Our Leadership

Our leadership team has more than 100 years of combined experience in the staffing, linguistic and technology service industries. We’re true experts you can rely on to deliver out-of-the-box ideas and strategic solutions, even in the most highly-regulated and compliance-dominated industries.

Claudia-150x150Claudia P. Mirza
CEO and Co-Founder 

Claudia Mirza is the CEO and co-founder of Akorbi.  With a tireless entrepreneurial spirit, she has led the company’s evolution from a language translation company to a comprehensive provider of global localization solutions, staffing and technology services.

She is also the visionary leader behind Akorbi’s proprietary localization management system, which helps clients (from government agencies to Fortune 500 companies) reduce costs and increase speed-to-market. Claudia was instrumental in securing an ISO 9001 certification for this system, as well as for the company.

Claudia’s diverse experience spans strategy development, multilingual process improvement and business analysis, as well as quality, project and localization management systems.  Prior to founding Akorbi, she held managerial roles at Genuity (formerly GTE Internetworking) and Spie Capag Ismocol, where she worked on multiple enterprise process improvement, project management and optimization programs.

Claudia has earned numerous awards and honors, including:

  • “Women in Business” award from the Dallas Business Journal.
  • “Minority/Women Business Enterprise” award from The Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber.
  • “Latina Achievement” award from the Association of Latin Professionals in Accounting & Finance.
  • “Women of Color Achievement” award from The 100 Black Men of Greater Dallas/Fort Worth.
  • “Community Hero” nomination from the Metroplex Technology Business Council.
  • “Woman-Owned Business Enterprise of the Year” by the North Texas Regional Certification Agency.
  • Fort Worth Mayor’s “Entrepreneur Award”.
  • “Micro-entrepreneur of the Year” by Wachovia and ACCION Texas.

She was also a recipient of the Dorothy B. Brothers scholarship, featured in the Dallas Business Journal’s “Top 40 under 40” and “Women in Business”, and profiled as a “SCORE” (small business counselors) success story. She has been interviewed by numerous Dallas-area media including Univisión and Al Día.

Claudia is also committed to her volunteer and charitable efforts.  She has served on the Board of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and chaired the technology committee.  She has also been involved with Groom-Elite to teach non-English-speaking horsemen how to work and make a living in the racing industry.  In addition, she has also devoted time to Plan Fund, which grants new business loans to disadvantaged entrepreneurs, and she has mentored several small minority/women-owned businesses.  Claudia is currently a member of the Women’s President Organization and a supporter of the Ronald McDonald House.  In addition, she provides support to mothers whose children have special needs.

She holds a business management degree from Cotecnova, Cartago, Colombia and is a graduate of the Tuck-WBENC Executive Education Program at the Tuck School of Business.  In addition, she has a management certificate from the Southern Methodist University Cox Executive Education Program and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the DeVry Institute of Technology.

 

2-Azam-150x150Azam A. Mirza
President and Co-Founder

Azam Mirza brings enthusiasm and expertise to his role as Akorbi’s president and co-founder. His commitment to innovative development has distinguished him as a business leader. He is responsible for strategy development and daily business operations, as well as technical initiatives for Akorbi’s comprehensive localization and translation services. Leading a network of global professionals, he has helped clients in multiple industries consistently achieve their business objectives. Through Azam’s unique blend of business and technology prowess, Akorbi has evolved into a premier global provider of localization and translation services.

Azam’s extensive management and technical background includes experience in several vertical sectors including insurance, medical, systems security, finance, human resources, government, real estate and energy. He is well versed in enterprise technology architecture, system design and implementation. He has held leadership roles for a variety of technology programs for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Regus Management Group and ENSCO International. He has also managed national security projects for CACI, the Department of Defense and the National BioDynamics Laboratory.

Azam holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans, with a focus on neural networks and routing algorithms.  He also secured a Bachelor’s degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University’s Corporate Leadership Program.

David FranklinDave Franklin
Executive Vice President

Dave Franklin is the executive vice president of Akorbi and is responsible for P&L, managing budgets, guiding the recruiting and sales teams, and business development. He joined the company in 2011 to create Akorbi’s professional services staffing division, which today serves a multitude of clients, including the largest Internet services company in the world.

With over 18 years of industry experience in staffing services and business development, Dave has held roles as executive director of recruiting and recruiting manager within the healthcare, information technology, financial, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, energy/utilities and manufacturing sectors. He brings an extensive background in building recruiting organizations from the ground up, with work spanning management, mentorship, hiring, training, and driving business and management of P&L.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Longwood University. He recently completed a 21-week intensive study of graduate-level advanced accounting and finance strategies from the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. He is also the recipient of numerous awards that recognize his work in recruiting.

KENT TAYLORKent N. Taylor
Vice President, Operations

As the vice president of operations, Kent is responsible for a variety of key areas at Akorbi, including staff development, team and budget management, implementation of project management practices and new technologies, strategic growth of existing accounts, as well as process and workflow improvement.

Kent is an accomplished leader and engineer with 30 years of experience in a variety of senior management roles, including forming new organizations from concept to start-up.  He has worked with world-class companies, such as L-3 Communications, Verizon, GTE Communications, MCI Communications, Vought Aircraft, Boeing and Johnson Controls.

Kent’s many accomplishments include developing and implementing project governance processes to ensure on-time and on-budget project delivery; developing Vendor Technical Management and Performance Tracking databases; developing standards for deployment strategy, engineering requirements and ordering information for product deployment; and pioneering business processes.

Kent’s extensive industry experience includes work in the aerospace, defense, telecommunications and transportation industries.  He has broad experience in content management and the production of enterprise-level technical documents.  He has also participated in a variety of highly complex projects, including some involving Air Force One (Boeing 747) and the B-2 Stealth Bomber, as well as the development of GTE’s nationwide fiber optic network.

Kent has a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology.  He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).


Bonaduce_Printing File_6093Ralph Bonaduce

Vice President of International Services

As VP of International Services, Ralph Bonaduce leads Akorbi’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Services division.  The division provides international clients with translation, interpretation and transcription services, as well as inbound, outbound and back office support in more than 170 languages.

His impressive 33-year career includes 14 years specifically in the BPO industry.  During this time, Ralph has managed BPO operations for Fortune 500 clients in the financial, telecommunications, insurance and cable industries, as well as numerous other industry verticals.  He’s supported a wide array of global companies, including Verizon Wireless, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Sears Financial Services and MCI – just to name a few.

Ralph’s international experience includes managing service delivery teams in excess of 4,500 employees worldwide.  And, his client and operational management experience has taken him around the world, including:  Latin America, Canada, India, Australia and United Kingdom.

Prior to joining Akorbi, Ralph led international services for several multinational organizations, including:  Affinitas Corp., LiveBridge, Inc., HeroBPO and NW Natural.

He has established a solid reputation for developing world-class service delivery platforms and for creating and managing high-performing customer service teams around the world.

Ralph has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. His post-graduate studies include the Management Development program at Northwest Natural Gas Co., as well as Marketing studies at the University of Oregon.

 ED CAVAZOS HEADSHOTEdward C. Cavazos, Jr.
Vice President, Business Development

As the vice president of business development, Edward is responsible for the development and support of new commercial opportunities in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as opportunities in the U.S. government sector. His focus is on providing services for telephonic, video, on-site interpretations, document translations and the Mobile App for translations and live interpretation on iPhone and Android phones.

Edward brings more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, channel management and business ownership. He previously served as the vice president of business development and marketing for Telelanguage, Inc., where he developed 15 strategic partnerships to market the company’s language and interpretation services both in the U.S. and worldwide. He also focused on account development in the insurance, medical, utility and legal vertical markets. Previously, Edward held account and partner management roles at Language Line Services and Frontier/West Coast Telecommunications.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and business administration from California State University, Sacramento.

5-Clari-150x150Maria Clara Buzzini
Director, Customer Relations and Account Development

As the director of customer relations and account development, Maria Clara is responsible for quality assurance, delivery operations and major project initiatives. She works with project managers to develop and implement customized and streamlined processes for large client projects, manages project deadlines, and ensures Akorbi’s services and solutions meet client’s needs.

With 11 years of experience in translation services, Maria Clara has a unique expertise in the requirements and quality measures of a translation project. Leveraging her years as a Spanish-language translator, she is directly involved in the testing and selecting of Akorbi’s translators for the Spanish language. Prior to joining Akorbi in 2005, she worked as a freelance translator, serving the pharmaceutical, arts and marketing industries. She was additionally a university English instructor in Argentina.

Maria Clara graduated with honors from Belgrano University (Universidad de Belgrano) in Argentina with a Bachelor’s Degree in English-Spanish translation and a specialization in legal, literary and scientific subjects. She also earned a certification as an art dealer from the Instituto Superior Dante Alighieri.

6-Alice-150x150Alice Westerfield
Director, Accounting and Finance

Alice is the director of accounting and finance, leading Akorbi’s cash management and accounting functions. She brings more than 25 years of experience in business management, account relations, process management, bookkeeping and human resources to her role.

Prior to joining Akorbi in 2009, she served as the full-charge bookkeeper for a media company that produced educational materials. Alice’s experience, from hands-on accounting to strategic planning and budgeting, spans several industries including retail, education, aerospace, healthcare, media and restaurants.

Alice is currently working toward a graduate certificate in finance from the SMU Cox School of Business. She holds a Master of Science degree in human relations and business, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in education.