We had the good fortune of connecting with Yazmin Venegas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yazmin, what role does tech play in your business?
I think that in the face of the global health emergency we are experiencing, technology has been able to keep people connected and many businesses afloat, including mine. I am not technology savvy at all, so I had to make important adaptations and investments and also educate myself with tutorials! For the first time I am working remotely as an interpreter and I am amazed at all the advantages these options offer. Both the clients and I are very satisfied with this option. On the other hand, since I can’t visit my audio editor in his studio as often, I am building my own recording studio at home, I do my narrations and email them to the editor to finish the job. The truth is that these emergencies give us the opportunity to rethink whether the way in which we worked until now was the most efficient. In my case, certainly not, I feel that now I am much more productive.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a journalist and translator committed to promoting the proper use of the Spanish language. Every single translation is made with the language, customs and cultural values of the Hispanic community in mind. I have been helping public and private organizations to communicate with the Hispanic Community for more than 20 years and I have enjoyed every moment. Challenges? A lot! The process of customer education, the changes that occur with each language – terms that were incorrect a few years ago today are valid–, the proliferation of people with little knowledge of Spanish who promote themselves as translators and sacrifice fees, etc. In the end, knowledge, experience and quality prevail and today we are the number 1 choice of municipalities in Arizona and national companies. But we go beyond translation. Our capabilities include community outreach, Spanish focus groups as well as audio and video production. This year we are launching our bilingual audiobook production service, a growing market, particularly among Spanish-speaking users, in 2018 there were 6,200 titles available in Spanish in the U.S., in 2019 the number increased to 10,000. We also offer audio description services, in English as well as in Spanish, to museums around the world. The commitment and quality of our work are important, but I would also like to mention a key factor that has allowed us to consolidate our business. A few years ago, I decided for the first time, to leave the comfort of my home office and start networking with other professionals. This has been a turning point in my career that has allowed me to position Spanish Media & Translation Services, LLC at the level of other professional businesses. In this context, we were surprised by the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the support and leadership we received from organizations such as the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Audiobook Publishers Association and National Association of Women Business Owners, NAWBO, their presence in my business made me realize that working alone for so many years was not the smartest decision. Teamwork is one of the great lessons I have received as a businesswoman!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The first morning we would set out early to Flagstaff for breakfast and a cup of coffee at Macy’s Cafe. From there we would head out to Winslow and Stand on the Corner for some pictures with Glen Fry. While there we would have lunch at the Posada Hotel and then head back on the black canyon freeway and stop in Sedona for a while and end the day with dinner at the Haunted Hamburger in Jerome. On the second day we would relax at home in Mesa and if the weather was warm we would spend our time swimming and grilling. The third day we would visit the galleries and museums in Scottsdale and have lunch wherever they felt eating. The fourth day we would head down to Tucson see all of the historical sites such as San Javier Mission, Congress St. etc. We would spend the night at Westin La Paloma and head out to the wineries in the Elgin area for the 5th day. The 6th day we would go hiking in the superstitions and have a picnic at Canyon Lake. The next day they would be gone!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is especially important for an immigrant like me. I think that when you get to settle in another country there are many barriers that you have to overcome over the years, language, customs, traditions, etc. In my case, of course, my husband was very supportive. Professionally speaking, I was lucky to have great mentors such as businesswoman Lisa Urias or the journalist Leyla Cattán (from La Voz in Tucson, AZ), Ellen Pence as well as Mary Berumen, from the City of Mesa and Nachie Marquez from the City of Chandler. The truth is I am fortunate to have good mentors and friends all my life. In recent years I have been able to count on the support and leadership of Monica Villalobos, President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Alika Kumar, Executive Director of the MBDA Business Center in Phoenix. They support small business with resources and also provide us with information and guidance in order to continue to grow and expand to full capacity. I feel empowered from all of these women. I also love to read or hear the classics for entrepreneurs, Dale Carnegie, Jim Roth, etc., and for years I had subscribed to Success Magazine. Today there are so many books, audiobooks, blogs, tutorials that help you learn everything you want. I think these are great resources for young entrepreneurs as well as for business owners with experience. Every week I take the time to read something new that has to do with improving my business and myself.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.