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MRID Member of the Year (MOTY) 

This award is given each year to an MRID member who exemplifies a contribution and commitment not only to MRID but to the field of interpreting and to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind communities we serve. The award recipient has a history of donating his/her time, energy and volunteerism, which supports the growth of our field and benefits the consumers we serve. Nominees must be current members of MRID to be considered. 

According to MRID's Policy and Procedure Manual, the candidate must meet the following criteria: 
1. The Candidate must be an active member of MRID for at least 5 (five) years. 
2. The Candidate made outstanding contributions during the previous 3 (three) years. 
3. The Candidate has given a substantial amount of their own time and/or resources (not while on another job) to MRID work. 
4. The Candidate has achieved something that substantially contributes to upgrading and/or improving the interpreting profession in Minnesota and/or nation.

To nominate a Member of the Year contact MRID's President at

Past MOTY recipients

2023 - Nic Zapko

2022 - Sydney Groven

2021 - Michelle Remer

2020 - Megan Bolduc

2019 - Darlene Snelson

2018 - Dee Ramnarine
2017 - Kari Brecht
2016 - Tarra Grammenos
2015 - David Evans
2014 - Paul Deeming
2013 - Stacey Ferguson
2012 - Pam Wellumson
2011 - Susan Boinis
2010 - Stephen Medlicott
2009 - Katie Hoye
2008 - Laurie Swabey
2007 - Lynn Joa Wander
2006 - Mary Borrmann
2005 - Debbie Timmers
2004 - Patty Gordon
2003 - Mari Magler
2002 - Lisa Seaman
2001 - Mary Burnes
2000 - Doug Bowen-Bailey
1999 - Julie Bauch
1998 - Carol Helou (Murphy McWade) 
1997 - Mary Jo Cristofaro
1996 - Kay Eichler
1995 - Paula Gajewski Mickelson
1994 - Marie Elliott Hoff
1993 - Michael Rosen
1992 - Shari Estep
1991 - Jan Radatz

1990 - Richard Laurion

1989 - Nanci Niedermayer Yanes 
1988 - Jean Kinney
1987 - Susan Brooks

1986 - Rubin Latz
1985 - Marty Barnum
1984 - Alina Schroeder 
1983 - Pam Sherwood Gabrielson
1982 - Susan Arneson
1981 - Kathy Moe

MRID lifetime achievement award

This award is given in recognition of an MRID member who has made a significant and lasting impact on the field and practice of interpreting through their professional accomplishments, served the profession over an extended period of time, and has earned the respect and admiration of professional colleagues.

Past Lifetime Achievement recipients

2023 - Marty Barnum

2022 - Pam Wellumson, Albert Walla

2021 - Richard Laurion

2016 - Jill Hartman

1992 - Leo Latz


MRID Organization of the Year Award

The Organization of the Year Award is given to an organization for their extraordinary contributions to the field of interpreting. Recommendations for this award are accepted from the general membership and the MRID Board of Directors chooses the recipient. The MRID standing President presents this award to the organization during the Annual Fall Conference.

To nominate an individual or group, contact MRID's President at

Past Organization recipients

2023 - Minnesota Deaf Muslim Community (MDMC)

2022 - ThinkSelf

2021 - Deaf Equity

2020 - Keystone Interpreting Solutions (KIS)

2019 - Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, & Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH)

2018 - ASL Interpreting Services, Inc. (ASLIS)
2016 - Family Tree Clinic
2015 - Metropolitan Educational Cooperative Service Unit (Metro ECSU)
2013 - Metropolitan State University

2010 - Communication Services for the Deaf (CSD)

2009 - University of Minnesota Disability Resource Center

2008 - ASL Interpreting Services, Inc. (ASLIS)

MRID President's award

The President’s award is given to an individual who has assisted and/or supported the President and/or the Board of Directors in various ways during the year. The standing President makes the selection and presents the award during the Annual Fall Conference.

Past President's Award Recipients

2023 - Dee Ramnarine

2022 - Krista Anderson

2021 - Nic Zapko

2020 - Katelyn Wells & Sydney Groven

2019 - Melissa Barg

2018 - Nicole Thornberg
2016 - Janine Schug

2014 - David Evans

2013 - Melissa Mittelstaedt
2012 - Stacey Ferguson

2010 - Sarah Mansager

2009 - Natalie Stanley

2008 - Paula Leahy-Schmidt

2007 - Natalie Stanley & Lynn Joa Wander

2006 - Lynn Joa Wander

2005 - Katie Peterson & Laura Wilbur

2004 - Carole Virnig
2002 - Paul Schollmeier
2001 - Lisa Seaman

The Lion Roars Humanitarian Award

In January of 2004, one of MRID's most dedicated and enthusiastic members, Leo Latz, passed away. At the news of his passing, several MRID members gave contributions to MRID in memory of Leo. With those contributions, the board decided to establish an award in Leo's name. 

There are two basic requirements for award nominees:

  • be an individual or group who does not depend on interpreting for their livelihood, and
  • have contributed a considerable amount of their own time and talents to benefit the skill and knowledge development of individual interpreters, the organization of MRID, the interpreting profession, and the Deaf Community. 

To nominate an individual or group, contact MRID's President at

Past Lion Roars recipients

2023 - Amy McQuaid-Swanson

2022 - Rick Macpherson

2021 - Liz Brown

2020 - Darlene Zangara

2019 - Jessalyn Akerman-Frank

2016 - Mary Hartnett
2015 - Jay Fehrman
2014 - Doug Bahl
2005 - Bonham Cross

We, the MRID, appreciate the members of our interpreting/Deaf community who are active contributors to maintaining our professional standards and commitment to excellence. 

Past Appreciation Award recipients

2023 - Arlyn Anderson

In recognition and sincere gratitude for fostering mental health awareness and providing education, resources, and opportunities to support and uplift interpreters in Minnesota.

2022 - Patty O'Connell

In recognition and sincere gratitude for your outstanding dedication, service, and commitment to the development of sign language interpreters in Minnesota.

2021 - Lora Amaro, Hearing Interpreter

In recognition and sincere gratitude for your outstanding dedication, service, and commitment to the development of educational sign language interpreters across Minnesota.

2021 - Tarra Grammenos, MRID President

In recognition of your outstanding leadership and unwavering commitment to the health and longevity of our organization.

2021 - Melissa Lund, Hearing Interpreter

In recognition and sincere gratitude for your dedication and commitment to fight for justice and equity by ensuring Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing communities have access to Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+, and Water Protectors' movements across Minnesota.

2020 - Nic Zapko, Deaf Interpreter

In recognition and sincere gratitude for your extraordinary dedication, unrivaled talent, and unsurpassed commitment to provide exceptional Deaf interpreting access for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities in Minnesota.

2019 - John Fechter, MADC President

In recognition and gratitude for your leadership, dedication, and commitment to collaboration and partnership with the MADC and the MRID.

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