NWI Global helps businesses communicate

The Vancouver-area business offers translation, localization and interpretation services

Vic Marcus
Courtesy of NWI Global. Vic Marcus (pictured) and Karina Zaher are the co-owners of NWI Global, a company that helps businesses, government agencies and organizations communicate in more than 200 langauges.

According to NWI Global’s internal statistics based on service levels, the top five spoken languages in Vancouver and Clark County – other than English – are Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean and Mandarin, said Vic Marcus, co-owner of NWI Global.

“Clark County is a diverse community,” Marcus said. “We have thousands of residents here who speak a language other than English.”

These are just a couple of the reasons that Marcus said NWI Global has really thrived in the Clark County community. Founded in 1992 by Elena Lawler, NWI Global helps businesses, government agencies and organizations communicate in more than 200 languages. Marcus said they work every day with professionals across multiple industries who have pressing needs for language services that include translation, localization and interpretation in spoken languages and American Sign Language. NWI Global also provides accessibility services, including remote captioning and transcription.

Lawler, a professional interpreter by trade, decided to start the business when she noticed a need for quality interpreting services in the Vancouver area, to help the local Russian-speaking community communicate in medical and social settings. Lawler transitioned the business over to Marcus and Karina Zaher in 2015. Both Marcus and Zaher began working with NWI Global in 2003 and have both served the company in a variety of roles.

Marcus said the majority of NWI Global’s clients come from the education sector (K-12 and higher ed), government, healthcare and business/corporate clients. He said having one of the largest pools of interpreters in Vancouver and Clark County has helped the business continue to be successful in the community.

“When our local clients reach out to us to help with their language access needs, we have the resources to help them,” Marcus said. “Perhaps the biggest reason (that we continue to be successful) is that we deliver a high-quality service on a consistent basis. We believe this is what keeps our clients coming back for more.”

Since there are more than a dozen companies in the Portland/Vancouver Metro area that offer services like that of NWI Global, Marcus said the competition is tough. He said what makes the business unique is the ability to consistently deliver a responsive, efficient and accurate service each and every time.

“Many of the clients we work with tells us things such as, ‘thank you, you were the first to respond,’” Marcus said. “What’s important to us is looking beyond the daily transactional stuff. We constantly ask ourselves why we do what we do, and why is it important?”

Currently, Marcus said NWI Global has 12 employees spread across four states. Since the company was founded in 1992, he said they have experienced exponential growth, and in recent years the growth has leveled off between 5% and 10% per year.

As for the future of NWI Global, Marcus said they see themselves continuing to be driven by their mission, which is helping to create a world where people from businesses and organizations around the globe can communicate freely. Marcus said technology will certainly play a greater role in the future of translation and language services. He said they will have to adapt and adopt accordingly, as they have over the years, to maintain an edge over competitors.

“There has been an increase in merger and acquisition activity in the last few years within the language services industry,” Marcus said. “Many smaller companies are being acquired and consolidated into larger enterprises. This is something that we have to keep in mind as we grow the business within the next five years. Acquiring another company to help with our growth is certainly something we would consider.”

NWI Global is located at 12500 SE Second Circle, Suite 140, in Vancouver. They can be reached at 360-566-0492.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.