BMO Celebrating Women honored three women at an event in Phoenix, Arizona for their remarkable contributions to business and the community.

Women Who Lead. Sintra Hoffman, President and CEO of WESTMARC. For more than 20 years, Hoffman has been a leader in government, influencing community leaders in the 15 cities of West Valley to come together to support the growth and development of these cities. Previously serving in leadership roles with the City of Surprise and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Sintra now leads WESTMARC, a public/private organization focused on positioning the region for economic development.

Women Who Serve. Paula Cullison, President of Arizona Women’s Partnership (AZWP). As founder of AZWP, an all-volunteer, philanthropic, non-profit that awards grants to small charities, Cullison has helped underserved women and children at risk throughout the state of Arizona. Since 2003, AZWP has awarded $450,000 in grants to more than 70 non-profits. Paula has published numerous articles and one book called The Daughters of the American Dream, a collection of stories and essays of first-generation Italian American women who also understood the hardships and sacrifices of their immigrant families.

Women Who Inspire. Karen Blevins, Founder of STEP (Stepping Into Hope). STEP is a faith based organization supporting family and friends who have loved ones struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. Before founding STEP, Blevins served as one of many volunteer facilitators for PALS (Parents of Addicted Loved Ones) after experiencing her son’s struggles with addiction. Karen tirelessly volunteers at numerous events sponsored by police departments and medical communities to help provide awareness and resources for families who have loved ones battling substance abuse.

“It’s important to shine a spotlight on leaders who leave a lasting mark on the business world and our communities,” said Carolyn Booth, head of distribution, U.S. Personal and Business Banking for BMO Harris Bank. “We are honored to recognize these women for their impressive contributions and hope they inspire the next generation of exceptional women leaders.”

The BMO Celebrating Women program was created to honor the achievements of women leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and innovators who are excelling in their business and making an impact in their communities. Since 2012, BMO has awarded more than 170 women in communities across Canada and the United States.