Think You Don't Need a Board of Advisors? Think Again.
Lynn Elfers & Mark Thompson
Tuesday, 22 March, 2016
In the past, only a few small to mid-sized LSPs have utilized a Board of Advisors to help them map their growth. However, this trend appears to be changing as the language industry becomes more complex. During this session, participants will learn how both small and large companies can use best practices to set up and utilize Boards of Advisors, and how these outside perspectives can help expand business and create time for business owners to perform higher-value and more enjoyable tasks. Myths about the negative impact of Boards will be dispelled, and participants will be presented with information to help them consider the viability of creating a Board of Advisors for their own businesses. The process of selecting Board members will also be described.
Lynn Elfers calls herself “The Accidental Entrepreneur” because her mission in life was to help improve lives and serve others, not start a booming business. She worked as a full-time volunteer for 20 years, leading to an assignment as a missionary in Central America. In 1997, due to a surprise addition to the family, she returned home to Cincinnati, Ohio. There she became involved with the Hispanic community. Lynn has a strong desire to see people equalized through language communication. 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 17th year. Focusing on training and education of interpreters, Lynn’s company has gained a solid reputation for quality and service. In 2014 and 2015, a CSA report named Affordable Language Services one of the larger interpreting companies in the world.
Mark joined Aileron in August of 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 fourteen years as a CEO of a mid-sized professional services firm prepared helped to prepare him for the opportunity to guide clients through strategic planning and organizational and leadership development. Mark began his career as a structural engineer with the consulting firm of LJB Inc., He helped open a satellite office in Cincinnati. This was a new market for the firm, and a start-up experience for Mark. He developed new clients for the firm which included AK Steel, Ford, GE Aviation, General Mills, Miller Brewing, and Proctor & Gamble. After eleven years of building LJB's Cincinnati office, the firm brought Mark to Dayton to serve as its president. During this time, Mark launched LJB University which focuses on the development of staff skills and reinforcement of the firm's culture while also offering training to LJB clients. Mark holds a Master of Business Administration from Miami University, and a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
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