Senior-Level Stars

Marie-Claude Bacon
VP, Public Affairs and Communications
“Don’t hesitate to invest in your own development. It is so critical to continue with training opportunities and special projects, find a mentor and collaborate with colleagues and superiors. Above all, ask for and listen to feedback from your managers and colleagues because there’s always room for improvement. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to achieve your ambitions, but it’s worth it.”
Christina Bédard
VP, eCommerce & Digital Strategy
“I see myself as a coach. I believe in guiding my team in their development path. I love identifying someone’s strengths and motivations, and then providing them challenging objectives and coaching them along the way with regular feedback. I truly believe this is essential to create a positive and motivating environment that enables personal growth. You can then challenge your team with ambitious objectives and push for continuous innovation.”
Nathalie Cusson
VP, Dairy Fluid
Lactalis Canada
“Have faith in yourself, believe you can do it and, most importantly, you deserve it! I strive to reinforce this same philosophy with my daughter, as I notice that this is often something that is lacking in young women. It is important that, first of all, we believe in ourselves. We must trust our instincts, and most of all, be proud of who we are. It seems so basic, but the first step to success is self-esteem.”
Kelly Fleming
Head of Grocery/VP Marketing
Kraft Heinz Canada
“Build your legacy from day one. Legacy is such a powerful word that I almost dismissed this advice when it was given to me until I realized what it meant—make an impact. Knowing my legacy will grow with each new experience has allowed me to seize new opportunities and set my sights higher. Something that seemed out of reach has now been a motivating force in every stage of my career.”
Catherine O'Brien
Senior VP of Corporate Affairs
Nestlé Canada
“When you surround yourself with great people like we have at Nestlé, leadership is really about three things: be accountable to have your words match your actions, set a high bar for yourself and others and support those around you to be successful. A fundamental truth is everyone wants to be great and it’s my job to encourage and support and then get out of the way.”
Marie-Eve Royer
Senior VP, Transformation
Bimbo Canada
“During my career, I have had the privilege of working with many outstanding mentors. The best advice I received was that you’re only as good as your team. People are at the heart of the organization and you need a high-performing and agile team that is focused on consumer needs, which is critical to success.”
Kerry Tompson
VP, Talent and Inclusion
“My proudest moments have been when I have worked with a committed team to take on a very significant challenge—where the path wasn’t clear, but we had a common purpose and vision to make that happen. Setting up a national talent acquisition function to support our stores through COVID in a matter of a couple weeks is a good example; we were in it together to serve Canadians.”
Vittoria Varalli
VP, Sustainability and Chief of Staff
“I think it is critically important to invest in building a diverse, high-performing team. Diversity of thought—and really, all aspects of diversity—are of incredible importance, particularly for the team I’m leading. As a leader, I strive to highlight the potential of the individuals on my team by celebrating their successes and helping them overcome the learning curve. I have always measured my success by the successes of those that I work with.”
Andrea Watson
President and CEO
Nature Knows
“As we come together within the industry to help offer more fresh convenience sustainably, I welcome the opportunity to collaborate. With a greater purpose, we can create a healthier world where we can eat well at home, at work and at play, while creating a better world for generations to come. Eating fresh fruits and veggies, conveniently and sustainably, should be as simple as it is to grab a coffee. And we’re here to help make it happen.”

Rising Stars

Shilpa Bains
Country Manager, HR Manager (Canada)
The Clorox Company
“I love connecting with people and having the ability to build and sustain relationships. I have a people-focused role so this does come with the territory, but specifically having the opportunity to connect with people through coaching, training and education, which I am very passionate about, is extremely rewarding.”
Teresa Blakney
Senior Brand Manager
Conagra Brands
“I love working with teams as we are able to accomplish so much more. We learn from each other and help expand our boundaries. I’ve personally experienced how my skill sets grew as a result of strong teamwork. And we spend so much time together at work, it’s much more rewarding and fun to work with a winning team and have a greater sense of belonging.”
Stephanie Egan
Director, Marketing
Piller's Fine Food
“Play to your strengths and organize around your weaknesses. This rings true in work and personal life. There are always going to be things you naturally excel at, and other skills that prove to be a challenge. The best leaders are self-aware, understand their weaknesses and build teams with diverse skill sets, where team members can rely on one another for support, learning and growth.”
Beverley Foley
Director of Store Development
Farm Boy

“Over my career, my best quality has been my ability to reflect on my own performance and hold myself accountable. We can always strive to do it better tomorrow. In my current position, I like to think my best quality is adaptability to any situation. There is no ‘it can’t be done’ in my vocabulary because I believe there is always a way!”

Brittany Ford
Account Executive
Carlton Cards

“Thoughtful communication is a quality I take pride in and continually strive to improve. While I am naturally a conversationalist, I always aim to communicate in a considerate manner with transparency and sincerity. Taking time to evaluate different perspectives and reflect on past communications has enhanced my ability to adapt to various audiences and strengthen relationships.”

Brenna Gillespie
Manager of Ecommerce Operations

“Anyone can serve food, but I love the meal, the event. It’s what brings us together as human beings. Whether its family, friends, neighbours or perfect strangers, the meal—although an everyday occurrence—involves sharing and gratitude. It’s rewarding to know that in a small way we help to make that happen for the people we serve. With the current state of affairs in the world today, we could all use a good meal.”

Carol Henry
Director of Human Resources
“I love coaching and encouraging others to be the best they can be. I think that I do that in all my interactions with others, even when I’m not aware of it. It’s part and parcel of who I am and what I think I’m put on Earth to do.” 
Lisa Jones
Director of Sales - Ontario/Atlantic
Sleeman Breweries
“Do not be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. My father immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1965 with very little. He worked hard his entire life to provide for our family and build a successful business in the welding industry. My father pushed me to be my best, be curious and never give up. In every job I have ever had I’ve tried to go above and beyond, doing more, helping more and being more.”
Angie Kim
Senior Director, Finance
“The best part about not only my current job, but all the jobs I’ve held in the company, is the people I work with. I am humbled by the incredible range of talent and diversity in the people we work with, and the leadership that believes in empowering its people. I have the confidence to be my best authentic self in every task I apply myself into, because I am surrounded by people that are always there to celebrate and motivate each other towards the same goal.”
Philippa MacLeod
Director, Merchandising Planning & Analytics Customer Intelligence
“Your career path is in your own hands. To shape this, you need to seek out learning, stretch your own comfort zone and build out your network. Sometimes the path may not flow as you originally expected, but embrace the journey and find the learning opportunities along the way.”
Julia Mallett
Manager Retail Operations, Customer Experience & Learning & Development
“Sobeys was recently the first national grocer to eliminate single-use plastic checkout bags. Leading the transition for our store operations team and saying goodbye to 225 million plastic bags annually was one of the proudest moments in my 14 years with Sobeys. It takes everyone to be part of the solution and find new ways to drive real and meaningful changes in our communities.”
Rhonda Mitchell
Customer Director of Strategy
Unilever Canada

“At Unilever, we talk a lot about purpose. I define mine as one that builds thriving and successful teams who challenge the status quo to deliver the best possible results—while having a lot of fun along the way! I feel very fortunate to work in such a dynamic and interesting industry.”

Shirley Mukerjea
Senior Marketing Director - Frito Lay Core Brands
PepsiCo Foods Canada

“The best advice that I have received is that it is OK to be vulnerable, to ask for help, and to ‘fail.’  True growth comes from those moments where you get on the other side of a tough situation, where you experience the greatest learning and develop grit.  During times like these, it’s more important than ever to lead with transparency and vulnerability.”  

Leona Neill
Director of Marketing and Packaging
Red Sun Farms

“The best parts of my job are the people, the challenge and the sense of accomplishment. I also enjoy being part of an industry that provides families with healthy meal options throughout all stages of life. Through food we are part of people’s lives, their celebrations, comfort and nourishment.”

Danielle Nguyen
Plant Manager
Kraft Heinz Canada

“Ikigai is the Japanese concept of 'reason for being' (do what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs and get paid for it). I’m very fortunate to have discovered my ikigai at my job. As a plant director, I’m responsible for all activities in the factory—from safety to supply chain operations to people. Each day, I show up with positive energy and passion to inspire and position my team members to succeed and grow to their full potential.”

Sadie Park
Property Manager

“I see it as essential to treat everyone within the company with equal respect and kindness, no matter their role on the spectrum of business hierarchy.  I see the importance of empowering every individual employee to feel they are an essential part of the company. This not only helps to push my colleagues to fulfill their potential, but makes each day gratifying.”

Arlee Rosenberg
Director, eCommerce
Nestlé Canada

“When I switched to the e-commerce team we were a team of one (me). We’re now up to eight full-time members. Getting to where we are today has been incredibly challenging. We’ve overcome many obstacles through hard work and the strength of our team and our leadership. I’m proud to say that over the last four years we’ve built up our group into an integral—and rapidly growing—part of the business.”

Arndrea Scott
Director of Retail Marketing and Creative Strategy & Blush Lane Organic Market

“Some of my greatest career achievements to date have been working with my team to build out sustainability as the top initiative in our company. I work with an incredible team where we put the customer first and then factor in the most sustainable way we can promote, package and deliver food to those customers.”

Lisa Sparrow-Moellenbeck
Food Safety Manager
Federated Co-operatives Limited

“I believe in working together and considering the opinions, thoughts and feedback from all team members to achieve the best result. I also believe a collaborative approach helps team members develop in their roles and can help create engagement and buy-in with all.”

Erin Towns
Sales Director
Kellogg Canada

“I work very hard to create an environment where my team members feel like they can bring their ideas and be heard. I expect my team to challenge each other as much as I challenge them, but in a respectful way that brings out the best in all of us.”

Wendy Woods
Director of Customer Marketing
Kellogg Canada

“I am driven by the fast-paced environment of sales—managing multiple priorities and working as part of a commercial team. I love seeing strategies come to life with our retailers, our shoppers and our consumers. I also find it very rewarding to see them embrace initiatives I’ve helped to develop.”

Joyce Young
Leader, Category Management
Georgia Main Food Group

“I love meeting with local entrepreneurs and listening to them pitch what they have created from the ground up. I love collaborating on launch plans and working through all the details to execute at store level. These fabulous entrepreneurs light up when they see it all come together, and they feel like they have made it; they feel successful.”

Store-Level Stars

Stephanie Ames
Store Manager, Kimberley, B.C.

“My favourite part of my job is the people. Each day I have the opportunity to grow and develop future leaders and help them achieve their career goals. I also really enjoy the fast-paced environment that tests my ability to find solutions to problems of all shapes and sizes. I enjoy strategizing with my team and using my vision to set goals that we can achieve together.”

Suzanne Horner
Store Manager, Sobeys West River, Pictou, N.S
“My management style is about working closely with my teams and assisting them whenever and wherever possible to not only achieve their personal best, but to embrace shared goals and objectives. Maintaining a passionate and coordinated team effort benefits everyone, including our loyal customers.”
Katherine McDonald
Store Manager, Food Basics, Midland, Ont.
“I enjoy the opportunity to be a leader—training and teaching a team of people how to excel in their roles. I have strong instincts when it comes to my team and will move employees from one department to another to help not only achieve store results, but also for the individual to maximize their own potential.”
Danica Parilac
Store Manager, Longo's Walkers Line, Burlington, Ont.
“The most gratifying part of my career is helping people achieve their personal and professional goals. I’m also a strong supporter of giving back to the community. Being a leader is truly a gift that should never be taken for granted. Helping someone on my team reach their full potential truly brings me joy.”
Leslie Robb
Store Manager, Safeway

“What I enjoy most about my job is the people I work with and the customers I engage with every day. Each day is different and there is never a dull moment. In fact, I welcome the challenges that come my way. Plus, I get to make a difference in someone’s life by doing my job in the best way possible and leading by example.”

Carla Turnbull
Store Manager, Save-On-Foods Summerwood, Sherwood Park, Alta.

“I’m proudest when I see team members that I have coached and mentored succeed in advancing their careers. I’m also proud of being able to recognize the talent and find the best way to nurture it to allow that success. Take care of your team and they will take care of you; and don’t be afraid to fail because you will never succeed if you don’t try.”

Alice Warner
Store Manager, New Westminster, B.C. Safeway

“I love the people part of the business, building long-lasting relationships with my team and my customers. I want my customers to walk into my store and have an awesome experience, whether it’s shopping for Christmas dinner or picking up some fresh local berries on a hot summer day. I really want my teammates to want to be at work. Grocery retail is hard, challenging work so it’s important for me to make the workplace an inviting place to be.”