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BMO's Deirdre Drake Named 2013 Leading Executive Ally in Out On Bay Street Annual Awards

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 19, 2013) - Deirdre Drake, Managing Director and Chief HR Officer for BMO Capital Markets, has won the 2013 Out On Bay Street Leading Executive Ally Award.

The annual Out On Bay Street (OOBS) professional awards series recognizes exemplary achievement and/or community service in Canada's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally (LGBTQA) community. Ms. Drake's award will be conferred at Out On Bay Street's Leaders To Be Proud Of Awards ceremony being held this evening at St. Andrew's Club and Conference Centre in Toronto.

The Out On Bay Street committee noted Ms. Drake's longstanding commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces. It also noted her role as executive sponsor of BMO Pride, the Bank's enterprise-wide group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and straight employees, which promotes an equitable and inclusive environment for all.

"BMO Pride presents us with a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the work that our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) focused employee resource groups do to make BMO more inclusive to LGBT employees and customers," said Ms. Drake. "With a 125-year legacy of honesty and fair dealing, we know that respecting all our employees not only makes good business sense - it's the right thing to do."

Ms. Drake was nominated by Tom Milroy, CEO, BMO Capital Markets.

"Deirdre is an exceptional leader and a consummate professional who fosters an environment that encourages and supports personal growth and professional development for all our employees. She works closely with our Canada-wide members of Pride and supports the development of business relationships in LGBT markets. Deirdre's unwavering support for Pride has enabled her to translate BMO's dedication to diversity and inclusion in a manner understandable for both employees and clients alike, which drives the Bank's strong relationship and commitment within the community," he said.

About BMO's LGBT Employee Resource Groups

BMO's LGBT Employee Resource Groups - BMO Pride and Lion's Pride (BMO Harris's U.S. LGBT Employee Resource Group) - are made up of passionate employees who volunteer their time to build market profile, engage other employees, develop new skills and reach out to communities. Along with their executive sponsors, they help make diversity and inclusion a daily reality at BMO.

About Deirdre Drake

Deirdre Drake is Head of Human Resources, BMO Capital Markets.

In this role, she drives HR strategic planning for all components of the Investment and Corporate Banking and Trading Products platforms. A native of Michigan, Deirdre was appointed to the role in May 2012.

Deirdre joined BMO in 2006 as the Senior Vice-President of Human Resources and Head of Human Resources, U.S. In that role, Deirdre had HR governance oversight for U.S. operations as well as responsibility for the creation of human capital strategy for in-country mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to her involvement with the LGBT community, Deirdre has served on the Board of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and was Co-chair of their 2012 Heroes Breakfast, their highest profile annual event. It was the most successful breakfast to that date raising over a half million dollars with attendance of nearly 700 leaders in business, law enforcement, public safety, military, government, and community organizations.

She also received a Corporate Woman of Achievement Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Chicago Chapter, the largest in the nation.

Upon her move to Canada, Deirdre became the Executive sponsor of BMO Pride, our Canadian wide 200+ employee volunteer LGBT Employee Resource Group. Deidre works closely with Pride to annually sponsor the Pride and Remembrance Run/Walk in support of the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Triangle Program and the Pride and Remembrance Run Foundation.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Ralph Marranca, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valérie Doucet, Montréal
(514) 877-8224

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
Twitter: @BMOmedia