Pablo Chang-Castillo: The International Journey of a CEO and Chief Interpreter
Pablo Chang-Castillo is an entrepreneur with a free spirit and an enterprising and disciplined work ethic. The Founder and CEO of Chang-Castillo and Associates, Pablo was seemingly born into the translation and interpretation business. His last name alone, a hyphenated amalgam of China and Latin America, needs no embellishment as an emblem of diversity and the meeting of disparate cultures.
Originally from Nicaragua, his paternal grandfather was Chinese and his maternal grandfather was Spanish from Spain; he also has indigenous native-Nicaraguan ancestry. Always a world traveler, Pablo grew up between Central America and the United States before being sent abroad as an exchange student to school in France, Germany, and Italy. Eventually his entire family would move to the United States. Both Spanish and English were spoken in his home growing up, so language felt less embedded and fixed. It was possible to hear and speak two languages on the same day interchangeably. While now a citizen of the United States, Pablo considers himself a composite of three places: Nicaragua, the United States, and France. Or, as he likes to say, he is a “Nicafrencherican”!
Chang-Castillo and Associates began in 1993 when Pablo was only 18. An independent thinker committed to creating reality from dreams, he had always wanted to start his own business. Starting his own business meant freedom, the freedom to innovate and create something new, to solve problems and contribute to the community from a position of leadership and vision. Never one to follow the crowd, Pablo was inspired to start out on an entrepreneurial path early on and has never looked back.
Challenges and overcoming them
All businesses face challenges, and as Chang-Castillo and Associates has grown over the years the largest challenge has been scaling up. Success has brought growth and the challenge of implementing new business processes. Everything has a procedure now. Chang-Castillo and Associates has become an entity in its own right, and so Pablo has had to create a larger vision to accommodate that growth. He has worked hard at creating processes to keep the company efficient and responsive to changing conditions and market trends. He’s also found it expedient to spot talent and work with it, surrounding himself with people who have areas of expertise which complement his own and add unique competencies to Chang-Castillo and Associates.
Unexpected challenges are stressful but provide the working validation of a company’s mettle and ability to adapt quickly to unforeseen circumstances. Once, when managing a conference on climate change there was a sudden, massive power outage right before the main plenary! There were two separate teams of English, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, and Indonesian conference interpreters, one was a backup and one was working the plenary. Pablo rose to the occasion seamlessly switching his teams from simultaneous interpretation to consecutive interpretation until the power came back on. Thinking on his feet, his teams were able to keep the situation under control until the power was restored. Luckily, it was restored after fifteen minutes and before the world leaders hit the stage. When they did, things were functioning smoothly and you would never know that earlier, confusion had been narrowly averted. This is what Chang-Castillo and Associates is all about: providing seamless language solutions, worldwide.
Always international in scope and mission
Chang-Castillo and Associates is headquartered in San Francisco but also has offices in Paris, France. Pablo spends time in both offices managing events requiring simultaneous or consecutive interpretation services, written translation services, and state-of-the-art interpretation equipment and booths — anywhere in the world. Always an international traveler, Pablo Chang-Castillo lives both in Paris and in San Francisco.
Pablo explains his reason for coming to live in the beautiful Bay Area, “San Francisco reminds me of the ocean with the crisp, clean air of my native Bluefields, Nicaragua. My graduate studies at the prestigious Monterey (Middlebury) Institute of International Studies brought me to the Bay Area.”
Just like our founder, CCA is truly international and is always ready to assist you with translation or interpretation services wherever you may need them in the world.