Strength in community: Meet the 2023 Star Women in Convenience


The 2023 Star Women in Convenience stand apart from the crowd, but one characteristic unites them: Their passion for what they do. That “doing” encompasses everything from running a convenience store (and pub) in a small town in Ontario to managing marketing in Canada for a global beverage company to co-founding your own snack company.

The 48 women you will meet here thrive on innovation and collaboration. They believe fresh ideas will continue to revitalize the c-sector, and those ideas come fastest and easiest when teams are engaged. Indeed, connections with teams is a central theme that runs through all the interviews. It’s not only internal relationships that are vital, however. The Star Women in Convenience point to the need for—and the benefits that come from—connecting with customers, suppliers, and vendors.

There is truly strength in community. There is also strength in overcoming barriers. Many of these award-winning women spoke openly and frankly about the walls they had to climb to be successful in a sector that has been dominated by men. They also spoke about the struggle to balance work and home life.

The path they’ve forged is making it easier for those who follow behind them.

Senior-Level Stars

Émilie Coulombe

Director of marketing & sales
and co-owner Alex Coulombe Ltée.
Read the Q&A with Émilie
Émilie Coulombe of Alex Coulombe Ltée.

France Lessard

Director, legal department
JTI-Macdonald Corp.
Read the Q&A with France
France Lessard of JTI-Macdonald Corp.

Michelle McGillivray

Director of business development
Big Chief Meat Snacks Inc.
Read the Q&A with Michelle
Michelle McGillivray of Big Chief Meat Snacks Inc.

Simran Kaur

Senior finance director
Canco Petroleum Ltd.
Read the Q&A with Simran
Simran Kaur of the PR group of companies

Jennifer Lai

Head of category management for marketing Petro-Canada | Suncor
Read the Q&A with Jennifer
Jennifer Lai of Petro-Canada - Suncor

Shining Stars

Karen Allen

Convenience retail enablement manager, Shell Canada
Read the Q&A with Karen
Karen Allen of Shell Canada

Marie-Andrée Bonneau

Manager, field operations
Canadian Tire Gas+
Read Q&A with Marie-Andrée
Marie-Andrée Bonneau with Canadian Tire Gas

Fran Coons

Market manager
7-Eleven Canada
Read the Q&A with Fran
Fran Coons of 7-Eleven

Helena Fiore

Sr. sales strategy & planning
anager, small format
PepsiCo Beverages
Read the Q&A with Helena
Helena Fiore of PepsiCo Beverages

Karla Hewitt

Category manager,
beverage and automotive
Petro-Canada | Suncor
Read the Q&A with Karla
Karla Hewitt of Petro-Canada Suncor

Joany Nadeau

Senior human resources manager
Alimentation Couche-Tard | Circle K
Read the Q&A with Joany
Joany Nadeau of Alimentation Couche-Tard - Circle K

Ingrid Palmer

Business development manager
Danone Canada
Read the Q&A with Ingrid
Ingrid Palmer of Danone Canada

Jackie Pink

Category manager, foodservice
Parkland Corporation
 
Read the Q&A with Jackie
Jackie Pink Category manager, foodservice Parkland Corporation

Trina Roopnarine-Huether

Customer strategy manager, channels
Mondelēz Canada
Read the Q&A with Trina
Trina Roopnarine-Huether Customer strategy manager, channels Mondelēz Canada

Naila Ansari

Area leader – Calgary
7-Eleven Canada
Read the Q&A with Naila
Naila Ansara of 7-Eleven Canada

Cristina Caruso

Category portfolio manager,
Car wash, Petro-Canada | Suncor
Read the Q&A with Cristina
Cristina Caruso of Petro-Canada Suncor

Alison Daem

Asset protection specialist
7-Eleven Canada
Read the Q&A with Alison
Alison Daem from 7-Eleven

Jamie Gnanapragasam

Manager,
merchandising systems
Parkland Corporation
Read the Q&A with Jamie
Jamie Gnanapragasam of Parkland Corporation

Heather Hildenbrandt

Marketing manager -
Western Canada
Alimentation Couche-Tard | Circle K
Read the Q&A with Heather
Heather Hildenbrandt of Alimentation Couche-Tard and Circle K

Alexandra Massam

Mobility district manager
Shell Canada
Read Q&A with Alexandra
Alexandra Massam of Shell Canada

Nicki Newfeldt

Business development lead
Shell Canada
Read the Q&A with Nicki
Nicki Newfeldt of Shell Canada

Julie Pepin

Sales analysis & administration manager, JTI-Macdonald Corp.
Read the Q&A with Julie
Julie Pepin of JTI Macdonald Corp.

Tammy Poirier

National account executive
Coca-Cola Canada
 
Read the Q&A with Tammy
Tammy Poirier National account executive Coca-Cola Canada

Sylvie Savard

Category manager -
Eastern Canada division
Alimentation Couche-Tard| Circle K
Read the Q&A with Sylvie
Sylvie Savard Category manager - Eastern Canada division Alimentation Couche-Tard| Circle K

Rina Bauslaugh

Category manager
Petro-Canada | Suncor
Read the Q&A with Rina
Rina Bauslaugh of Petro-Canada - Suncor

Marietta Cini

Senior director of store operations & development, Hasty Market
Read the Q&A with Marietta
Marietta Cini of Hasty Market

Johanne Deblois

Administrative assistant
Groupe Beaudry
Read the Q&A with Johanne
Johanne Deblois of Groupe Beaudry

Shauna Hall

Category manager
Parkland Corporation
 
Read the Q&A with Shauna
Shauna Hall of Parkland Corporation

Anne-Marie Jeanson

Regional sales director
Imperial Tobacco Canada
 
Read Q&A with Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie Jeanson of Imperial Tobacco Canada

Sandy Mercer

Marketing manager
North Sun Energy
Read the Q&A with Sandy
Sandy Mercer of North Sun Energy

Marie-Pier Pagé

General director
Groupe Mondor
Read Q&A with Marie-Pier
Marie-Pier Pagé of Groupe Mondor

Reghan Peters

Trade marketer
JTI-Macdonald Corp.
Read the Q&A with Reghan
Reghan Peters of JTI Macdonald Corp.

Irene Reilly

Regional director of operations - Eastern
Alimentation Couche-Tard | Circle K
Read the Q&A with Irene
Irene Reilly of Alimentation Couche-Tard Circle K

Kristina Schmidt

National category manager:
Fresh foods
7-Eleven Canada
Read the Q&A with Kristina
Kristina Schmidt National category manager: Fresh foods 7-Eleven Canada

Shawna Bickford

Sales manager
Now Prepay, by Payment Source
Read the Q&A with Shawna
Shawna Bickford of Now Prepay

Jessica Cnossen

Purchasing director
Core-Mark Canada
Read the Q&A with Jessica
Jessica Cnossen of Core-Mark Canada

Nicole Dubé

Manager, Canada merchandising execution, Parkland Corporation
Read the Q&A with Nicole
Nicole Dubé of Parkland Corporation

Anna Harte

Area leader
7-Eleven Canada
 
Read the Q&A with Anna
Anna Harte of 7-Eleven

Kylie Landry

Director of marketing
Direct Plus Food Group
 
Read the Q&A with Kylie
Kylie Landry of Direct Plus Food Group

Nicole S. Monks

Manager, lottery field sales
Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp.
Read the Q&A with Nicole
Nicole S. Monks from Ontario Lottery & Gaming

Dayna Palmer

Marketing manager, Cdn. channel execution, Parkland Corporation
Read the Q&A with Dayna
Dayna Palmer of Parkland Corporation

Patricia Petretic

Category manager, centre of store
Parkland Corporation
Read the Q&A with Patricia
Category manager, centre of store Parkland Corporation

Sarah Richard

Sales team lead
Hershey Canada
 
Read the Q&A with Sarah
Sarah Richard Sales team lead Hershey Canada

Store-Level Stars

Sridevi Gummadi

Owner/operator
Petro-Canada | Suncor
Read the Q&A with Sridevi
Sridevi Gummadi Owner/operator Petro-Canada | Suncor

Binal Patel

Owner
Ding Mart Convenience Store
Read the Q&A with Binal
Binal Patel Owner Ding Mart Convenience Store

Mallory Sjaarda

General manager
Port Albert General Store & Pub
Read the Q&A with Mallory
Mallory Sjaarda General manager Port Albert General Store & Pub