The annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Edmonton, Alberta honoured three women for their remarkable contributions to business and the community.

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 ajority 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.