Head of Marketing
Rabba Fine Foods
How did you get into the business?
I was born into the business. Growing up, my parents ran a neighbourhood convenience store in East Gwillimbury, Ont. By working for my father throughout high school and university, I gained valuable industry experience and a purposeful work ethic.
What was the biggest challenge of your career?
Challenges big or small are circumstantial. An issue that happened today can very well be something completely different tomorrow. Information changes, strategies change – as we’ve all seen and experienced in the previous two years – environments change. The tides are constantly shifting. So, I’ve learned to be fluid, to pivot, to be willing to learn something new and focus on my strengths to rise to the occasion of a challenge. I also lean on the strong team around me, and their insights help me towards the next step.
What’s your career highlight or proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement was being promoted to head of marketing in 2019. Along with managing existing initiatives, I introduced a robust digital marketing program. I have built up our audience reach substantially, enhanced our program strategies, and brought to life initiatives in which our vendor partners have become highly engaged. I have optimized digital and traditional methods of promotion, and through this have seen considerable sales lifts. We’ve also taken phenomenal strides in consumer engagement and created an interactive space that focuses directly on our target market.
What excites you most about the future of this channel?
Convenience stores have levelled up in the recent years in terms of product selection and innovation. Now, c-stores are becoming a destination for trending categories such as natural foods and are making space for first-to-market products. I also see some major shifts in the digital realm where interactive and measurable technologies are becoming more common and accessible. These kinds of advancements within our channel gives operators the opportunities (and data) needed to really focus on reaching their customers and growing their businesses.
What is your leadership philosophy or approach?
During my undergraduate years at York University, I read Good to Great by Jim Collins. The author provided insight into supporting a company through transitions of growth. One point that really resonated with me was about the concept of level 5 leadership. It encompasses humility, and self-reflection but, more importantly, speaks about putting ego aside and function on a non-hierarchical, collaborative framework. This philosophy has always guided my leadership style.
Anything else you would like readers to know?
There are so many women in c-stores who deserve this award, I have the privilege of working with some of them every single day. These women are strong and smart, and they work hard to make our companies succeed. I’d like to thank these women, for all they do. I would also like to thank the previous Star Women for paving the way and inspiring future leaders. It is truly an honour to be recognized alongside these respected women in business.