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Inspiring Stories from Inspiring Colleagues: a Roundup

April 16, 2020 | COVID response, Culture

Over the past several weeks, BMO employees across the bank have been providing incredible support for our customers, communities and fellow employees who have been affected by COVID-19 – as well as all those on the frontlines working hard to keep us safe.

During this time of uncertainty, our employees have gone above and beyond to continue to Grow the Good. Here are some of their stories.

Palo Alto

At a BMO Family Office in Palo Alto, employees donated their surplus supply of nearly 3000 N95 respirator masks to four Bay Area healthcare providers. Evelyn Garcia, Office Administrator and Romey Del Fuego, Risk, Compliance and Governance Officer reached out to BMO leadership and the Business Continuity Office to see if they could donate their extra masks to local healthcare organizations in need. They identified three recipients: Good Samaritan Hospital, the San Jose Public Health Department and Kaiser Permanente. Meanwhile, California’s governor Gavin Newson announced that the state had leased Seton Medical Center for the express purpose of treating COVID patients. They were short on masks, and responded quickly to BMO’s outreach.

“Many of us have friends and loved ones that are putting themselves at risk every day, and separating themselves from their families so they can keep treating patients – so we know the need is real,” says Jesse Segreto, Client Operations. “Romey and the rest of the team wanted to do whatever we could to help. It’s the least we could do.”


Every year, our North American Customer Contact Centres hold food drives for local food banks. Last year, we donated more than 40,000 pounds of food in North America.

This year, with fewer employees coming to our workplaces, food shortages at some grocery stores, family budgets growing tighter and shopping becoming a high-risk activity, running a food drive was uniquely challenging. But our employees knew that it was also more important than ever – so despite all the obstacles, they forged ahead. Together, the Meadowvale and Montreal Customer Contact Centres were able to make substantial donations to the Knights Table and Moisson Montreal. Team members who couldn’t get to the store donated money directly to the food banks as well.

“We’ve built a culture of giving back at the NACCC,” says Ann Grannan, Senior Manager, Sales & Service. “I’m immensely proud of the BMO family because even in these difficult times, our teams have managed to come together for a great cause.”


At Calgary’s London Place branch, Sasha Smode wanted to do something kind for the branch’s cleaning staff. She knew they were putting in long hours and doing extra work to keep her and her fellow employees safe during the crisis. Sasha had everyone in the branch sign a card thanking them for all their efforts, and in the envelope she added a Tim Hortons gift card as a small token of their appreciation. The next night, the cleaning staff replied with a thank-you card of their own.

Since then, staff at dozens of BMO branches have followed Sasha’s lead in recognizing the cleaning teams. “I know people want to feel appreciated and valued,” says Sasha. “And their work helps our team feel supported. It’s important that we thank those that are helping us.”

Her manager Sue Nicholas agrees, saying, “Sasha always finds ways to create an environment where people feel like they belong, and their contributions matter. She exemplifies our Purpose, and always finds a way to Grow the Good.”

Stay up-to-date on BMO’s response to the crisis by visiting our COVID-19 customer portal.




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