Senior director strategy & business development
Petro-Canada, a Suncor Energy Business
What do you like most about your job?
Strategy is about making decisions on how to move forward in an uncertain future. I enjoy the creativity that comes with evaluating what the future could look like. In my role, the breadth of the strategic issues the team needs to solve crosses the entire Petro-Canada business. This means we are constantly evaluating a diverse set of problems. This allows us to work with teams across our entire organization in solving strategic issues and moving them to execution.
What's the best advice you ever received?
Taking on new challenges will bring on the biggest career growth. There have been many points in my career where I have stretched outside my comfort zone and taken on projects or roles that I was not an expert in. These were invariably the situations where I had the greatest learnings and growth. I am grateful that I learned this early in my career and have continuously pursued new experiences in an organization that has supported this growth.
What excites you most about the future of this channel?
The definition and expectation of “convenience” is continuously changing. As our customers embrace digital experiences, consumer expectations are defined by other channels outside of C&G. As many other retail channels move to fully online experiences, our channel will need to shift to servicing just-in-time needs that online delivery cannot. Within the store, we need to create destinations that our customers want to visit.
How has the business changed since you started?
The C&G channel is continuously evolving. When I started, the availability of data was very different than what we have today. We had just started getting POS data on a daily basis and computer-assisted ordering to facilitate inventory management was also new. Loyalty programs were strictly points program; we hadn’t begun to tap into the behavioural insights that exist within loyalty data. Today, customer data is central to decision-making across all facets of our business.
What challenges do you think lie ahead for your sector?
I think that in the C&G channel the stores’ importance in the mix will continue to increase. One of the challenges is that customer expectations will be shaped by businesses that deliver their entire business model online. Our channel will need to keep up with these expectations while correspondingly delivering an exceptional in-store experience. Understanding and predicting customer’s behaviours and knowing the role we play in the customer’s life will be important to help us understand what matters most to them so that we can be equipped to serve their needs.
What are you most proud of during the last year?
As a co-chair of our employee resource group for diversity and inclusion, I feel we have helped contribute to cultural changes within our organization. Our employee resource groups were nominated for a Suncor Energy Excellence Award this year in the peoples’ choice category – voted by employees. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to help contribute to leading this cultural change. Outside of work I have also had the pleasure working together with an amazing group of women as the co-chair of the togetHER Network for Women. A group for women professionals that support each other and to grow and develop within their careers.