By Jennifer Scott
Ludmila (Mila) Golovine, founder and president of MasterWord Services, Inc., is the recipient of the 2013 Savvy Sister Award. The presentation of the award was made May 22 at a celebratory luncheon at La Colombe d’Or Mansion. The Savvy Sister Award is one of seven awards presented by Houston Woman Magazine, part of its annual Nominate HER Awards Program.
The Savvy Sister Award recognizes a woman who “has made a significant career change, interesting business maneuver or an innovative change to her workplace.” The award was sponsored this year by Becky Dunn of Metromarketing, Inc.
Golovine was nominated by Adrianne Poyet-Smith, a friend and employee of MasterWord Services, Inc.
Poyet-Smith said, “I nominated Mila for a HER Award because of her business acumen and leadership. Her impact on the lives of others is profoundly felt every day in all languages and across all cultures.”
Golovine was born and raised in the Soviet Union. She came to Houston in 1989 with a scholarship to study international finance at the University of Houston. To help with her living expenses, Golovine did Russian-English translation work for the U.S. State Department and for corporate clients, mostly in oil and gas.
Golovine received a BBA in finance and entrepreneurship and, later, a master’s degree in entrepreneurship. Modeled after a business plan Golovine prepared for one of her classes, MasterWord Services, Inc. was launched in 1993.
Now a multi-million dollar enterprise, MasterWord Services, Inc. has grown from just one employee to over 110. It offers translation services in 200 languages and serves more than 300 clients on four continents.
The MasterWord team consists of screened professional translators, interpreters and project coordinators, certified by organizations such as the U.S. State Department, American Translators Association, the International Association of Conference Interpreters and many others. MasterWord primarily serves the energy industry and healthcare industries, as well as education, government and social services agencies.
Every year, Golovine rewrites MasterWord’s one-, five- and 10-year business plans and has a separate plan for each of the company’s divisions: translation, written words, interpretation, spoken word; training and assessment for the company’s employees and third parties; and special projects that are executed onsite in remote locations, often on construction or mining sites.
“Mila has groomed MasterWord Services’ scope and capabilities for two decades as a professional translator, interpreter and business leader. Mila understands the complexities of the global marketplace and gives her teams the tools to hone razor-sharp plans of action that generate successful results. She excels at providing her clients international business solutions, based on creative thinking and strategic planning,” said Poyet-Smith.
MasterWord Services has been recognized as a Top 100 Owned Business in Texas (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010), Texas Business Hall of Fame and Future 500 Company.
MasterWord Services is also one of the 10 largest Language Service Providers in North America (2013 Common Sense Advisory), one of the 50 Largest Language Service Providers Worldwide (Common Sense Advisory) and has been recognized by the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare, and others.
In addition to its many achievements, MasterWord has reached the highest standard for business processes, the prized ISO 9001:2008 certification as designated by the Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a rare achievement in the language services industry.
Golovine has not only garnered much recognition for her entrepreneurship but also for her generosity as she divides her time in mentoring students, as well as serving as a volunteer with numerous organizations.
She shares her know-how and can-do spirit with students at her alma mater, the University of Houston, by regularly mentoring and helping with strategic initiatives on behalf of the Wolff Entrepreneurship Center. She has also established a scholarship for a student more in need of financial assistance.
She also serves such organizations as the University of Houston Small Business Development Center and the American Translators Association.
She also finds time to help out at the schools of her children, the Vairocana Zen Monastery, Friends of Integrative Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Rothko Chapel, Greater Houston Partnership, American Translators Association and many others.
“Mila remains on the frontlines of MasterWord Services as a recognized interpreter and translator with numerous certifications and professional affiliations,” said Poyet-Smith.