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Who We Are

Ulrich HenesThe Localization Institute was founded in the fall of 1996 to help a young and rapidly evolving industry gain access to quality training and learning opportunities. My own experiences, first as an International Sales and Marketing Manager, then as President of the US office of a British localization company, confirmed to me that there was almost nowhere to go to learn about localization and about how companies could compete more effectively in international markets.

The Institute offers public events and private consulting engagements that help companies reduce the cost and time required to deliver localized products and services. Our facilitators have years of direct personal involvement in the specializations they represent, have a passion for sharing their expertise, and are skilled at doing so.

What started with a single event almost a decade ago has evolved into an organization that conducts many events each year covering different aspects of the industry. Localization Institute events have an unrivalled reputation for exceeding participants’ expectations.

Ulrich O. Henes,

Ulrich Henes

Ulrich Henes


Already in his early years, Ulrich was fascinated by language, cultural differences, and global business. He spent the first decade of his career organizing international campaigns against the arms race and apartheid; and promoting global social justice.

For the past 25 years Ulrich has channeled his passion for all things global into promoting awareness and respect for differences among people, countries, and languages in the international business community.

Chris Luxton

Christine Luxton

Conference Manager

Chris has been with the Localization Institute since 2007. Chris brings her sharp attention to detail and fun social skills to the organization of every event with the goal of giving a memorable and profitable experience to the conference attendees and vendor partners alike.

When not visiting the great international cities of the world, Chris enjoys the slower life of rural Wisconsin with her husband and three pugs.

Jill Nellis

Jill Nellis

Financial Manager

Jill earned a business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and joined The Localization Institute, Inc. in 2007.

Previous positions include grants administrator for Boston University School of Medicine and associate sales representative for Pitney-Bowes.

She lives north of Madison with her two teenage boys.

Kris Wiegand

Kris Wiegand

Seminar Program Manager
Curriculum Dev. Certification

Kris Wiegand has been with The Localization Institute since 2010, managing the Institute’s seminar program. More recently, she has added the roles of program development for the LocWorld conferences, and managing the project management and quality certification programs for Localization Institute.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Kris taught middle school science for many years throughout the US. After taking time off to raise her children, Kris is glad to be back to work! Off hours, she loves to hang out with her family, hike, kayak, read and volunteer.

Michele LI

Michele Westphall

Lead, Global Marketing

Michele holds a bachelor degree and an MA in Public Relations and Advertising both from DePaul Univeristy in Chicago, Illinois (she really likes the Blue Devils) and joined The Localization Institute in 2016. She has a special interest in branding and believes the road to success is “just being a really good person”. She has spent over 20 years helping companies build strong communities.

She grew up in a small lake town in Wisconsin, flew south for the winter to Florida (stayed for 10 years), went to school in Chicago (stayed for another 10 years), before settling back down in Wisconsin (where she found us and will hopefully stay at least 10 years).


Yung-Ok Jo

Program Development Manager – Europe

Yung-Ok is responsible for the program activities in Europe.  Yung-Ok was born in Germany but as her name implies she has Korean roots. Yung-Ok holds a degree in translation, has worked for several Korean companies and has now found her place as a Program Development Manager at the Localization Institute Europe. She is outgoing, interested in all things cultural and loves to sample the local food whenever she has the chance to travel.