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

EDMONTON, May 16, 2019  /CNW/ - The annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Edmonton, Alberta honoured three women for their remarkable contributions to business and the community.

Mary Manhas, BMO Financial Group; Sean Bjorklund, BMO Financial Group; Hussein Bhanji, BMO Financial Group; Michell Kaziuk, BMO Financial Group; Heather Stewart – Expansion & Growth in Business Honouree; Steffany Hanlen-Francey – Trailblazers & Innovators Honouree; Diane Buchanan – Community & Charitable Giving Honouree; Bryan Bachman, BMO Financial Group; Marion Marler, BMO Financial Group; Lori Pecorilli; Dawn Harsch; Glenise Harvey; Vanessa Laroque, BMO Financial Group. (CNW Group/BMO Financial Group)

The program honours female leaders in local communities as part of BMO's commitment to drive the advancement of women and recognizes contributions in one of three categories: Trailblazers & Innovators; Community & Charitable Giving; and Expansion & Growth in Business.

The following honourees were recognized:

  • Trailblazer & Innovators: Steffany Hanlen-Francey. For over 30 years, Ms. Hanlen-Francey has dedicated her career to supporting the athletic community, including athletes, referees, skating instructors, coaches and performance consultants. In 2003, Ms. Hanlen-Francey founded Quantum Speed, a skating development company that provides process-oriented coaching for athletes developing and advancing their training. As CEO of Skatetech Group of Companies (which includes Proskate, Quantum Speed and Skating Success), Ms. Hanlen-Francey leads a team of instructors to help figure skaters and hockey and ringette players achieve their full potential.
  • Community & Charitable Giving: Diane Buchanan. Sharing the same passion for philanthropy with her late husband Gordon, Ms. Buchanan ensures all her business ventures involve a component of giving back to the community. As founder and patron of the Gordon & Diane Buchanan Family Foundation, Ms. Buchanan has been involved in charitable efforts for public and private corporations, hospital boards, the arts and international support initiatives. Serving the Edmonton community for two decades, one of Ms. Buchanan's notable projects includes the creation of the Buchanan Centre. Named in honour of Ms. Buchanan's late husband who had battled Parkinson's Disease, the Buchanan Centre serves as the new home for the Parkinson Association of Alberta and is dedicated to Albertans living with Parkinson's and their care partners and families.
  • Expansion & Growth in Business: Heather Stewart. Championing supply chain management for the majority of her career, Ms. Stewart is the President of BBE Expediting Ltd., a logistics and freight service provider for mining, airline, oil and gas, and construction industries. Under her leadership, BBE continues to expand its services to more locations, moving goods to Canada's less accessible regions with locations in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, strategic hubs in Edmonton and Ottawa and headquartered in Yellowknife. In addition to receiving personal industry recognitions, including one of Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA)'s "100 Influential Women in Canada Supply Chain" list, Ms. Stewart serves as a member of SCMA's national board of directors.


"These outstanding leaders have demonstrated that tireless dedication and initiative can inspire and empower others to strive for excellence in everything they do," said Vanessa Laroque, Regional Vice President, Alberta North and N.W.T., BMO Financial Group. "BMO is proud to recognize these leaders for their influence across the province of Alberta and commitment to providing a platform to amplify the advancement of women nationwide."

BMO has developed products to address the needs of its female clients, including the recent Women in Leadership Mutual Fund – the first impact-investing mutual fund focused on gender diversity to be offered by a Canadian bank. In April 2019, CEO Darryl White signed the UN Women's Empowerment Principles (WEP) on behalf of the bank, making BMO the first Canadian financial institution to sign the WEPs.

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

About BMO for Women
BMO is committed to supporting initiatives that empower women within its workforce and the communities the bank serves. BMO has partnered with organizations such as the Women's Presidents Organization, GroYourBiz, #movethedial, and Women Get On Board to provide expertise, leadership, knowledge, and opportunities for women to network and learn. In 2018, BMO announced it is making $3 billion in capital available over the next three years for Canadian businesses owned by women. Through the only bank-owned recognition program for women in North America – BMO Celebrating Women – BMO celebrates successful women who have given back to their communities or achieved success in business. Since 2012, BMO Celebrating Women has honoured more than 100 women in communities across Canada and the United States.   


SOURCE BMO Financial Group

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

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