As part of Welocalize’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, we are launching a new blog series which shines a light on each of our 22 offices located around the world.
For our first blog in this series, we thought it was only right that we focus on our headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, US, where the company was founded by husband and wife team, Smith and Julia Yewell in 1997. We spoke with Smith and he gave us some insights into why Frederick is home to Welocalize’s global headquarters.
Why are Welocalize’s headquarters based in Frederick, Maryland?
We had our first child at the same time we started the business in 1997, so we were looking for a great community to raise both! Our office, home and daughter’s school were all within walking distance, so it made it easier to juggle the demands of home and work. We also wanted to be near the three major airports in the Washington, DC area.
Did you and Julia choose the office location when you founded Welocalize in 1997?
Yes. Our office in Frederick gave us a unique opportunity to design and brand our own space. The conference room wall is in the shape of the tilde that is the bottom part of our logo. There is a school of fish mounted on that wall which is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture.
How would you describe the people based at the Frederick office?
Fantastic! People in the Frederick office are fun, friendly and talented.
What’s special about the office?
The office is in a converted factory building. It has exposed brick walls and the original wood floor. You can tell who is walking around just by the sound of their steps on the old floor. There is a lot of cool art in the office from around the world, giving it a very global feel.
We have a lot of happy hours with wine tastings. We even have wine glasses with the Welocalize logo. It is lots of fun!
If you could set up an office anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I have always really enjoyed London, and now we have a fantastic office centrally located there. A large section of our Adapt Worldwide team is based there, driving multilingual digital marketing strategies for clients all over the world. I find the history, architecture and diverse nature of London really appealing.
How to maintain consistent branding across the 22 Welocalize offices?
We are in the process of developing and moving some offices so that staff and visitors experience the Welocalize brand and guiding principles in a consistent way. Over time, our goal is to have all offices reflect the true feel and promise of the Welocalize brand. We also want them to be cool and enjoyable places to work.
Do you manage to visit all 22 offices each year?
Unfortunately, it is too challenging to visit all within a year, but I am working on visiting all within a 2-year period.
What is your favorite thing to do in Frederick?
Frederick is known for its great festivals. There are a variety for each season. You might even see Fuzzy Match playing at one. Fuzzy Match is the band we started at a Frederick office Christmas party, and I play guitar in the band.
Did you Know? The city of Frederick is the county seat of Frederick County in the US state of Maryland. It is the 2nd most populated city in the State and is located less than an hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Gettysburg. It is well-known for the Great Frederick Fair.
Where next? Welocalize offices, Portland, Oregon – home to one of Welocalize’s secure QA + Testing Laboratories
Interview by Lauren Verdon, Welocalize Global Marketing