Alumna's Translation Co. Earns HBJ Honors
Flor Dimassi’s father wanted her to learn the value of things, so when his daughter asked for a car, he told her no. Today, the 1992 international studies graduate and founder of a company recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the city’s fastest growing woman-owned businesses is grateful to him and UST for “making me who I am.”
Undaunted by her father’s decision back in 1989, the full-time UST student, who also worked multiple after-school jobs, marched to the bank, got a loan and purchased a Hyundai. When the vehicle turned out to need repairs at the same time that her apartment rent was due, she again found a way.
The CEO of Global Speak Network Translation Services remembers, “Money was so tight, because I had to pay for my car repairs, that the only thing that I could afford to eat for an entire week was oranges.”
Born in Mexico to a strong Catholic family, Dimassi moved to Houston when her father’s employer transferred them to Houston, Texas.
Stateside, her focus and discipline only strengthened.
“In life, I ask myself, how much do I want something?” she said. “What sacrifices am I willing to make? I tell other people that it’s your force, your passion, never giving up.”
Willingness to have faith and persevere is an attitude. Dimassi saw hers reinforced by a much-admired UST advisor, the late international studies professor Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe.
“Like others at UST, he was an inspiration,” Dimassi said. “I remember going to him very worried about an upcoming test. He said, ‘Flor, if I had to describe you I could do it with one word – survivor. So don’t worry about the test.’ Just those few words, and his confidence in me, strengthened my faith and put my fears to rest.”
Since then, she has gone well beyond surviving.
Early in her professional life, Dimassi was one of the original founders of the successful Dimassi Mediterranean Restaurants. She later sold her interests in the restaurants to pursue another career path in the energy industry.
Fifteen years into her technical translation business, she decided to rebrand her firm, Translation Services, and to capture a more global audience. In July 2011 she expanded and renamed her operations as Global Speak Network Translation Services and now contracts over 30 experienced engineers as specialized technical translators. Since then, revenues have grown to more than 300 percent.
Her personal life is as rewarding as her professional one.
“As a single mother, I am very proud of my two sons,” she said. “They are Eagle Scouts and are both in college.”
She intends to speak to high school audiences with the goal of inspiring “other Flors” out there. And she has no plans to stop working.
“I love what I do. I can see myself doing this until I am at least 80 years old…or as long as God allows,” Dimassi said.