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

EDMONTON, June 19, 2018 /CNW/ - Four women were honoured last night at the annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Edmonton 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.

Vanessa Laroque, Regional Vice President Business Banking, Alberta North and Northwest Territories, BMO Financial Group; Mary Manhas, Senior Credit Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal; Susan Brown, Senior Vice President, Alberta and Northwest Territories Division, and Executive Sponsor, BMO for Women at BMO Financial Group (Keynote Speaker); Lori Pecorilli – BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Innovation & Global Growth Honouree; Debbie Michael – BMO Celebrating Women 2018 Community & Charitable Giving Honour (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: Lori Pecorilli
    Ms. Pecorilli is the president and co-founder of Latium Group of Companies, a fleet management company offering end-to-end transportation and mobile assets technology solutions.

    Growing up in resource-rich Alberta, Ms. Pecorilli noticed there was a gap in the industry in regards to managing vast amounts of company vehicles and assets. In 1996, Ms. Pecorilli and her husband, Tony, created Latium Consulting – a new approach to fleet management and consulting that reduced costs around repair and maintenance for vehicles.

    Today, Latium is made up of five companies: Latium Consulting, Latium Equipment & Vehicles, Latium Technology, Latium Connected Asset and Latium Manufacturing.

    In recent years, the company has created proprietary GPS technology, Latlogix, as well as revolutionary fleet & asset management software.

    Under Ms. Pecorilli's leadership, Latium has grown to become a multi-national organization, servicing companies throughout Canada and the United States. Over the last two years, Latium's business and leading-edge technology expanded into several African nations and more recently Mexico – resulting in a number of exciting business opportunities and partnerships on a global scale.

    Ms. Pecorilli is a member of the Edmonton Chapter of the Women President's Organization (WPO) – a non-profit membership organization for women presidents, CEOs and managing directors of privately held, multimillion-dollar companies.
  • Community & Charitable Giving: Debbie Michael
    Ms. Michael is the principal of Ermineskin Elementary School, an institution providing Nêhiyawewin education for approximately 470 students from the four nations in Maskwacis, Alberta.

    As principal, Ms. Michael introduced several initiatives and programs to foster and support the success of her students.

    Ms. Michael introduced The Leader in Me program, a method of teaching students to see themselves as capable leaders. Since the implementation of the program, students have become more active, engaged partners in their education and have gained greater self-confidence as leaders.

    In 2016, the school applied for the Martin Family Initiative's Model Schools Literacy Project (MSLP), a program that supports literacy education and achievement for Indigenous students from kindergarten to Grade 3. All First Nations schools across Canada were eligible, but only six were selected. Ermineskin Elementary was selected due in part to the strength and commitment of Ms. Michael's leadership.

    With humility and an unwavering commitment to excellence, Ms. Michael continues to be an inspiration to her students and an outstanding community leader.  
  • Expansion & Growth in Small Business: Isabell Ringenoldus
    Ms. Ringenoldus is the president and owner of TAWS Security, an Indigenous-owned, Alberta-based security company that specializes in oil sands gate and mobile patrol security solutions.

    Ms. Ringenoldus was 23 and a recently laid-off security guard when she started TAWS in 2007. The company is named in honour of her nephew, Tanner Alan William Sitybell, who died of leukemia.

    As the business grew, Ms. Ringenoldus continued her practice of taking care of all administrative work. She hired a bookkeeper after bringing on 30 employees.
    Shortly after the 2016 wildfire that devastated many residential areas of Fort McMurray, TAWS Security immediately volunteered their services. They showcased their ability to promptly deploy both management and trained guards.

    Today, TAWS works with some of Alberta's largest corporations and employs more than 130 people.

    Ms. Ringenoldus was the 2012 recipient of the Alberta Chamber of Commerce's Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur Award of Distinction. In 2017, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business awarded her the National Youth Aboriginal Entrepreneur of the Year Award – which recognizes up-and-coming Indigenous entrepreneurs under the age of 35.
  • Community & Charitable Giving: Glenise Harvey
    Ms. Harvey is the co-owner and principal of A&H Steel Ltd., a fully integrated, full-service rebar provider specializing in the supply, fabrication and installation of reinforcing steel in the commercial and industrial sectors.

    An elementary school teacher for 29 years, Ms. Harvey became principal of A&H in 2008.

    A&H supports the community with involvement in the United Way, and by donating rebar for projects by organizations such as iHuman Youth Society and Amiskwaciy Academy.

    Following her personal passion for the arts, Ms. Harvey saw the need for a community based art gallery. In 2017, she started the Dandi-Lines Art Gallery – a not-for-profit foundation that exhibits and sells art produced by students and others under the creative mentorship of the gallery. The profits generated from the sales are reinvested to go toward funding art programs for people of all ages.

    An active member of the Edmonton Chapter of the Women President's Organization (WPO), Ms. Harvey also mentors and supports other women business leaders in the community.

"BMO is proud to honour influential and community building women leaders across Canada – including our honourees in Edmonton," said Allison Hakomaki, Head, Corporate Finance Division - Prairies, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We are pleased to recognize this formidable group for dedicating their time to their communities and inspiring others in the process. BMO is committed to developing and furthering programs that support the advancement of women 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: bmoforwomen.com 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, kim1.johnson@bmo.com, 416-867-3996

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