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2023 Star Women in Convenience winner: Jennifer Lai

Senior-level Star
Jennifer Lai Suncor Petro-Canada
Jennifer Lai Suncor Petro-Canada

Head of category management for marketing

Petro-Canada | Suncor


What do you like most about your job?

Being in marketing, you are at the centre. You help set the vision, direction, priorities. You work with so many diverse groups.

What was the biggest challenge of your career?

The most difficult leadership challenge was the relocation of our head office from GTA to Calgary during COVID.  It was an extremely challenging transition as we worked to rebuild our teams and culture, while ensuring business continuity and not dropping any balls.

What's your career highlight/biggest achievement?

It’s always about getting outside your comfort zone. That can be hard to do by yourself. I had a leader who strongly recommended I try sales, an area that never appealed to me.  However, I leveraged my strengths and that job was a turning point—and I was nominated for a sales award. It’s still far from my favourite roles, but I learned so much and it was one of the most rewarding.

What's the best advice you ever received?

One line has always stuck with me from a senior leader: make something happen that would not normally happen or stop something from happening that would normally happen. That is the role of leadership. Sometimes you have to step in front of a moving train.


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