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Introducing the 2020 Star Women in Convenience!

Although the 23 women being honoured this year as Star Women come from diverse backgrounds and work in different roles and sectors across the country, they share a singular commitment: to customers, to colleagues and to community.

Doing a good job requires looking closely at the bottom line and identifying ways to improve efficiency and profitability. For the 2020 Star Women, doing a good job is simply not good enough. It’s about excellence—and that requires focusing on customer needs, innovating and building winning teams. Indeed, for several of the honorees, their ultimate career achievement is not about themselves at all: It’s about mentoring the next generation of Star Women.

Another aspect common to all 2020 honorees is they thrive on helping to address the challenges of a sector that is constantly adapting to change and stepping up to help out. Quite simply, they love what they do.

CSNC launched Star Women in Convenience in 2018 and the award continues to gain momentum and prestige. We received a record-number of nominations from across the country: Thank you to all who submitted nominations! This year, we have 23 winners, up from 17 in 2019 and 11 in 2018.


Jillian Anderson

National key account manager: PepsiCo Canada

Grace Caputo

Vice-president and general manager of Now Prepay: Payment Source

Hélène Drolet

Vice-president, operations, Western Canada Division: Circle K

Jessica Friesen

Owner-operator: Gales Gas Bars Ltd.

Leslie Gordon

Category portfolio manager convenience retail: Suncor Energy/Petro-Canada

Kim Green

Owner and CEO: Kay’s Wholesale Ltd.

Lesley Harany

Industry volunteer: Retired – JTI-Macdonald Corp.

Mary Kelly

President and CEO: Gateway Newstands

Fiona Kreschuk

Site operator: Petro-Canada

Mélissa Lessard

Head of marketing and merchandising, Canada: Alimentation Couche-Tard

Elizabeth Loschiavo

Corporate account manager: Core-Mark International

Jasmine MacDonnell

Manager, government & corporate affairs: National Smokeless Tobacco Company

Melani Melnyk

Shopper marketing manager: Mondelēz Canada

Donna Montminy

Director member relations, administration & events: Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA)

Robbie Mulder

District manager: Little Short Stop Stores

Olga Pigeon

Director of marketing and strategy: BG Fuels

Robin Poulain

Director of sales – impulse and alternative channels: Kind Healthy Snacks

Paula Schaeffer

Retail sales manager: Pratts Wholesale

Marie-Hélène Senécal

Director, Eastern Canada, retail: InComm

Laurie Smith

Marketing and communications lead, Canada: 7-Eleven Canada Inc.

Hayley-Ann Swartz

Manager, non-fuels products and services: Husky Energy

Audrey Sylvain

National category manager: Parkland Corporation

Tiffany Taylor

Category portfolio manager: Suncor Energy/Petro-Canada

Congratulations to all the winners!

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For photos and full profiles of the 2020 winners

visit the Star Women in Convenience website


Check out the July/August issue of Convenience Store News Canada


Announcing the Top New Products Awards winners

Consumers selected 17 products for recognition in Convenience Store News Canada’s inaugural Top New Products Awards.

This new-to-Canada competition honours suppliers and wholesalers that introduced the most innovative and high-quality products that meet consumers’ tastes and needs.

Decision Point Research—one of the largest research companies in Canada—oversaw judging and consumers across the country evaluated contest entries, rating and awarding points based on convenience, appearance and packaging, along with attributes such as taste and ingredients for food items.



The 2019 Top New Products Awards honourees are:

  1. Alternative Snacks: GoodLife Sea Stick Rolled and Baked Seaweed Snack (GoodLife Group Inc.) 
  2. Chocolate Candy: Kinder Bueno Mini (Ferrero Canada)
  3. General Merchandise: Big Bark Rolling Papers (Big Bark Rolling Papers)
  4. Gum: Tic Tac Gum (Ferrero Canada)
  5. Health & Beauty Care: Ricola – Extra Strength (Ricola Canada)
  6. Healthy & Beauty Supplement: Over EZ Hangover Prevention Pills (EZ Lifestyle)
  7. Meal Replacement: Cheesewich – Colby Jack (Cheesewich Factory)
  8. Candy (Vegan): Huer Sensible Sweets Vegan Bears (Huer Foods Inc.)
  9. Candy (Sweet): Jolly Ranchers Misfits 2-in-1 Gummies – Tropical (Hershey Canada)
  10. Candy (Sour): Maynards Sour Patch Kids Heads 2 Flavours in 1 (Mondelez International)
  11. Protein Snacks: Great Canadian Road Trip Jerky (The Great Canadian Meat Company)
  12. Salty Snack: On The Go Fusion Snacks (On The Go Fusion Snacks)
  13. RTD Coffee: Löfbergs ICE (Löfberg Canada Inc.)
  14. Cold Brew: Station Cold Brew (Station Cold Brew Coffee)
  15. Sports Drinks: COCO5 (Brand Strategy Execution Inc.)
  16. Prepaid Cards: The Vanilla Visa* (InComm Canada)
  17. Overall Innovation: Lucky Lotto Scratcher (Lucky Lotto Scratcher)


For full coverage and photos of the winning products, stay tuned for the November/December issue of Convenience Store News Canada magazine, due in market November 25th.

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