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The Speech that (almost) never was

Tuesday, Feb 12th, 2013

While working on the translation of the Governor’s State of the State speech, I was reminded of one of the proudest moments in my life that also gave birth to one of my most salient missed opportunities. While accepting the BusinessWoman of the Year Award in 2011 from the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce I never gave the speech I prepared.

Call it a “rookie mistake” or “preggo brain”; it was an opportunity that doesn’t come around often so I’ve decided better late than never! In my defense, there were technical difficulties that threw a wrench in the order of things. The video highlighting yours truly was supposed to play before I got on stage, but began playing just as I walked up. So my official excuse is “technical difficulties”.

With appreciation to all that made me who I am today, here is my speech:

Thank you! My name is Monica Nainsztein Rodríguez and I am the proud founder of SpanishOne Translations where we fuse the power of your message with an impeccable translation.

I am very grateful to Steve Gándola with the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for nominating me and EVER so grateful to the CHCC for this honor: It has been a privilege to serve you and your members as a preferred vendor for the past 2 years. Quick shameless plug: Did you know a member of any Hispanic Chamber in California is eligible for our discounted translation services in over 100 languages? That’s the majority of you sitting here today!

These kinds of partnerships are what allowed me to become Businesswoman of the Year, along with a sprinkling of long nights, of course. There’s a little something else behind my success too: that is “chutzpah”, “picardía”, mischievousness. Your innate talent probably goes by a different name, but I’ve learned you have to give of your own person and personality in order to stand out. If you’re shy, let your sparse sincerity be your appeal. Rest assured, there is something special about you and the way you conduct business, find it and you might be on this stage next year.

I will share something not many of you know about me:
For years I didn’t take my husband’s name, I went by Monica Nainsztein. It fit perfectly when I was working with Hollywood a lot. Let’s face it, a last name like “Nainsztein” sure came in handy in the film industry. Fast forward to 2008 when I founded – and FUNDED – SpanishOne. I was repeatedly asked if I spoke Spanish and got tired of my own joke that “English was my FIFTH language”. So I finally decided it was time to introduce myself as Monica Nainsztein Rodríguez – I RReally RRRolled my Rs. Nobody doubted again.

So, from the owner of SpanishOne Translations, thank you for this honor: “My name is Monica Nainsztein Rodríguez (with a strong Spanish accent): You killed my father, prepare to die!” (*)

(*) The Princess Bride is my husband’s favorite movie and I hope one day it will be one of my daughter, Isabel’s, too.


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