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BMO Celebrating Women: BMO Recognizes Outstanding Women in Saskatoon Through National Program

SASKATOON, May 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Three women were honoured at the annual BMO Celebrating Women program in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for their remarkable contribution to business and the community in one of three categories: Innovation and Global Growth, Community and Charitable Giving, and Expansion and Growth in Small Business.

The program recognizes female leaders in local communities as part of BMO's commitment to drive the advancement of women.

Allison Hakomaki, Head, Corporate Finance, Prairies Division; Marcia Lemon, VP, Business Banking, Saskatoon; Dr. Carla Matz , BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Expansion & Growth in Small Business Honouree; Rene L'Heureux, BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Community & Charitable Giving Honouree; Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson, BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Expansion & Growth in Business Honouree; Colleen Wilson, EVP, Legal Affairs, Mid-West Group of Companies; Donna Francis, Regional VP, Saskatoon Rural North. (CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

The following honourees were recognized:

  • Community & Charitable Giving: Rene L'Heureux. Ms. L'Heureux is the owner of the Beauty Spot Lash Bar – North Battleford's first eyelash extension studio.

    Inspired by a client, Rene spearheaded the "Buddy Bench" project – an initiative to help raise awareness about bullying and give children a safe spot if they were feeling lonely or needed a friend.

    Through a generous donation of supplies from Discovery Co-op North Battleford, along with her husband's carpentry skills, Rene was able to create 11 benches. At the start of the 2017/18 school year, she delivered a "Buddy Bench" to every school in the Battlefords.

    Rene has inspired many young local residents to get involved in bettering their communities and is an example of the impact that just one person can have on many lives regardless of their social situation or age.

  • Expansion & Growth in Business: Betty Anne Latrace-Henderson. Ms. Latrace-Henderson is the president of Airline Hotels & Resorts, a Canadian hotel company with nine properties from Edmonton to Kingston, Ontario.

    In 2000, Ms. Latrace-Henderson stepped into the role as President, taking over from her ailing father (the company's founder).

    She changed the company to get it ready for growth, including a major restructuring of the board of directors and employing her own spirit of entrepreneurship and vision.

    The company is now 900 associates large – all carrying out Ms. Latrace-Henderson's vision using 'R.I.T.E. Values' (Respect, Integrity, Teamwork and Entrepreneurship).

  • Expansion & Growth in Small Business: Dr. Carla Matz. Dr. Matz is the president of Grosvenor Park Optometry P.C. Inc. and the owner of The Eye Gallery, a full service optometric practice in Saskatoon. Over the years, the company has grown significantly with the strong demand for optometrists in Saskatchewan's largest city.

    In December 2013, they relocated and expanded the practice to The Eye Gallery - Doctors of Optometry on College Drive.

    As well, Dr. Matz and employees started "The Eye Gallery" – a commercial art gallery inside the office focusing on printmaking and photography by local artists.

"BMO is pleased to recognize and celebrate women in our communities who are dedicating their time and expertise to build businesses that help, inspire, and encourage," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies Central Canada Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "Their contributions to the city of Saskatoon are an example for other business owners within the city and across the province. BMO is committed to developing programs that support the advancement of women in communities nationwide."

BMO has partnerships with organizations such as GroYourBiz, WBE Canada, Women Presidents' Organization and Catalyst. It has also developed products that address the needs of its female clients, including the recent Women in Leadership Mutual Fund – the first impact investing mutual fund offered by a Canadian bank focused on gender diversity. It has also spearheaded studies around women entrepreneurs, such as Everywhere, Every Day Innovating – Women Entrepreneurs and Innovation.

For more information about BMO Celebrating Women, please visit: and join the social conversation using #BMOforWomen.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider – the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $728 billion as of January 31, 2018, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contacts: Kim Johnson, Toronto - 416-867-3996

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