Founder and CEO

Smith Yewell

Smith’s time in the Army strongly influences his leadership style to this day. He has always believed in “leading from the front.” Smith also supports many charitable causes and serves on the boards of The Aslan Foundation and the Color Me A Cure Foundation, which he founded with Julia.

Why we started Welocalize
I was very interested in culture and global business, in leading a diverse group of people, helping them reach their full potential and positively impacting people’s lives through better global communication.

What inspires me
The challenge of transforming a business. Revolutionizing an industry and doing things differently. Seeing that reflected in our company culture, our strategy. When people achieve more than they thought possible — for themselves, their colleagues, and our customers – that’s what inspires me.

Something you don’t know about me
I was the lead guitarist in a band called Fuzzy Match, a nod to translation memory terminology in the industry.

I feel most successful when
I know we helped our customer solve a problem. When we help employees feel more fulfilled in their careers, and we can help them answer the question, ‘Where can I go from here?’

Co-Founder

Julia Yewell

As co-founder, Julia held a pivotal role in recruiting and developing Welocalize’s first accounting and personnel teams. Her respect and appreciation for diverse cultures and viewpoints formed the foundation of the company’s values and remains core to continued expansion.

Julia cherishes spending time with Smith, their daughter, and her extended family and friends – especially traveling and wine tasting.

I feel most successful when
I am watching the people in our company thrive and grow, and creating a culture where respect for different languages and customs is the basis of everything we do.

Company Customer and People Officer

Erin Wynn

Erin brought six years of e-learning localization expertise when she started her career at Welocalize in 2008.

What’s changed since I started
Back then, a lot of companies didn’t know what localization was, or what language services were all about. Fast forward to today, when global brands know they need localization and global services. They can’t scale up quickly enough. Customers don’t come to us for translation now. They want to be informed, know what markets are best, which countries they should enter.  It’s much more collaborative, built on trust and relationship. Now, they can study their data that shows them where they can grow, and we can share data and show them how.

What I love about Welocalize
One of the things I love about Welocalize, and our industry, is this culture of curiosity, of wanting to learn all about new people and places. If you like differences, you’re curious, and you want to learn something new on an hourly basis, this is the place for you. With so much diversity here, you never run out of opportunity.

What inspires me the most
Seeing people do things they never thought they could do.

Something you don’t know about me
I was a competitive bowler in high school!

I feel most successful when
We deliver on the littlest things that we say we’re going to deliver on, not the huge things. Over the years, I’ve learned the little things are the most impactful things.

Company Innovation and Operations Officer

Chris Grebisz

Chris began his career at Welocalize in 2002, and has played a critical role in our ability to innovate and scale up quickly as we’ve grown. A self-described “opportunity hunter,” Chris is always looking at The Big Picture. Known for predicting problems before they occur, he loves the entrepreneurial energy that lives deep within our small, agile, specialized Welocalize teams, and the excitement you’d expect to see in a much smaller company.

Chris briefly left Welocalize in 2008, filling several leadership roles at several small-to-mid-sized software development companies, touching everything from Compliance to Finance. He even spent 18 months consulting for Google, working on their localization technology.

When Chris returned to our Welocalize family in 2013, he led operations in North America, and has most recently overseen our complete digital transformation. Under his leadership, we’re one of the only language service providers to be 100% cloud-based, which gives us the ability to create consistent workflows across teams and scale up so quickly.

I feel most successful when
I see the team members that I work with achieve success. If I can help people achieve success, that’s my success.

Global Head of Corporate Development

Tuyen Ho

What I’ve learned working at Welocalize
I get to see every day how and why language matters to our customers and partners. With advances in AI, the speed of innovation in how global audiences discover, distribute, and consume content is dizzying. Language is at the core of how we define and understand ourselves, our communities, and our aspirations. Enabling language to be a force multiplier for the good can be really, really hard at times, and yet so, so rewarding when it all comes together.

What inspires me
In our M&A practice, we strive to build trust each step of the way, with each person we meet. When that trust results in people finding their place and growth in one global team, and making good things happen for customers and partners – there’s a special magic to that.

Something you don’t know about me
A long time ago, I was a stringer reporter in Vietnam for a stint, chasing stories and people on a single speed bicycle.

Global Head of Talent

Brennan Smith

What I’ve learned working at Welocalize
Oh, wow, does culture matter. We talk in the US about cultural awareness and trying to understand someone’s intent, but when you’re working with people from over 100 countries, you’re really aware about how little you know, and how much you have to learn! Getting the smallest details of communication right makes all the difference.

The most important thing in picking a team is attitude. A team filled with curiosity and humble people can climb any mountain.

Everyone in the world is far more the same than different. We may have different favorite colors, songs, food, and family members, but we all love colors, music, food, and family.

Something you don’t know about me
At age 18, I never had much interest in international travel. I used to say it was really easy to be happy within 20 miles of where I grew up. Now I’ve been to over 50 countries, and have had face-to-face conversations with people from over 100.

What inspires me
No two days are the same. We have wildly dynamic clients, working to share their messages in almost every country in the world. It’s a constant opportunity to learn and see new things.

Global Head of Technology

Doug Knoll

What I’ve learned working at Welocalize
Welocalize is radically distributed and global, especially for our size. Being successful here means adopting and embracing tools and methods for working asynchronously, and ensuring everyone gets an equal chance to collaborate, regardless of geography, time zone, or first language.

In the technology team, we had to get rid of ideas like “the head office.”’ It’s been a challenge, but the rewards are huge, in terms of being open to contributions from around the world.

What inspires me
The thing that inspires me most is the vast range of services we have for clients. From the most popular online services in the world, to complex patents that will become the next big things, to lifesaving medical devices and products, we play a small, but vital role, and it’s so exciting to support the amazing people who are creating all of them and see what they’re doing.

Something you don’t know about me
As a scuba diver, the state of our coral reefs is an interest of mine. They’re severely threatened, but a lot of good work is happening to protect and restore them as well. I plan to continue to contribute both time and resources to the cause of protecting our marine ecosystems.

I feel most successful when
We sit down together to look at the results of a pilot for an innovative idea with our delivery team and a customer. It might work as expected, or we might learn something, but it’s so gratifying and rewarding to collaborate, with the goal of bringing positive change. I’m happy with the infrastructure we’ve put in place to support the cycle of innovation.

Global Head of IT

Aaron Heber

Prior to joining Welocalize, I had no industry-specific experience. I’d spent the prior 14 years at JPMorgan, managing electronic trading platforms, so this was a wholly new industry to me. At Welocalize, I’ve gained insights into how connected we can be, despite where we physically live or work.

It’s incredible to see projects come into our systems from a technology firm in California, USA, managed by a Project Manager in Cluj, Romania, and then worked on by hundreds of translation experts around the globe. All of these incredibly diverse people, working together to deliver the highest quality work in a coordinated manner, is amazing.

What inspires me
I find the global reach and impact of the work we do at Welocalize inspiring. Every day, we receive information from our clients and transform that information via translation work, data augmentation, AI, etc., via a network of tens of thousands of global workers and freelancers. The work takes place 24-hours a day, can circle the globe during the project/task lifecycle, and be delivered to the client on predictable schedules.

Something you don’t know about me
During the Covid pandemic, my family started playing Pickleball. We enjoyed it so much, we put in a Pickleball court in our yard, and enjoy playing with friends, any chance we get.

Another goal I’ve been working on
Another activity that I started during the pandemic was road cycling. I have the goal to complete a 100-mile ride, and I’m currently working toward that, having completed a number of 50-mile rides so far.

I feel most successful when
I can help facilitate the success of those on my team, and see the positive impact for Welocalize.