generation of business leaders, to her company's contributions to charities that help children, support cancer research, fight for human rights and more.

This entrepreneur, philanthropist and mother says, "I haven't found [that running a business is] more difficult being a woman. It's more about what you do than whether you're a woman or a man."

How To Win At Business

Want to emulate Liz Elting, president and CEO of New York City-based TransPerfect Translations Inc.? Try her tips for success:

  • Check your ego at the door. "[There's an] old saying: 'Hire people who are smarter than you.' Throughout TransPerfect's growth, I've sought out people whose strengths complement mine."
  • The harder you work, the luckier you get. "Year in and year out, I've watched hard work pay off for employees who have accomplished great things for us and [have] grown to be leaders at the company"
  • Keep your eye on the prize. "I set very specific goals for myself and TransPerfect. I communicate those goals and expect results."
  • Think positive. "Attitude really is everything. An upbeat, can-do attitude makes a world of difference in both how we feel and how we're perceived."
  • Proactivity prevails. "[For both entrepreneurs and employees] anticipating what your clients, your supervisor, your co-workers or your company needs, and acting on it without being asked, are key to being a success."

—Nichole L. Torres

About TransPerfect
With revenue of over $250 million, TransPerfect is the largest privately held language services provider in the world. From offices in 66 cities on 5 continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in over 100 languages to multinationals worldwide. With a global network of over 4,000 linguists and subject-area specialists, TransPerfect is the largest translation company to be fully ISO 9001:2008 and EN 15038:2006 certified. TransPerfect is headquartered in New York and has regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com.


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