Founder and president Brenda Arbeláez built PALS INTERNATIONAL from a one-person home-based business to a global business that specializes in language instruction, cross-cultural training programs, accent reduction, global relocation support services, business consulting, language translation and interpretation.
With a teaching degree earned in Bogotá, Colombia, Brenda spent ten years teaching in bilingual schools. Upon arrival in the United States in 1975, she soon became known as a particularly effective Spanish language instructor, teaching to private students in her home. As an immigrant who lived first-hand the experience of transplanting her family to another country – one whose language and culture were unfamiliar to her – Brenda brought a keen insight into the challenges and rewards of mastering a second language. She soon added instruction to groups of executives en route to assignments in Spanish-speaking countries, and by 1983, formed PALS INTERNATIONAL.
Establishing a network that has grown to 2,000 professionals in over 100 countries, Brenda built the company with the mission to assist with the global needs of her clients. The vision and values upon which she has built PALS INTERNATIONAL sets it apart in the global marketplace, incorporating her values and beliefs into its management style.
As the president, Brenda is actively involved in various organizations and associations. Through these memberships, she continually improves company programs and services, while keeping her finger on the pulse of the business community, especially the Hispanic business community.
Brenda relentlessly seeks opportunities to expand the services provided by her company, successfully forming agreements with business associates around the world that expand the company’s programs and services.
Among her awards and honors:
- Global Ties Detroit Board Member, 2012 – Current
- National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) – Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, 2004, 1992
- Hispanic Business Magazine – One of fifteen category finalists for the 12th Annual Hispanic Business Magazine Entrepreneur Award, 2002
- Minority Business Entrepreneur – Featured as cover story, 2000
- Crain’s Detroit Business Newspaper – Featured as one of the Metro Detroit’s “American Dreamers”, March 29, 1999
- Hispanic Business Alliance – Business Recognition Award, 1998
- Leadership Detroit 15, 1993, 1994