SALT LAKE CITY – Meet David Utrilla, Vice President of the Consular Corps, founder and CEO of U.S. Translation Company, and President of the World Trade Association.
David started his college education in Peru where he studied economics and international business. He continued his education in Utah at Weber State University studying Business Management and International Business. While he was still in school, David founded U.S. Translation Company which provides translation and interpretation services in order to help organizations break the communication barrier. From his perspective, good communication is the key to any relationship, whether it is a political, business, or personal relationship. If proper communication is lacking, it can inhibit many great businesses from reaching their full potential. This is precisely the challenge that David, at the helm of U.S. Translation Company, aims to address. Today the multiple award winning U.S. Translation Company is one of the premier language companies in the world, with over 4,000 linguists located around the globe.
In addition to his role as CEO of U.S. Translation, he also serves as the current President of the World Trade Association, the oldest trade organization in Utah. In this role, he helps Utah companies to expand their businesses into foreign markets by providing useful knowledge and facilitating key introductions. On a more local, community level, the World Trade Association hosts monthly luncheons which feature local companies that have successfully expanded their businesses into the global market. These events serve as a useful platform for networking and to exchange ideas and best practices. In addition, they make an effort to incorporate educational seminars that discuss topics that are important for trade.
In his line of work, he often hears negative or skeptical opinions about trade, especially in relation to imports. Many people feel that trade is bad for the local economy and is responsible for taking jobs away from U.S. citizens. David feels that this misperception is merely a consequence of people not fully understanding trade and how it works. One example he shared with me involved his home country of Peru. Peru exported gold ore to Utah, the ore was then refined locally and then the end product (gold) was sold to Europe. In this instance, it is a win-win situation because Utah is able to provide refinement jobs to local residents and also reaps the profits from the sale to Europe. According to David, over 100,000 people in Utah have jobs thanks to trade!
The third hat that David wears is to serve as the Honorary Consul for Peru in the State of Utah. About ten years ago, David met the Consul General of Peru in Denver, and was asked to help organize some activities for the Consul’s upcoming visit to Utah. During this visit, the Consul General realized just how many Peruvians were living in Utah (approx. 15,000 at that time) and identified the need for an Honorary Consul to serve in Utah. The Consul was impressed with David and how he handled the visit so when it was time to identify who should serve as the Honorary Consul, he turned to his new friend. At first, David was hesitant to accept out of fear that he didn’t have the requisite experience or knowledge to be successful, but after receiving assurances that he would have the training and support he needed, he agreed to accept. Several months went by after his application was submitted without a word. While visiting in Peru for summer vacation, he received a call saying that the Minister wanted to meet with him right away. Because he was in Peru on a personal vacation, he didn’t pack any business clothes and only had beach attire with him. He explained this to the Consul General who insisted that he go to the meeting regardless of his attire. Needless to say, he received a few odd looks in the reception area; however, the interview went well and he was informed by the Minister that the next step would be a formal appointment by the President. Another few months went by without a word when he received another call from a friend telling him that he read about his appointment in the newspaper!
Eight years later, David feels very comfortable in his role and has the opportunity to serve approximately 40,000 Peruvians living in the State of Utah today. As a result of this large population, David has been given the same power and responsibilities as a Consul General. Those responsibilities include the right to issue identification documents, dual citizenship, emergency travel documents, initiate business deals, and serve as a power of attorney. In addition to David’s extended role, the Peruvian government has hired an administrator and full time attorney for the Utah consulate that support David in his efforts. Throughout his tenure, David has played a crucial role in expanding trade between Peru and Utah. Thanks to his tireless efforts, Utah now stands as Peru’s second largest trading partner in the United States next only to Florida.
In addition to all of the above-mentioned roles, David also finds the time to serve on several boards including the Weber State University President’s National Advisory Council, Weber State University’s School of Business and Economics, Utah Symphony and Opera, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. He also is a language industry expert who speaks at conferences and events around the globe. The Utah Consular Corps is lucky to have such a dynamic and dedicated public servant in our ranks.