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As  it has been for the past five years, the achievements and contributions of women will come into focus when Playmas Montreal Cultural Association shines the spotlight on six of the most deserving people in the upcoming A Taste of Tea evening on March 8, at 6767 Cote des Neiges, in uptown Montreal.
Those who have been identified to receive the Woman of Merit Award are:  banker-turned real estate broker, Pamela Dass; Christiana Howe and Judy Lamotte, both entrepreneurs and health-care professionals; lifelong educators Myrna Lashley and Pamela Price; and Rosalie Phillips, an entrepreneur.
All have defined themselves by a tenacity to succeed against the odds, and their work have impacted on the development of our community and on the lives of other Montrealers.

PAMELA DASS
Pamela studied in the Accounting and Business Management department at Mc02-05-2015 PamDassGill University while carving out a 24-year managerial career at the Bank of Montreal. Ten years ago, she opted for the self-employment/entrepreneurial route and quickly established herself as a highly successful real estate broker. Pam now uses her expertise in mortgage products and her negotiating skills to assist homebuyers in making their biggest lifetime investments. Despite this heavy professional commitment, Pam is uncompromising about making time for her three adult children and the many relatives and friends who have blessed her life since she moved here from Trinidad and Tobago in 1972. Her special message to women of every race, creed and class: “Get out there; follow your dreams.”

CHRISTIANA HOWE
Christiana takes pride in the02-05-2015 Christiane Howe 3 copy person she identifies herself to be:
“I am a child of God. I am a Black woman, a daughter, a good mother, a grandmother, a sister, a niece, a friend, a nurse, and an entrepreneur. I have more than 40 years experience as a mother. Though it is not always easy, I strive to be the best mother I can be. I would not trade motherhood for anything else.”
“I’m also a nurse and a patient advocate. But it is as an entrepreneur (I own and operate Caribbean Essence Boutique—a wide-ranging supplier of Afro centric gifts, books and arts and crafts) that I’ve gained many friends and invaluable knowledge and earned endless social rewards. I have been blessed with good health, great family, and great friends. But most of all I am who I am . . . I am me.”

JUDY LA MOTTE
Judy has been an Admini02-05-2015 Judy LaMottestrative Officer in the Montreal General Hospital’s Medical Multi-Media Department for the past 35 years.
However, it’s for her illustrious service as an event organizer and wedding planner that she has impacted most on the lives of Montrealers. For 30 years, she has built Judy’s Ushering and Coordinating Services into an institution of support that takes the weight off the shoulders of expectant brides and grooms and event planners, bringing glamour and unbridled professionalism to every event she touches. Judy holds a certificate from the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada and has framed events such as BMO’s Montreal Symphony Orchestra Dinner, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Ball, the Miss Black Quebec Pageant and A Taste of the Caribbean Festival. She has received the 25 Years of Community Service Award and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Association Community Award. Judy is the proud mother of Kelsey and Ryan-Scott Walker.

MYRNA LASHLEY
Dr. Myrna Lashley is a researc02-05-2015 Myrna Lashley photoher at the Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute and a professor in McGill University’s Department of Psychiatry. She holds the distinction of being the first Black dean at John Abbott College.
Myrna is an internationally recognized authority in cultural psychology and consults at all levels of government on the subject. She is widely published in  a wide range of books and journals.
Over the years, Myrna has served on multiple governmental and non-governmental bodies and continues to sit on federal and municipal police advisory committees. For her service, she has been recognized with many awards. Her current research focuses on the intersections of culture, terrorism and national security. Myrna currently chairs the Canadian Cross Cultural Roundtable on National Security and is Honorary Consul for Barbados at Montreal.

ROSALIE PHILIP
In the 32 years that Rosie le02-05-2015 Rosie Philip Photoft the beautiful island of St. Lucia for Canada, she has set herself apart from others by her indomitable spirit and her penchant for hard work. From Day One in Canada, Rosie has been fascinated by the vast array of opportunities spread out in front of  her, and embraced the challenge of turning her dreams to reality.
Today, she is the force behind two successful businesses: Atlantique Driving School and Avanti West End Services, where her dedication to her clients and her professionalism earn her lasting praise from the many who have passed her way.
Rosie’s no-nonsense approach to business keeps her fully engaged in her two ventures, but she always makes time to lend a hand to individuals or community causes. Also, she is uncompromising in her dedication to family and close friends, all of whom will testify that: being around Rosie, you can’t help but feel the joy and love she has to offer. Undoubtedly, Rosie is a phenomenal woman.

PAMELA PRICE
Pamela Price grew up in the 02-05-2015 Pamela Price PhotoUnited States in a household where family values were paramount. She moved to Montreal to study Education at McGill University and fell in love with the city, and heightened her passion for the profession. Pamela’s first teaching job was at Coronation Elementary School, where she remained for many years. She is currently at Westmount Park School. Pamela has been big on extra-curricular activities and was a driving force behind many programs at Coronation and still is and continues to do the same at Westmount Park. Much of her extra-curricular initiatives, such as the Book Benefits Program for elementary schools in Grenada, she says, has been inspired by her students.
Over the years, in addition to her valued work in afterschool and sports programs and  summer camps, she also had a hand in organizing the annual Montreal Steelpan Festival staged by Salah Steelpan Academy and Pan Quebec. Pamela says she has been fortunate to have the steady support of her mom, sisters and the two men in her life, her two James’ (husband and son).
The annual Taste of Tea event and the celebration of International Women’s Day will provide an appropriate occasion to honour these six  trailblazing women. On hand to serenade the awardees and audience will be Montreal’s jazz and blues sensation, Dawn Tyler Watson and her Trio. The evening runs from 2 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For more information, call (514) 620-6612, or log on to www.playmasmontreal.com.