Judy Ravin and Barb Niemann are in the middle of a big shake up at the Accent Reduction Institute.
First off, it's not just the Accent Reduction Institute anymore. The Ann Arbor-based company is now working closely with Accents International, which spun out of Accent Reduction Institute three months ago.
The 8-year-old company made a name for itself providing accent reduction training programs. Those programs gave non-native English speakers the tools to communicate seamlessly. Think of software that helps people with English pronunciation.
"I felt that Accent Reduction Institute was up and running and doing great," Ravin says. "This year we converted all of our learning material to online and hosted in the cloud. It was a big milestone for us."
Today Accent Reduction Institute focuses on licensing those programs out to corporations and large institutions looking to help their employees overcome language barriers. It's primarily a product company.
Ravin, who is still a board member at Accent Reduction Institute, and Niemann launched Accents International to handle the service end of the business. The LLC focuses on providing educational training to people who speak English as a second language and want to do so with ease and clarity.
"We really missed the teaching side of this," Ravin says. "There is nothing more gratifying than working with people and helping them clarify their professional expertise."
Source: Judy Ravin, co-founder of Accents International
Writer: Jon Zemke