After living in Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, and Poland, Igor Trutanow chose the global village Toronto as his new home.
One of Igor`s missions in this great city is bringing people together by helping them overcome language barriers. Only together, people can make our world more pleasant.  Igor holds a Master`s degree in German Studies at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany.   He worked as a teacher and a journalist.  Igor has travelled to 47 countries of the world, and plans to see at least one hundred more. His other passion is writing: he has published several non-fiction and fiction books in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and the USA, including with the National Geographic Society, and he is a winner of the Mississauga Literary Art Award – Marty Award in 2011.



Erica Cristina Ravaneli was born and raised in Ribeirao Preto, Sao Paulo Brazil.

When she was 21 she went to England for the first time to spend the Summer studying English. Erica immigrated to Canada in 1997, and started a family in 1999 (she has two 2 children).

Initially Erica was employed in the commercial cleaning industry and in construction (home improvement & renovation). Eventually opportunities opened up to go back to school, first to complete a number of advanced language courses and eventually to complete the MCIS’ interpreter course. Erica considers herself to be a proud MCIS Portuguese interpreter – she likes her work tremendously, and finds opportunities provided by MCIS to be both, challenging and stimulating.

Erica is very involved with her volunteer work: she worked as a driver for Meals on Wheels and for the past five years she has also been a Vice President of the Rejoyce Child Care (Toronto). However, she likes to spend her free time with her children cooking, travelling or going to the movies.



I am a husband, a father of three children and a grandfather to three wonderful grand kids.

I came to this country as an immigrant and worked hard to provide for my family. I learned the English language to the best of my ability so that I could succeed in this country I find to amazing and giving.

In my free time I write short stories, and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my friends and family members.

I do enjoy my work as an interpreter because I have opportunities to meet a variety of people who I can relate to and I give back to the community.
I am thoroughly appreciative of this MCIS Language Services, and want to offer my thanks for being nominated as an interpreter of the year.

Candidate Criteria

MCIS Interpreter of the Year Award is given to accredited interpretive guide who has demonstrated not only excellence in services delivered but also dedication and proficiency in the field of professional interpretation.



Adrijana was born in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), has lived in Belgrade (Serbia), Budapest (Hungary) and Salamanca (Spain), and resides currently in Toronto (Canada).

She has done B.A. in Art History at the University of Salamanca (Spain), a Certificate in Spanish-English/English-Spanish Translation at the York University. She is presently a second year graduate student in the MA in Translation Studies at Glendon College, York University.
She is an active Serbo-Croat and Spanish language translator that thoroughly enjoys her profession as it allows for constant challenges and learning opportunities.



Laszlo was born in 1955 in Miskolc, Hungary. After finishing his studies in Chemical engineering he started working for BVK, a major chemical complex in Hungary while learning English on his own as a hobby. Eventually he passed the higher level state language exam and later tried his hand in translating technical articles. After having spent several months in Japan on training trips, he began translating technical manuals for a new production plant and its process control system. In 1989 he successfully passed a certification exam at Eotvos Lorand University of Sciences in Budapest, receiving the qualification as a certified technical translator. At that point on translation and interpreting became his part time job. In 1992 Laszlo emigrated to Canada, got trained and started working as a freelance interpreter for the Immigration Board of Canada, following by accreditation by the Ministry of the Attorney General as a court interpreter. He joined ATIO and after having passed the exam he also became a Certified Translator. Right now this is Laszlo’s full time job and he is working with various agencies as a freelancer.  As translation has always been Laszlo’s passion he feels that he is one of those people who are lucky enough to have a job that doubles as a hobby and a passion. In his free time Laszlo is a motorcycle aficionado who likes camping, canoeing or hiking with his and their dog.



Makhala Taylor-Dube is a Spanish-English/French-English freelance translator and reviser specializing in legal, medical and personal documents, as well as travel and tourism. In addition to translation, she has extensive transcription and revision experience. She has done  Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French Studies at York University combined with a Spanish-English Translation Certificate at Glendon College. Makhala currently lives in Madrid, Spain working as an English Language Assistant in a bilingual elementary school and looks forward to pursuing a Master in Translation in the near future.


MCIS Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes one individual selected among our Volunteers of the Year for his/her outstanding achievements in the community and for upholding our MCIS values. The purpose of the Award is to recognize the importance and contributions of unpaid volunteers to MCIS, to promote the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian Bill of Rights promotion interpretation and translation at a community level, and to encourage the involvement of community organizations within the region.



Fred Li was born in Tianjin, China, and has been living in Canada since 2001.

Fred has over 30 years of IT and consulting experience working for various organizations including fortune 500 industry leading companies such as GEC and Motorola.

Fred started his IT career in 1983 at the Tianjin Computer Institute. In 1988, he became a national certified software engineer and senior programmer by China High Tech Promotion Committee under State Council. 1994 to 1996, he joined GEC in UK as a senior software engineer in a Sino-UK government exchange scholars program. He learnt and mastered industrial software development standards, managed projects and designed bespoke software for the organizations in Europe and Middle East including blue chip companies. During this period, GEC sponsored Fred for an advanced training in Software Engineering at the Aston University.

Upon completion of a two year program Fred returned to China and undertook several large scale projects. In 1997, he joined Motorola as an IT specialist and then started progressive IT and management career that included advanced HR management training which allowed the shift where the mostly technical role to more comprehensive global IT management role. Additionally, Fred won a Motorola scholarship and completed his MBA at the Arizona State University in 2003. Fred strongly believes that continuous educational opportunities and career development benefit not only employees but business in general: solutions, implementation and process improvements provided by knowledgeable personnel always exceed clients’ expectations and, in turn, expand the number of business opportunities.

In July 2001, seeking better education experience for his family, Fred decided to emigrate to Canada. Fred continued his career at Motorola managing enterprise applications and IT service delivery to support world-wide business sites and groups and ensuring that IT service operation models provided maximize the alignment between business operation and IT.  Fred joined MCIS in July 2012 first as a volunteer. For Fred, this was the very first “Canadian experience” and Fred considers himself to be very fortunate having this opportunity to make contribution to local community while acquiring working networks and experiences.

Upon completing his volunteer placement Fred is now working at MCIS as an IT consultant.  He enjoys tremendously working with MCIS’s team and hopes that his work is a bit of help and make difference.

Professional Partner of The Year

Established in 2012, MCIS recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to language industry through their innovative thinking, potential for leadership, and actual accomplishments. This includes recognition by employer through letters, special assignments and achievements and/or employing Master’s Degree related practice in alternate careers not limited to the language industry; development of a new theory or technique or revision or expansion of an existing theory or technique and successful implementation of advanced theory developed by another professional; positioning the MCIS as a leadership force in the language industry; contributing to language industry through developing educational strategies, media and/or innovative methods of instruction.

Warm congratulation to our professional partners of the year!



Born and raised in China, Elaine Zhang has been in Canada more than 10 years. Elaine received her MBA at Rotman School of Management in 2012. As a management consultant, she utilized her diverse expertise in operations, finance and strategic planning to help non-profit organizations in solving problems. Elaine’s work at MCIS included immediate-phone-interpretation operational planning, cost analysis, process improvement which provided a solid foundation for MCIS’ future development. Currently, Elaine works at Bell as a Customer Experience Strategy Analyst, where she continues exploiting her problem-solving skills on a larger scale.

Before coming to Toronto, Elaine spent first 6 years of her Canadian life in Saskatoon. She earned her B.Comm degree at University of Saskatchewan and worked as a Recruitment Officer at the University, where she leveraged her international experience to increase international student enrolment.

Eager to share her talent and passion in helping non-profit, Elaine hopes to continue collaboration with MCIS to expand its brand.



Shara is a sales and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in delivering services to large corporate entities, both locally and globally.  Shara holds a Bachelor Degree in Applied Science, a Master’s Degree in applied chemistry (environmental), and is currently completing postgraduate Project Management Certificate at the University of Toronto.  Shara has worked in various capacities and with different industries such as chemical manufacturing, environmental, international sales and marketing and management consultancy for both, profit and non-profit sector.

In addition to having experience with Canadian markets, Shara’s extensive knowledge of creating and maintaining client relationships has been initially developed in multinational companies based in Iran, United Emirates, Qatar, UK, Korea and Japan where she was playing key roles as a business development advisor and quality control manager.  During her most recent post at MCIS Language Services, she was engaged as a consultant advising on issues related to ISO 9001: 2008 implementation. This opportunity of working for MCIS brought her another point of Canadian experience and Nonprofit service as a valuable gift. Thank you MCIS!!

Shara loves to travel and experience other cultures, capturing street life moments through the lenses of her camera ( Shara is also a professional floral designer and a decent gourmet cook who enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family.

Strategic Partner of The Year

is recipient of a2013 MCIS STRATEGIC PARTNER OF THE YEAR awarded for a broad scope of engagement and support of MCIS, for leadership ability in increasing clarity when it comes to defining the three P’s of strategic leadership: purpose, process and passion.   We are delighted to have Management Advisory Services (MAS) as our 2013 Strategic Partner of the Year. They brought us much needed professional talent to grow our social enterprise and create a world without language barriers.

Management Advisory Services (MAS) 
is an unparalleled source of no-fee consulting help for nonprofit organizations in the Greater Toronto Area and environs. Our Vision is a strong and vibrant non-profit sector in Ontario. Our Mission is to builds capacity in the non-profit sector by providing management consulting services through experienced volunteer consultants. Our values include a commitment:  to the success of every client. We listen to our clients and help them formulate best possible solutions; to volunteerism. We are committed to providing skilled volunteers with opportunities to strengthen the non-profit sector; to continuous improvement of every aspect of our operation to ensure maximum impact for our clients and to inclusiveness: We are committed not to discriminate based on ethnicity, language, gender, race, age, ability, sexual orientation, income, political or religious affiliation.
MAS has been providing assistance to nonprofit groups in the Toronto area since 1993. We have helped close to 1,500 organizations. Clients range in size for organizations of 2 to 3 people in church basements to the major, high profile social service agencies.

Our association of volunteer consultants has a wide range of skills, experience and know-how, so we can match almost any nonprofit agency with the right volunteer for its specific needs. These cover a broad range of management, professional and technical skills including Information Management, Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Communications, Planning, Governance, Human Resources and Organization, Facilitation and Mentoring.   When you request help, we meet with you first to determine the needs of your organization. If a Volunteer Consultant is assigned to your project, both the consultant and the client sign an agreement outlining the agreed to objectives and time lines. Consultants can draw on not only their own expertise, but also that of other consultants, if required. At the end of the project, both the consultant and the client sign-off on the results achieved.



Is an international, non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the field of community interpreting in the social, legal and health care sectors. The Critical Link network began in 1992 in Canada when Brian Harris, at the University of Ottawa, with the encouragement and support of Geoffrey Kingscott of Language International, gathered together a group of people working in the field to organize the first international conference on community interpreting.

In December 2000, Critical Link became incorporated as Critical Link Canada: National Council for the Development of Community Interpreting and in June 2010 Critical Link Canada became Critical Link International. This change to Critical Link better reflects the international community that Critical Link has become. While the name has changed, Critical Link continues as a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the field of community interpreting in the social, legal and health care sectors. Critical Link works to reflect and connect both the visual and spoken language communities.


  1. Promoting the establishment of standards which guide the practice of community interpreters
  2. Encouraging and sharing research in the field of community interpretation
  3. Adding to the discussion about the educational and training requirements for community interpreters
  4. Advocating for the provision of professional community interpreting services by social, legal and health care institutions
  5. Raising awareness about community interpreting as a profession

The last international conference, Critical Link 7 – Global Awakening: Leading Practices in Interpreting, was held in Toronto in July, 2013 at Glendon, the bilingual campus of York University. This Conference brought together over 400 stakeholders in community interpreting for over five days together focusing on the ways in which interpreting research and practice have made a solid contribution to the globalized society of the 21st century.

Award of Excellence

Award of Excellence for Exceptional Commitment to Overcoming Language Barriers.

MCIS 2014 Award of Excellence for Exceptional Commitment to Overcoming Language Barriers


Immigrated to Canada when she was 12 years old.

Limited to only twenty six alphabetic letters to express how she feels and thinks,  she understood immediately the depth of challenges of a person who is facing language barriers.

After years of hard work, in 2007, she committed herself to “remove language barriers” to the best to her ability. She also grew in determination to help others serving as a liaison between those who are in desperate need to be heard and of those who can help to interpret their messages.

She credits her persistence in schooling to the guidance of her wonderful teacher Judy Abraham and the entire MCIS team who motivated her endlessly to stay on track and eventually complete the Mandarin and Cantonese Interpreter Certificate.  She still remembers, however, the time when she was called in for her first assignment and Vladimir provided details of the work: while she was trembling with fear, (delete being) unsure of herself he simply said “Kelly I know this is your first assignment, but you’ll do well”. And she did.

Now in her 6th year in professional interpretation field (and 2nd as a medical interpreter with Scarborough Hospital), Kelly’s confidence did increase. However, this is a highly complex field that keeps you on the tip of your toes constantly. You need to learn, listen and remain compassionate. The way to succeed is not only to give all the help you can but also  to accept help when needed. This network of relationships found at MCIS will keep her going for many years to come.


Every year, MCIS Language Services brings together members and supporters to share awareness about importance of free access to interpretation and translation for vulnerable populations. Large number of the agencies in Ontario have access to free interpretation services that are provided 24/7/365 through MCIS professional (language tested and trained interpreters) for all clients who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or human trafficking. MCIS received a grant of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration ensures that the service for all eligible agencies is absolutely free and the access to the first class interpreters is secured.

The goals of the panel were to provide the perspective on the established partnerships with MCIS in serving non English speakers, the challenges the partners have been facing and the opportunities realized due to access to professional interpreters and, also, to understand why funding for the service is important, why the MCIS model has been successful and what are possibilities for continuing partnership.

The panel was moderated by Larry Mah, MCIS Board Member and gathered the most prominent individuals in this field:

  • Jehan Chaudhry, Executive Director of Sandgate Women’s Shelter of York Region that grown the agency of one shelter in the region to two shelters and two satellite offices in Keswick and Markham. Jehan Chaudhry was a past co-chair of OAITH and a board member of MCIS. She sits on several committees to forward the cause of Violence against women in the region and in Toronto. In 2011 Sandgate took the lead for the York Region Centre for Community Safety (Community Hub project) in the Region and the project is up and running. In 2007, Jehan completed an intensive Film Production course at Ryerson University, fulfilling a long time ambition. Jehan is an independent documentary maker who concentrates on social & women’s issues.
  • Bobbie McMurrich, Director of Programs, Victim Services Toronto – an organization that provides immediate crisis response, intervention, and prevention services which are responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime and sudden tragedies. Victim Services Toronto is a community based charity providing free and confidential assistance to victims of crime and sudden tragedy. This is the only NGO agency in Toronto providing immediate on- site crisis, trauma, safety and support services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Lisa Palmer, Luke’s Place Legal Support Worker with a background in social work and has worked in Mental Health Services (a crisis counselor at Herizon House Women’s Shelter). She has also worked with the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada and she sits on the Board of Directors for that organization and she teaches Field Placement Preparation part time at Durham College in their Social Service Worker Program.
  • Laura Zollner, MCIS interpreter and translation project coordinator was born and raised in western Romania in a German-Romanian household. After a couple of years of teaching experience in Romania she was offered a position as an English teacher at a private school in Barcelona, Spain where she ended up living for over 10 years. Laura has been working with MCIS since January 2011 in various roles (interpreter, back-up interpretation services coordinator, back-up translation project coordinator).