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

WINNIPEG, May 25, 2018 /CNW/ - On May 14, three women were honoured at the annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Winnipeg, Manitoba 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.

L - R: John MacAulay, Senior Vice President and Division Head, Prairies Central Canada, BMO Bank of Montreal; Giovanna Minenna, BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Expansion & Growth in Small Business Honouree – Winnipeg; Margaret von Lau, BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Community & Charitable Giving Honouree – Winnipeg; Lisanne Pajot, BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Innovation & Global Growth Honouree – Winnipeg; Susan A. Thompson, entrepreneur, author, life coach, mentor, Canadian diplomat. (CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

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

The following honourees were recognized:

  • Innovation & Global Growth: Lisanne Pajot. Ms. Pajot is the president and co-founder of BlinkWorks, a production company that makes documentaries, films, and commercials about people in technology and video games. As the co-director, producer, editor, and distributor of Indie Game: The Movie, Lisanne is also a frequent speaker about documentary filmmaking, crowdfunding and digital distribution.

  • Community & Charitable Giving: Margaret von Lau. Ms. Von Lau is a co-founder and executive director of Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (N.E.E.D.S. Inc.), a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1999 that assists refugees and new immigrants to Canada. Working with youth aged 6 to 18, N.E.E.D.S. aims to enhance the integration of immigrant and refugee youth into Canadian society, and provides employment, education and social programs to develop life skills. As an immigrant herself, Margaret is thrilled that more than 2,000 youth have been helped by N.E.E.D.S. to date.

  • Expansion & Growth in Small Business: Giovanna Minenna. Ms. Minenna started Brows by G Inc. out of her house in 2015. An award-winning microblading and micropigmentation specialist, brow stylist and makeup artist, she currently runs two studios in Winnipeg, and teaches seminars in nine Canadian cities. Ms. Minenna is working on franchising Brows by G, showcasing her technique and providing her services to more communities across Canada. Through her services, Ms. Minenna helps recovering cancer patients look and feel their best.

"Our honourees have shown the importance of building businesses that bring about positive change in Winnipeg," said John MacAulay, Senior Vice President, Prairies Central Canada Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We are pleased to honour them through this important initiative and we are committed to developing and furthering programs that support the advancement of women across the province of Manitoba and 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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