The Association of Language Companies (ALC) is one of the most important voices of business leadership in the language industry — and now members have a new leader themselves.
The organization recently announced that Karen Decker, owner and president of the International Center for Language Studies (ICLS), is the new president of the ALC, and she sees an exciting path forward for language companies worldwide. Decker spoke with us about that vision and some of her immediate priorities.
What’s your main goal in this role?
The ALC aims to be the unequivocal voice of the language services industry. My vision for the association is built upon three interconnected pillars: increasing membership, raising visibility, and maximizing the investment value for our members. Each of these pillars plays a vital role in achieving our overarching goals. While increasing membership is a top priority, we will do so without losing the close-knit and personal atmosphere we cherish as members. The recent ALC Summit, which drew nearly 200 attendees, showcased a remarkable sense of camaraderie and teamwork that is truly unique. It is a testament to the strength of our community, and we should be proud of it.
- How do you think members will see a difference six months from now?
Predicting the exact timeline for when ALC members will see a difference can be challenging. However, in the near term, I’m prioritizing several key initiatives to enhance the member experience.
Website Enhancement: One of our immediate goals is to revamp our website, making it more search engine-friendly. This will improve our online visibility and accessibility. Additionally, we’ll implement a comprehensive member directory to spotlight each member company’s unique services.
Strategic Partnerships: To boost our name recognition and expand our influence, we will seek to establish partnerships with organizations beyond the language services industry.
Maximizing Member Value: We will explore ways to promote our members and their services to potential clients in corporate and government sectors, creating mutually beneficial opportunities.
Educational Institution Relationships: We’re enthusiastic about strengthening and expanding our ties with educational institutions through the ALC Bridge program. This initiative may eventually extend to participation in industry-related conferences, such as ACTFL and NAFSA, broadening our reach and engagement.
While the exact timeframe for member benefits may vary, these initiatives are concrete steps toward achieving our goals of enhanced visibility, influence, and member value.
Has this always been an ambition of yours?
When I first joined the ALC years ago, I was one of the few members representing the language training/language school sector in the language services industry. The idea of becoming the president of the association was something I never even thought about back then! But today, I’m genuinely honored and excited to step into this role. I can’t wait to work with our new Board and all our ALC members as we move our association forward together!