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2022 Star Women in Convenience winner: Jacynthe Poulin

Shining Star
Jacynthe Poulin SWIC2022

Management consultant



How did you get into this industry?

I moved to Calgary in 1999 to give my family an opportunity to learn another language. I thought it would position us all well. I started at Shell Canada’s head office in customer service. When I returned to Quebec in 2005, I joined the retail operations team, and I knew I was in the right place.

Favourite part about your job?

I love coaching people, finding solutions, developing teams in the field, making sure they have the right tools to simplify the job and knowing I made a difference. Building strong relationships with vendors and colleagues is what motivates me.

Biggest challenge?

Between 2008 and 2012, there were rumours that Shell Canada was up for sale, which worried vendors. It took all my efforts to keep my retailers motivated to carry out their day-to-day tasks and not pay attention to the rumours. I’m proud I kept all my retailers onboard. The restructuring at Sobeys was worrisome, but all challenges can be an opportunity to shine. 

Best advice received? 

Be smart, not arrogant. It’s important to admit when you’re wrong or seek out the expertise you need to move forward. Working alone might help you climb a mountain faster but working as a team helps move mountains. There are no limits. A wise person once told me that in your professional or personal life, always have a Plan B.

Best achievement?

Converting 80% of the Shell sites to the Voisin/Boni-soir banner, resulting in increased sales and a renewed image [Sobey’s acquired Shell stations in Quebec and Atlantic Canada in 2011]. Optimizing standards of store operations to increase revenue for the operators. Being part of the team introducing a new offer, Food for Fuel, into the market when Sobeys purchased the Shell network for Quebec and the Atlantic.

What are you most proud? 

Bringing back training tools for store employees: Supporting operators during the pandemic to ensure new procedures were in place and that communication channels were clearly understood. Everything was new for us. We had to be flexible and adjust so we could work through this period. Despite everything, many positive things came out of this period, such as remote work and everyone being resilient. 

What excites you most about the future? 

We’re at a turning point where everything’s going very quickly. We have to rethink everything – how we do things and how we communicate. We need to be at the right place at the right time on the right platform, otherwise it’s too late to reach our customers. We need more technology like self-serve cashes to handle the lack of staff. There won’t be a dull moment!

Leadership style?

I’m a passionate, tenacious, organized and energetic person who proudly and enthusiastically meets challenges. As a team, we deliver results. One boss told me: When I give you a project, I know it will be accomplished on time with no issues.

Other thoughts?

Being involved with charitable organizations is an excellent way to give back to society. I feel privileged to have such a good employer that I want to give back during the year. The keys to my success are passion, fun, innovation, execution and, most importantly, trust to build relationships with people. I’m fortunate to work for a company I’m very proud of and that has the same values as me.

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Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Convenience winners.

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