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

BURLINGTON, ON, June 14, 2019 /CNW/ - The annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Burlington, Ontario honoured four women for their remarkable contributions to business and the community.

Neil Blanchard, BMO Financial Group; Samra Zafar, BMO Financial Group; Rob Kennedy, BMO Financial Group; Dorothy Borovich – Community & Charitable Giving Honouree; Miranda Tawfik – Expansion & Growth in Business Honouree; Sherri Tawfik – Expansion & Growth in Business Honouree; Amy Leask –Trailblazers & Innovators Honouree; Mary Danielle Gillies, BMO Financial Group; Xuexi “Joe” Zhou, BMO Financial Group; Julie Barker-Merz, 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:

  • Trailblazers & Innovators: Amy Leask. With more than 10 years of experience as an educator, curriculum developer and children's media producer, Ms. Leask understood great thinkers of all ages needed to realize the power in their ideas. Co-founding Enable Education in 2006, she and her team develop education and training materials for educators, employers and industry professionals across various fields including academic institutions and science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) disciplines. Committed to revolutionizing education through improving knowledge-sharing vehicles, Enable Education's content is accessible through various mediums, including online, mobile apps and virtual and augmented reality. In addition to serving as vice-president of Enable Education, Ms. Leask founded Red T Media in 2016, developing multimedia content to encourage young minds to explore big questions.

  • Community & Charitable Giving: Dorothy Borovich. Ms. Borovich has been a dedicated community leader for more than 20 years. In 1990, she founded the Burlington Rehab Services, where she developed a one-on-one treatment designed to ensure patients receive injury education, understand the treatment program and receive guidance and encouragement throughout the recovery process. Following her battle with breast cancer in 2008, Ms. Borovich founded Healthy Reflections to provide financial assistance for breast cancer patients requiring treatments or products not covered by OHIP or insurance. She later co-founded numerous community organizations including YouthFest, an annual event connecting young people with meaningful volunteer opportunities and the Halton Hero's Gala, a fundraiser in support of police officers who were injured or killed in the line of duty and their families. Recognized for her dedication to community involvement, Ms. Borovich was honoured with the Citizen of the Year Award and the Burlington 150 Award in 2017. Last year, she was the first woman to receive the Burlington Foundation's Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year Award.

  • Expansion & Growth in Business: Sherri Tawfik and Miranda Tawfik. Sisters, pharmacists and co-owners of Origins Pharmacies, Miranda and Sherri Tawfik are committed patient advocates, focusing on bridging the gaps in healthcare delivery for patients in their communities. In 2015 and 2016, the sisters won the bid for the ownership of the outpatient pharmacy at the Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital and Milton District Hospital. Early in their career, the Tawfik sisters learned the value of patient-centered approaches. By moving beyond dispensary counters and working with healthcare providers in hospitals and communities, they deliver novel, comprehensive healthcare solutions. In addition, they established a compounding lab to provide the hospital and community compounding medications otherwise not commercially available.

"Our honourees are community and business leaders who share the same drive and passion that make them formidable champions of change in their respective communities," said Julie Barker-Merz, Regional President, Southwestern Ontario, BMO Financial Group. "Recognizing strength in diversity, it is BMO's pleasure to recognize their investments toward the advancement of women in Southwestern Ontario and nationwide. These initiatives are core to the bank's Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in Business and Life and its commitment to support women entrepreneurs."

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 (WEPs) 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

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