The annual BMO Celebrating Women event in Saint John, N.B. honoured three women for their remarkable contributions to business and the community.

Jeff Hillyard, BMO Financial Group; Alaina Lockhart, MP for Fundy Royal and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie; Wendy Southworth; Jennifer Payne, BMO Financial Group; Victoria Clarke–Trailblazers & Innovators Honouree; Robyn Tingley–Community & Charitable Giving Honouree; Dominique Leger–Expansion & Growth in Business Honouree; Aaron Naccarato, BMO Financial Group; Michael Gauthier, BMO Financial Group; Barbara Mowat. (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: Victoria Clarke. As Executive Director of Discover Saint John, Ms. Clarke leads the not-for-profit with a mission to increase city revenue through marketing and unique tourism experiences. Created in partnership with the City of Saint John and the Saint John Hotel Association, Discover Saint John has over 500 members from the local tourism industry. Ms. Clarke’s love for the community and its people motivates her to use her marketing and campaign leadership skills to promote the city and its attractions. Through her #SaintAwesome campaign, local citizens are empowered to showcase their city’s character and charm using the hashtag on social media platforms.

Community & Charitable Giving: Robyn Tingley. As founder and CEO of GlassSky, Ms. Tingley works with major employers to support equity, diversity and inclusion strategies with a focus on women and young leaders. Since 2011, she has funded scholarships and supported over 200 women across 50 countries thorough micro-loans. She has raised thousands of dollars for women’s events and charities including Power of the Purse, Phenomenal Women Awards, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Elizabeth Fry, Hestia House, Sophia Recovery Centre, and the YWCA. Last year, $50,000 was raised at THRIVE 2018, a fundraiser presented by GlassSky for Women in politics. For her work supporting women in the workforce, Ms. Tingley was named to the Women Worth Watching list of top female executive trailblazers in Europe and North America and was selected as one of the 20 Most Powerful & Influential Women in California. She was also named by WXN as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Expansion & Growth in Business: Dominique Leger. Ms. Leger is the founder and owner of In Pursuit Mobile Boutique. Studying Fashion Marketing and Merchandising at International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto, she has been involved in management and visual merchandising during her 15 year retail career. After a brief career change, Ms. Leger began missing the dynamic nature of retail and the street fashion she witnessed during her travels. During a summer trip to Boston, she encountered a mobile retail store which led to Ms. Leger’s inspiration for her own mobile store format that travels across New Brunswick to meet new customers. In Pursuit Mobile Boutique provides a vehicle experience for shoppers looking for clothing, pet apparel, accessories, jewelry and more. Ms. Leger also launched an ecommerce store and plans to launch a second truck, In Pursuit Gifts and Stationary, later this year.

“Through exceptional innovation and ingenuity, our Saint John honourees have become role models for communities across the province,” said Aaron Naccarato, Regional Vice President, Western New Brunswick, BMO Bank of Montreal. “Each year, BMO is proud to recognize remarkable women leaders who exemplify these qualities. These dedicated programs are part of the BMO’s Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in Business and Life and the bank’s commitment to the advancement of women entrepreneurs across Canada.”

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