BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Drita Protopapa, Business Owner/Entrepreneur, MAPA Translations, Inc.

What is your name?

Drita Protopapa

What is your occupation?

Business Owner/Entrepreneur

What is your business name?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

What is your instagram handle?

What is your linked in URL?

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

I was born and raised in Wayland, MA (20 miles due west of Boston!)

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

MAPA Translations is your gateway for a cultural and linguistic journey! Our three main divisions - Written Translation, Multilingual Voice Overs & Interpretation - offer streamlined communication solutions so that our clients can reach their target audiences with culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging and content! As the child of multilingual parents who grew up in a household with an ``open door`` policy to all those needed a place to stop and call home, I would say ``diversity`` is simply part of who I am and in my DNA! I took to languages at a young age and quickly became fluent in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. My love of languages combined with my background and love of travel took me to other countries such as Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, Estonia, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Spain! After a career in academic medicine and public health, I began ``moonlighting`` as a medical and community interpreter and that's what led me to be a part of the language services industry, officially, back in 2004. After the birth of my youngest child in 2006, I felt a strong ``call`` to do something different and my long dorman entrepreneurial spirit pushed me to launch MAPA Translations in July of 2007. The rest is, history! Or should I say ``her-story``! I am passionate about the work we do and am committed to helping people bridge communication and language gaps in all ways possible. MAPA is really an extension of who I am and what I stand for personally and professionally. I could go on for ``pages`` but I will stop here and say, I love what I do, who we work with and how we are making a difference in the world.

What would your clients say about you and your company?

We are fun, friendly and easy to work! We respond quickly and professionally to all requests for services and we are committed to providing high quality work with 5 star customer service. We are a business with a social conscious and are always looking for ways to lift people up, especially other female business owners/entrepreneurs and support other local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Follow your intuition and be true to yourself!

What is your favorite book?

Do Less by Kate Northrup

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

My secret weapon is having a big heart and an open mind. This has created a rich, colorful and diverse existence for me! I wouldn't have it any other way.

What is your most recent WIN? How are you slaying it in your career or business?

We are currently in a major growth and expansion mode. Our most recent wins were getting approved as a vendor of language services for the City of Boston and Project Bread in the same week and the following week, we landed our first national client, a company that provides behavioural and other support services to people with autism! AND, we just submitted a quote for the State of MA contract to provide written translation services - we find out if we are one of the awardees by May 14th! 🙂

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Spend less time worrying about what others think and trying to please them! Follow your own path, and intuition!

How do you enjoy your free time?

Listening to live music, walking in the woods with my adorable dog Rocky, sharing food, fun and laughter with friends, traveling (I love to travel!), soaking up the sun at the beach while reading a great book, and spending time with my family!

What is something that not many people know about you?

Many people do not know that I am the child of refugees who came from Estonia (mom) and Albania (dad)!

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