Meaghan Gessner /President / 2021-2024
I have been an interpreter for 16 years, graduating from the 4 year ASL-English Interpretation Program through Red River College and the University of Manitoba. I have been in this position for 1 year, but prior to that I was the Vice-President for 6 years. I also served as the secretary shortly after my graduation. I currently work as the Educational Interpreting Consultant for Manitoba Education but I also do other contract interpreting, primarily in the religious setting.
I have been married for 14 years and we have four kids who keep me very busy!
I am looking forward to being a part of this new board for the next couple of years. I think we have board members with a variety of different backgrounds and skills. I am excited to see how this board can better improve MAVLI.
Erica Trethart /Vice President / 2022-2024
I graduated from the 4-year ASL-English Interpretation Program (University of Manitoba/Red River College) in 2010. I have worked primarily as a staff interpreter for the Manitoba School for the Deaf and Manitoba Education but have also done some freelance and post-secondary work.
I am originally from Thompson, MB, but moved to Winnipeg to get my Music Degree in Percussion. I am married and have two young sons and a dog. I love travelling, music and baking.
I am enjoying my current role as Vice President of MAVLI, but have also been Treasurer, Secretary and MEC Chair. MAVLI is here to support interpreters, so please be in touch with any questions or concerns.
Monica Furer / Treasurer / 2017 - 2024
I am currently in my third term as Treasurer of MAVLI and have enjoyed working on the board. I hope to mentor a replacement next year so they feel comfortable taking over in March 2023.
I graduated from the combined RRC/UofM AEIP in 2005. I work primarily in the post-secondary setting, but also do some free-lance and pro-bono interpretation in the general community.
Sarah Szalai / Secretary / 2016 - 2024
My name is Sarah Szalai and I am enjoying contributing to the MAVLI board in the Secretary position. I have been on the board since 2016, first spending two terms as co-chair in the PR portfolio and also as Acting Secretary for one year. My goal while in this portfolio is to execute my duties efficiently and timely, maintaining clear communication between the MAVLI board and MAVLI membership. Since graduating from the AEIP in 2017 I have primarily been working in the Video Relay Service setting and I enjoy the challenge that each day brings.
Emma Drury /Membership / 2020 - 2024
Hi there! I have been an interpreter for four years now and I am loving learning new things and meeting new people all the time. The life of an interpreter is never boring and that's what I love about it! I am married and have two children. I was born and raised here in Winnipeg and I love our city. This is my first term on the MAVLI board.
Sheryl LaVallee / Professional Development / 2020 - 2024
I am entering into my 20th year of interpreting and I graduated from the first 4 year ASL-English Interpretation Program offered at Red River College. I currently work in post-secondary full time, but I also work part-time doing some VRS work, as well as community and other contract interpreting.
I have been married for almost 20 years and have two daughters ages 18 and 13. I am really excited to be on the board and work with my talented co-chairs Dawn-Marie and Meg Toews to bring some really exciting professional development opportunities to our members. I am passionate about our profession and I love talking about the work we do while learning from the amazing interpreters we have in our province.
When I am not interpreting, I love playing and volleyball, doing jigsaw puzzles, and I have a passion for cooking. I am looking forward another great year on this amazing board!
Dawn-Marie Wilson / Professional Development / 2020 - 2024
I’ve been an interpreter for 16 years and I still love it! Throughout my career I've supported MAVLI in various board capacities including chair of PR, President and on the AVLIC conference planning committee.
I'm married with three little girls who keep me very busy but I'm glad to make time for my current role as a co-chair of PD with my friends Sheryl LaValle and Meg Toews. We have a great team and it's been an honor to work with them.
Meg Toews / Professional Development / 2023 - 2024
I graduated in 2022 from the ASL- English Interpretation Program and have enjoyed being involved in faith-based, performing arts, community and VRS interpreting.
I have been married for 6 years and enjoy traveling with my partner to find new places in Manitoba to go kayaking. Outside of work I love to be at home knitting, playing ukulele, or reading a good book with a London Fog in hand.
I am thrilled to be on the board with my incredible friends and colleagues, Sheryl and Dawn-Marie, as we get to think of new topics to discuss with the amazing interpreters in our community. I love being able to share strategies, ask questions, and learn from each other in such a safe and inviting space.
I am looking forward to another great year on the board!
Mariette Koop / Public Relations / 2022-2024
I graduated in 2018 from the 4 year ASL-English Interpretation Program and have been involved in post-secondary work, VRS, community, and contract work as well.
I live with my partner, and we love doing anything out in nature. Canoe trips, camping trips in our frigid winters, and running are some of my favorite hobbies that I enjoy when I have some down time!
I am looking forward to creating events that encourage relationships between students, interpreters, and the Deaf community.
Miranda Murphy / Public Relations / 2022-2024
Hello everyone! I graduated in 2021 from the final four-year joint program between RRC and U of M. It has been a pleasure working in K-12, faith based, and in the community. I love being able to connect with the Deaf and Interpreting community at different events hosted throughout the year! Outside of work, I enjoy spending time at the lake, and travelling to new destinations.
I am excited to be co-chairing the PR position of MAVLI alongside my colleague and friend Mariette as we make a great team. Our goal is to connect students with experienced interpreters as well as create fun and welcoming ASL events. We hope to see you around!
Jenn Horvath / Member at Large / 2022-2024
I graduated in 2003 from the first four year AEIP at Red River College/University of Manitoba. I have always enjoyed my time on the MAVLI board as a few different positions over the years. I primarily work in post secondary and freelance in the community.
I have been married for 15 years and have two daughters, ages 8 and 12 who keep us very busy!
It’s been almost 20 years, and I still love interpreting thanks to our amazing colleagues and Deaf community.
Kristen Hunt / MAVLI Education Committee / 2023-2024
I have been an interpreter for 3 years. I graduated from the 4-year joint interpreting program between the University of Manitoba and Red River College in 2020. Since I graduated I have been working in the K-12 setting. I also work part time doing VRS work. I am excited to be on the board with my co-chair Shannon. Looking forward to the MAVLI MTS PD day this year!
I recently got married in the summer of 2023. My husband and I enjoy traveling. I also love to crochet and spend as much time outside as possibly enjoying warm weather.
Shannon Graham / MAVLI Education Committee / 2023-2024
Hi there! I have been an interpreter for three years now, and have been absolutely loving it! I graduated from the joint four year ASL-English Interpreting Program with the University of Manitoba.
I have worked in post-secondary, community, K-12, performing arts, freelance, and VRS. I enjoy working at different places because I love the challenge and the opportunity to learn something new.
I love music, nail art and cooking when I’m not interpreting. This is my first year on the MAVLI board, I’m really excited to be a part of it and to be more involved.
Amar Schiwietz / Digital Media Coordinator / 2023-2024
Hey there! I'm a recent graduate of the first "new-new" 3 year AEIP program at RRC. The majority of my work is in the virtual relay interpreting setting. I'm extremely thankful to able to do work on this, the MAVLI Board of Directors.
In my free time I enjoy thru-hiking trails, playing video games, and playing guitar in various bands/musical productions across the city.
During my time on this board, I hope to help maintain and improve the technological side of MAVLI, with its website and social media presence. Coming from a background of computer technology and building computers from an early age, I hope I can be of good service to this board and its members. Cheers!