Three women were honoured at the annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Montréal 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.

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:

  • Community and Charitable Giving: Diana Ferrara Scalia. Ms. Ferrara Scalia is the co-owner and strategic advisor of Samcon Inc., a residential construction firm established in 1991. Ms. Ferrara Scalia has been actively involved in the development of Samcon through each stage of its progress, with a focus on business development and public relations.Through the Samcon Foundation, Ms. Ferrara Scalia and her husband have donated to associations and foundations that contribute to the wellbeing of their community:
    • In 2012, the foundation committed to donating $250,000 to the “Café Mission” project at the Old Brewery Mission – a new Internet-style café for the homeless to go during the daytime.
    • In 2015, the foundation donated $300,000 to launch a sustainable real estate program at Concordia University. The university’s Sam and Diana Scalia Sustainable Real Estate and Built Environment Program coaches students on the future of real estate, as sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration.
    • In 2017, they donated $300,000 for the new MBA Building at McGill University.

Ms. Ferrara Scalia is currently a board member with the Cedars Cancer Foundation at the McGill University Health Centre and Les amis de la montagne.

  • Expansion and Growth in Small Business: Elaine Paquin. Ms. Paquin is the co-founder and President of Quinco & Cie Inc., a company specializing in designing, manufacturing and distributing self-adhesive Smart Tiles. Founded in 1999, the company created the first 4″x 4″ adhesive tile known at the time as “S’tics Deco”. Proudly made in North America, Smart Tiles continues to be the leader in peel and stick wall tiles.

Composed of an adhesive substrate topped with a gel component called Gel-O, Smart Tiles have a 3D effect and come in several modern designs. In 2006, the Smart Tiles trademark was used for the first time to prepare the upcoming Mosaik collection. The launch of this collection in 2008 was associated with a major shift in interior decorating trends.

In 2010, the company expanded and developed long-term relationships with European and U.S. retailers. In 2013, the company moved into a new 15,000- square-foot building located on Rene-Patenaude Street in Magog, Québéc.

  • Expansion and Growth in Small Business: Rose-Marie Beaulieu. Ms. Beaulieu is the owner of Modécole, a dynamic company specializing in exclusive clothing designed to adapt to today’s students. Modécole produces a range of tailor-made clothing, a special customer approach to promote the successful implementation of a new school wardrobe.

Modécole is the uniform supplier for several institutions, including Séminaire Sainte-Marie, Collège Regina Assumpta, and Académie François-Labelle.

Though 2017 was a challenging year for some of her competitors, Mrs. Beaulieu managed to capitalize and increase the number of schools she supplies by 38 per cent.

“BMO Financial Group is pleased to honour women business owners who believe in the importance of entrepreneurship,” said Sylvie Marois, Senior Vice-President, Quebec, BMO Private Banking. “We are thrilled to recognize our honourees through this important initiative and we are committed to developing and furthering programs that support the advancement of women across Quebec and in communities nationwide.”