Carla Kearns Bio

Carla Kearns is the Managing Director of TLI-The Mandarin School. TLI-The Mandarin School’s services facilitate effective business between American/Canadian and Chinese organizations.

Language and cultural miscommunication are frequently stated as the biggest hurdles in doing business in China.  And yet, too many companies fail to prepare for the real impact caused by communication challenges in China.

Carla’s diverse background in both education and business, and her team of experienced trainers and instructors, provides her clients with the insight to incorporate successful communication and intelligence strategies in their China business plan. With years of experience working in and with China and Taiwan, and experience directing a business that employs a Chinese workforce; Carla’s training, consulting and seminars blend best practice models with her practical experience.

Carla has appeared in The New York Times, is a frequent resource for The Globe and Mail China business section, has appeared in Canadian Business Magazine, Why Mexicans Don’t Drink Molson, Green Business Magazine, The Financial Post and Ming Pao Daily; has appeared on TVO’s The Agenda, BNN’s Squeeze Play, OMNI TV, Fairchild, CCTV (China’s state TV network) and has spoken at industry events in across North America, including a special parliamentary session on international trade.

Carla has been fortunate to live and work in Taiwan, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Shanghai in the education and online advertising sectors before returning to Toronto in 2006 to launch TLI-The Mandarin School.

In addition to conducting workshops and seminars on successful Western-Chinese collaborations, the institute teaches Mandarin Chinese to business professionals – demonstrating that with the right preparation and mindset, doing business with China is “bu tai nan” (not too difficult).

TLI-The Mandarin School’s clients have included executives and staff teams from The Home Depot, Sobeys, The Hudson’s Bay Company, TD Financial Group, Brock University, Pall Life Sciences, Hoffman-La Roche Pharmaceutical, Summerhill Group, Con-Agra Foods, AGF Management, The Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership and Enterprise Toronto.

In 2007, Carla founded the Canada China Environmental Forum – an annual conference connecting corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to optimize economic, social and diplomatic opportunities in the environmental sector, and has co-chaired 3 conferences; donating thousands of dollars to the Yunnan Mountain Heritage Foundation. Carla is a member of the CCBC and IE Canada, and is on the board of the Organization of Women in International Trade – Toronto and the HKCBA.