Imagine being born in Colombia to a Taiwanese father and a culturally Japanese, ethnically Taiwanese mother, growing up mostly in Ecuador and El Salvador, and living on your own at the age of 16 teaching English as a second language to middle and high school-aged kids in Taiwan. Oh, and at the time of your first experience living independently abroad, you don’t speak the local language.
This set of circumstances barely scratches the surface of our newest team member, Liliana Chan Ventura’s dynamic, globe-trotting life.
Fluent in English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese, conversational in Portuguese, able to understand Japanese and teaching herself Greek, Liliana’s love of languages, locution and learning set her on an early international marketing and sales path.
At the age of 14, she started working as a salesperson at her parent’s camera store and photo studio – the first of its kind in Ecuador.
“This was back in the age of analog images, when you had to actually get your photos developed to even view them for the first time,” recalls Liliana. “When tourists from every corner of the world came into the shop, I’d help them decide on a new camera or take down an order to develop their photos with us.”
Even though she was extremely shy and introverted, serving in this sales role at such a young age helped bring her out of her shell and learn how to engage with new people. She also found that she had a love for the marketing side of business. Eventually, that led her to California State University – Los Angeles, where she earned her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Marketing Management and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in International Marketing with a focus on Emerging Markets, including Latin America.
An experienced traveler from a very young age (“I learned to fly before I learned to walk,” she recalls), Liliana has lived in or trekked to every continent except Australia, Africa, and Antarctica. Her first experience living abroad on her own was at the age of 16. Having graduated from high school early, she moved to Taipei, Taiwan to teach English to middle school and high school students. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, she didn’t know how to speak the local language.
“Before moving to Taipei, I spoke Taiwanese (a Chinese dialect) fluently. What I didn’t realize was that, in Taipei, most people spoke Mandarin Chinese. Not only was I 16, living away from my family for the first time and trying to be an inspiring teacher, I couldn’t speak the language!” shares Liliana. “I experienced this odd feeling of looking like everybody else, yet not understanding the language or identifying with the culture. Looking back, it was the start of a lifelong love for language, culture, and people.”
Her learn-as-you-go spirit is also how Liliana ventured into affiliate marketing. After getting her MBA, she was hired by an ecommerce company to be their affiliate marketing specialist. While she felt comfortable and confident about the marketing part, she knew nothing about the affiliate portion. She was told that the department manager would train her on affiliate marketing. Unexpectedly, that manager eloped and moved to another country virtually overnight. In an instant, Liliana was left to hold down the fort alone. While others might have run for the hills, she took on the challenge.
“One thing I love is not knowing things. It means an opportunity to learn something new,” shares Liliana.
And learn she did, from an unexpected source. The person who trained her to do her job was a publisher.
“That person went out of his way to direct me to the right track. He really inspired me – and actually became a good friend of mine,” said Liliana. “That experience and the many that followed are what made me fall in love with this dynamic industry. At the root of it, affiliate marketing is all about relationships; it thrives on getting to know people and developing those relationships – with advertisers, customers, affiliates — all over the world. What other industry rewards you professionally and personally for meeting and making new friends?”
Since her early days of navigating the uncharted waters of affiliate marketing, Liliana has worked across the whole spectrum of the industry. She’s been on the advertiser, affiliate, and agency side, most recently with Ogilvy & Mather as their affiliate marketing director overseeing global affiliate accounts such as Apple Store, Beats, iTunes, Apple Music, IBM, Ted Baker and E-Trade.
Fortunately for Acceleration Partners, the stars aligned and Liliana came onboard to fill a much-needed director role on our Key Accounts team.
In her new position, Liliana will oversee affiliate accounts that are looking to grow their operations and scale their global presence – especially in Latin America. Having been born and raised in Central and South America and fluent in Spanish, Liliana brings unique, personal expertise to the AP team. In addition to her affiliate marketing responsibilities, she’ll serve a business development role to facilitate the acquisition and onboarding of new clients.
“One thing I’m still wrapping my mind around is how AP worked to craft a unique position that matches who I want to be in my life, not just what I can do in my profession. I still can’t believe that I’m living the dream and being rewarded for it,” said Liliana.
Now that she’s no longer commuting close to 4 hours a day round trip in L.A. traffic to get to and from an office, Liliana will have more time to pursue her personal passions. These interests include eating and cooking complex, elaborate dishes with her husband (the more challenging and tasty the recipe, the more joy she derives from the process). She is a voracious reader, often reading a variety of books simultaneously. As a citizen of the world, Liliana is also an enthusiastic traveler.
In 2017, Liliana and her husband hope to check one more continent off their list by visiting Australia and New Zealand.
Welcome to AP, Liliana! Or… Bienvenida! Yōkoso! Bem-vinda! Kalós órises! Huānyíng!