Edmonton-based ATB Financial on Friday announced that Dave Mowat, president and CEO, is the 2017 recipient of Start Proud's Leading Executive Ally Award.

Start Proud, formerly known as Out On Bay Street, facilitates the professional development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Ally (LGBTQA+) students as they transition from school to career in order to build a national network within the LGBTQA+ community.

The award recognizes Mowat's strong advocacy and outreach contribution for advancing LGBTQ+ issues within ATB and in the broader business community as an active ally, the ATB announcement says.

Whether it's launching Canada's first Pride Mastercard two years ago, or expanding ATB's sponsorship of Alberta's Pride festivals, Mowat has worked tirelessly to support LGBTQA+ causes, the announcement adds.

"He's so much more than a banker," says Liz Stretch, chief people officer, ATB Financial, in a statement. "Dave has helped instill a belief at ATB that everyone deserves happiness and acceptance."

Within ATB, Mowat is an executive sponsor for the organization's LGBTQ Team Member Network. The Network has built networking events, hosted speakers and is currently working on an LGBTQ Ally campaign to build awareness and create opportunities for action across the enterprise.