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

CALGARY, June 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Four women were honoured at the annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Calgary 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.

Mary Manhas, Senior Credit Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal; Dr. Elizabeth Cannon (Keynote Speaker); Fatima Dhanani – BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Honouree; Linda Weigl – BMO Celebrating Women Honouree; Bobbi Turko– BMO Celebrating Women Honouree; Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Alberta and Northwest Territories Division and Executive Sponsor, BMO for Women at BMO Financial Group; Allison Hakomaki, Head, Corporate Finance Division, BMO Bank of Montreal (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: Linda Weigl
    Ms. Weigl is the founder and president of Weigl Educational Publishers Ltd., a publishing company specializing in learning resources for schools and libraries.

    Established in 2000, Weigl Educational Publishers Ltd. produces approximately 500 titles annually – including supplementary materials for the U.S. education and school library markets. Weigl is one of the largest independent educational publishing houses in Canada. Weigl books are also sold in the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Japan and China.

    In 2010, Ms. Weigl launched AV2 by Weigl, a website that brings audio and visual features to her printed textbooks.

    Since her company's inception, Ms. Weigl has welcomed joint ventures, co-publishing arrangements, distribution agreements and alliances that provide excellent growth opportunities for all involved. As a result of these alliances, Weigl has extensive experience working with government departments, suppliers, and distributors across Canada, the United States and internationally.

  • Community & Charitable Giving: Sutton Garner and Bobbi Turko
    Ms. Garner and Ms. Turko are co-founders of I Can for Kids (IC4K), a not-for-profit organization that delivers lunches to at-risk youth during the summer months once school lunch programs are over.

    In 2015, 11-year old Sutton watched a U.S. morning show segment that explained thousands of American students were left without proper nutrition during the summer break. Concerned that this could be happening in her community, Ms. Garner did a little digging and soon discovered the same thing was happening in Calgary.

    Ms. Garner and her mother, Ms. Turko, created IC4K,and in their first year, they provided 8,700 meals to hungry children in Calgary.

    Last year, they donated over 36,000 meals. Their 2018 goal is 64,000.

    Ms. Turko is also the founder and lead consultant of Fuse Partners in Philanthropy, a Calgary-based consulting practice supporting charities and non-profits in building their organizational and fund development capacity.

    Ms. Garner was named the 2017 Generosity of Spirit Award Honouree - Youth Philanthropist of the Year by The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Calgary & Area Chapter.

  • Expansion & Growth in Small Business: Fatima Dhanani
    Ms. Dhanani is the Owner and President of Bri-Mor Developments - a property management company and real estate developer.

    Established in 1988, by her husband, Haider, Fatima would take over as President only two years later after her husband's sudden death.

    Beginning as a real estate property and asset management company, Fatima has grown Bri-Mor expanding into real estate development and investments across several asset classes in both residential and commercial real estate.

    Bri-mor has successfully built over 250,000 square feet of commercial space, developed over 500 residential lots and is currently building 120 residential condo/townhome units in Calgary, in partnership with one of Canada's largest residential builders. In 2011, Fatima was awarded the Immigrants of Distinction Award for Business by Immigrant Services Calgary.

"Our innovative and influential honourees have shown the importance of dedicating time and resources to better our communities," said Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Alberta/NWT Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We are pleased to recognize them for their incredible contributions through this important initiative. BMO is committed to developing and furthering programs that support the advancement of women in Alberta 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 $744 billion as of April 30, 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