2023 Star Women in Convenience winner: Michelle McGillivray

Senior-level Star

Director of business development

Big Chief Meat Snacks Inc.


How did you get into this industry?

My grandparents had an entrepreneurial spirit and purchased a small manufacturing facility in Calgary. My dad gave me my first job when I was 14: counting beef jerky and running machines during the summer. He became the owner of Big Chief in 2019 and asked my sisters Angela Coverdale and Jennifer Wagner and I to continue the family legacy.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that I’ve been given the opportunity to support my family’s dream and tell our story. Every day is a new adventure full of challenges or little wins. At Big Chief, we’re a team that builds on each other’s strengths and creates a family feel throughout all aspects of the business.

What was the biggest challenge of your career?

Learning the industry and that the word ‘no’ doesn’t always mean forever, but to try again later. Also, the death of my sister Angela in August 2022. She was my best friend, mentor, colleague and biggest supporter. She continuously pushed me outside of my comfort zone and said that together we’d continue to expand the brand.

What's your proudest achievement?

When we chose to rebrand and create a logo that resonated with the third generation of family members, while still honouring the memory of our grandfather’s nickname.

What excites you most about the future of this channel? 

There’s always room for innovation. The meat snack market continues to grow and is driven by the rising demand for on-the-go high protein snacks.


Click here for a full list of the 2023 Star Women in Convenience winners

Be there when the industry comes together in-person to celebrate at the Star Women in Convenience Awards Event. Space is limited.

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