Senior-Level Stars

Paula Bonner 
Senior VP, Format Development and Real Estate 
Walmart Canada 
"Obtaining breadth of experience as early as possible in your career will serve you well as you gain more senior roles. Don’t always think you need to move upwards in an organization—lateral changes can be far more enjoyable in the short term and beneficial in the long term."
Tatiana Bossy
Co-Founder & President
"Have a higher purpose in whatever you do in life! Life is grand and we can all make a difference. Be curious, don’t ever take anything at face value and question the hell out of what we have been led to believe is health. We either fuel our journey or we undermine it with the food choices we make on a daily basis. You have the power of choice."
Deb Craven
Chief Financial Officer
"This past year, learning about the grocery industry during a pandemic while also working on a new partnership between Longo’s and Empire was exhilarating, all-consuming and so rewarding. Playing a role in setting up the next chapter for Longo’s growth has definitely been a chance to stretch and grow, which is what I love."
Mina Fior
Senior VP, Human Resources
Kruger Products 
"Developing people, building teams and strengthening culture has been and continues to be my biggest source of energy and inspiration. I am most proud of the part I am able to play in helping people at all levels of the organization leverage their passion, purpose and strengths to reach their potential and achieve their goals."
Nicole Fischer
Head of Sustainability
Kraft Heinz Canada
"I love that I am working on building a more sustainable Canada that I can feel good about leaving to my children. As a large food company, making even small changes to our packaging, resource use, transportation and products can have a big impact, so it makes everything I work on impactful and meaningful. "
Marie-France Gibson
VP, Corporate Brands
"I enjoy all the new and exciting challenges the retail business has to offer. From the constant product innovations, evolution of trends, and consumer needs and wants, to the leadership required to invest in new creative vendors to make consumers’ lives easier and more exciting—the inspirations are endless."
Wendy Hui
VP, Centre of Store Replenishment & Space Planning
Loblaw Cos. Ltd.
"Whether I’m spending time with my team (aka my “work family”), mentoring colleagues, networking or even shopping in our stores as a customer, a significant part of my job revolves around people and a sense of community. I love challenging others and having them challenge me, learning from others and learning about them. And, I take great pride in knowing I serve Canadians in the community I live in."
Geraldine Huse
P&G Canada
"When I joined the company more than 30 years ago, the leader was supposed to have all the answers, but that has totally changed now. Any leader who thinks they do have all the answers will fail. The world is moving and changing too quickly for any one person to have all the answers. As leaders, we need to use our teams and resources, we need to have a growth mindset, be open to advice, and keep learning."
Sarah Joyce
SVP, Ecommerce
"What I love about e-commerce is that there is so much room for growth. We are never standing still. We are constantly looking at data (from our teammates, customers, Ocado, its global partners) to ensure we continue to evolve, innovate, and stay ‘best in class’. Everyone on the team embraces this mentality. It is so inspiring to see!"
Nelm Khangura
VP, Store and Colleague Solutions
Loblaw Technology, Loblaw Companies Ltd.
"We all know the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”—this phrase is equally applicable to our professional careers. The importance of our networks and the relationships we build with mentors, sponsors and coaches is vital for success. I am grateful to have built relationships that have helped me to nurture and evolve my own career path." 
Cristine Laforest
General manager/CEO
Bel Cheese Canada
"I love the autonomy that I have as the leader of a growing business unit, and I feel empowered by our global organization which supports my decisions. I learn every day, and I develop new projects and ideas. I am also challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone by inspiring people. The culture of our organization is team spirit, energy, trust and solidarity."
Katelin Mailer
VP, Human Resources
Lactalis Canada Inc.
"I love the ability to build and shape the culture of our organization. I strive to create an environment where our employees feel a true and strong sense of belonging, and can bring their whole authentic selves to work each and every day. Envisioning the future we are building together is a beautiful thing. When we have a lineup a million miles long of talent wanting to join us, I will know we are doing something right."
Penney McTaggart Cowan
VP, Marketing & Member Experiences
Chair, Calgary Co-op Foundation
Calgary Co-op
"I’m passionate about marketing and retail, and I love to eat, so grocery is the ideal place for me. I love everything about it. Calgary Co-op has always been attractive—a fantastic history, great brand, unique assortment and strong connections to the community. To be part of this organization is a privilege, and I am excited to contribute to its growth and to shape our future."
Gabby Nobrega
Breakthrough Communications Inc. 

"A CEO in the CPG industry once referred to me as an integrator: I can see the big picture inside out and move throughout the entire enterprise. Whether it’s executive coaching, internal/engagement-focused communications, or marketing communications, if you can see the big picture and pull the right levers, that’s when the magic happens."

Wendy Outram
VP, North American Procurement
Bimbo Canada
"I believe in empowerment and engagement. I want associates on my team to enjoy what they do, and have real responsibility. I craved that throughout my career, and I flourished under that model. Engagement happens when associates feel they are part of a bigger mission and purpose. I’m very open with my team and others in the company, and believe deeply in development and coaching."
Nina Patel
VP, Brand & Innovation
Kraft Heinz Canada

"I think it’s a privilege to be able to drive creativity and growth on some of the most iconic brands in Canada, but it’s an even bigger win when you can do it surrounded by really smart, collaborative teammates who are full of passion and also share your desire to make big things happen. I’m so passionate about the work and seeing the results, but the people I work with make the ride a lot more fun."

Jayne Payette
President, Ice Cream division
Nestlé Canada Inc.
"I love this industry! It’s fast paced and always challenging so there’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure. But what I enjoy the most is the opportunity to coach and mentor others and to help them to grow in their own professional and leadership journey. I’ve had the opportunity throughout my career to learn from the best, and now it gives me a lot of satisfaction to help other future leaders grow and succeed."
Annie Rochefort
VP Category – Fresh Products
Agropur Cooperative

"I like to help people reach their highest potential and to see them grow. I had the chance to have excellent coaches along my professional life and my goal is to give that back to others. My role is to lead multifunctional teams, achieving targets and strengthening our business. My team is the most dedicated one and I really enjoy spending time with them every day."

Myriam Tremblay
VP, Replenishment
"I have a very collaborative and inclusive leadership style. I like to develop the skills of my team members and to see them evolve. I can be demanding but I am also very attentive to my employees and their needs. I appreciate team spirit and in this regard, it is important to me that everyone works together, supports each other to achieve a common goal—that of becoming the best retailer in Canada!"
Sandra Veledar
VP, Information Technology and Digital
Farm Boy

"I am grateful that I have been able to find a way to marry my love for technology with my love for food. I work with a great group of people and I am proud when we deliver new digital experiences to our customers or provide our operational teams with better tools to succeed in their roles. We know that when our teams are working at their best, our customers benefit—and that’s what matters most to me."

Rising Stars

Jennifer Allchin
Director of Sales – Western Canada
A. Lassonde Inc.
"Building lasting relationships within the industry has always been important to me and something that I work hard to maintain. I love going to industry events and seeing people I have met and worked with along the way. Treating everyone with respect, even though you may not always be aligned, is important to maintain these relationships. Work is always easier (and more fun) if you get along with the people you work with."
Lori Bodden
Senior Director, Store Solutions Delivery
Loblaw Technology, Loblaw Companies Ltd.

"There are way too many factors that make me love my job, but at the end of the day it’s the fact that I get to work with people and solutions that matter to me. The innovative technology solutions that I get to lead with my team are able to help Canadians who shop in our stores live life well. Developing a project from concept to implementation, then watching it change lives, is the best feeling in the world."

Amanda d’Halluin
Trade Marketing Manager
Lactalis Canada

"I am so proud of the moments where my mentoring played a part in driving success for my teammates. We all have something to learn from one another, and elevating those around us only makes for a stronger organization and ultimately greater success. I try my best to learn from others but also invest the time to teach from my own strengths. It simply feels good to know when I was able to play a role in any team member’s development."

Julie Dickson Olmstead
Managing Director, Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility

"There are three pieces of advice that have guided me throughout my career: 1) You should be excited to get up and go to work every day. If you aren’t, you’re in the wrong job; 2) Go big or go home; and 3) Be part of the solution."

Sheri Evans 
Local Development Manager, Ontario Field Merchandising

"The best part of my job is the ability to bring ideas to life, support and mentor like-minded people and local entrepreneurs, all while making a positive impact on our economy. My job/career allows me to help people succeed, provide for their families, supports our economy and brings local to the forefront."

Julie Fluelling
North American Customer Service Manager
McCormick & Company

"My best quality is probably problem solving. I enjoy figuring out why issues are happening, identifying root causes and streamlining processes. I think that’s why I’ve found success in supply chain and project management roles—I have a continuous improvement mindset, and problem-solving feeds right into that.'

Rose Galli
Director, Supply Chain Canada Commercial
Ferrero Canada Limited

"My father owned and operated a deli and meat shop. I grew up in the business and I saw how he worked and how he managed all aspects of the business. From a very young age, I understood the importance of freshness, logistics and income generation. I was always passionate about the industry and being a part of it, and I am extremely grateful for the way my career has evolved."

Christine Honeybrown
Director of Category Sales Development, Retail Sales
Maple Leaf Foods

"I am incredibly proud of how my team stepped up to fill an unprecedented business need shortly after COVID hit. Everyone was, and still is, going through so many new challenges, both personal and professional, but with efficiency, flexibility and great collaboration across departments and teams, we established a way to navigate the unchartered waters to get our sales team what they needed to support our customers."

Danika Johansen
Director of eCommerce and Emerging Channels
Unilever Canada 

"I think my best quality is that I always try to consider other peoples’ views. I try to approach challenges and decisions with empathy for individuals first, and be flexible in my own understanding and preconceived notion of problems that I may face. This quality has led to a high level of trust with the teams and cross-functional partners that I work with."

Kristina Koprivica
Corporate director, Marketing
Kruger Products

"I have always enjoyed working with brands and products that fulfil an everyday need or solve an everyday problem for consumers, and I’m proud to work in this industry. CPG and grocery are key parts of our lives. When you work in CPG, no shopping experience is ever just “shopping,” and even in my personal life I am always on the lookout for incredible displays, category progress and updates, new products and packaging and more."

Suzy Maharaj
Sr. Finance Manager, Forecasting & Business Analysis – Specialty/NPC/VMS
The Clorox Company of Canada, Ltd

"The best advice I’ve ever received is this: “The mature mind does not rail at the inevitable, it merely adjusts itself.” Change is inevitable, and we can embrace the change and adapt. This has served me well and I constantly challenge the status quo, looking for improvements, cost savings and reimagining new ways of working."

Stéphanie Marando
Merchandising Director – Grocery
Super C/Metro
"Being a foodie, I can relate to the products being sold on shelves. We work every day on making assortment and pricing suit our customer’s needs. I love that merchandising is very fast paced, and that we need to be quick on our feet to react to market trends. The food industry is also essential, and volume driven, and it’s fun to get weekly reports that help us better understand and analyze results based on our business decisions."
Theresa Ijeoma Opurum
Transformation Manager

"I’ve always considered myself to be creative—I’m intrigued by why things work the way they do and how I can make them better regardless of existing conventions. What I love most about my job is the creativity needed to resolve customer issues and the fact that I get to leverage technology to design customer experiences that are impactful, consistent and considerate."

Ellen Osborne
Category Manager
Summerhill Market
"I’ve always been passionate about food and new products, and so being able to do that for my career is certainly wonderful. I’m the kind of person that spends a good chunk of their weekends going to other grocery stores just because I like to explore new food products. Being able to do that for my career as well is very rewarding."
Heather Pereira 
Director, HR – Store Operations
"The greatest achievements for me have been those occasions where there have been times of discomfort, and you must grapple with how to keep the team together, motivated and engaged—it’s the excitement and pride of accomplishing this, and seeing a team support each other and flourish in their respective roles."
Melanie Rioux
National Sales Director
Coca-Cola Limited Canada

"I believe we can achieve anything we want with hard work, passion, and being purposeful in our choices. Women tend to wait to be fully ready before raising their hands, sharing opinions, or expressing the desire for a promotion. A turning point earlier in my career was when I realized how hard I was on myself, and how that was slowing my ability to explore my full potential. I learned to better trust myself and accept that it’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you learn from it!"

Lindsey Williams
Senior Director, Human Resources, International and U.S. Food Service
Conagra Brands Inc.

"I have been blessed with great mentors who have shaped who I am as a leader. One key mentor pushed me to always be my authentic self, and to leverage my strengths. She told me that “opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” I have tried to live by this advice by continually looking for ways to make an impact on others."

Store-Level Stars

Jenna Benn
Store Manager, College and Bay, Toronto
Farm Boy

"My first job at 15 was at A&P as a courtesy clerk pushing carts and helping bag groceries. I always dreamed of having my photo at the front of the store. I strayed to the world of clothing for a while, but was swayed back with Farm Boy’s delicious ways and great opportunities to grow."

Michelle Blair
Store Manager, Metro, Bowmanville, Ont.

"I love coming in to work each day and hearing people’s stories from all stages of life, and watching people that are growing personally and professionally. The fast-paced environment with this position and not knowing what each day may bring helps keep me motivated and challenged."

Courtney Burokas
Store Manager, Lindenridge Safeway, Winnipeg

"I enjoy motivating people and encouraging them to see their full potential. A big part of my job is to be a mentor to those looking to advance their career within the company. I have had so many great mentors who have helped me along the way and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish my goals without their support. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward."

Dawn Haig
Store Manager, Save-On-Foods Cottonwood, Chilliwack, B.C.

"To put it simply, my favourite part of my job is helping people—whether it’s customers, team members or vendors. I love having the ability to create a solution to a problem, and having a platform to always improve."

Vicki Kinsella
Store Manager, Sobeys Howley Estates, St John’s

"The best part of my job is when I get to spend my time on the sales floor interacting with both customers and employees. I enjoy getting to know my people and focus on their strengths to help them learn and grow and to better serve our customers. I love it when I hear the sound of laughter and positivity in people’s voice. Having fun in the workday is good for the mind and soul."

Kirsten McLeod
General Manager
Pemberton Valley Supermarket Ltd.

"I am proud of the team we have built at the store. The grocery industry is busy, and a good working team is imperative to the success of moving forward with projects, and to the overall advancement of the store. The owners of the store truly believe in building trust with their employees and blending the complementary strengths of team members."

Mara Merlin
Store Manager, Save-On-Foods Jagare, Edmonton

"The biggest challenge I have faced in my career has been opening a new store in the middle of a global pandemic. My team and I have had to think creatively to draw attention to our store, as many community outreach activities have been restricted and traditional in-store excitement, such as demos, have been put on hold. I am so proud of the resilience of my team."

Jennifer Newton
Store Manager, Food Basics, Simcoe, Ont.

"Being able to bond with my customers while providing the best shopping experience in my store is one of my favourite parts of my job. Another is overcoming the day-to-day challenges with people I can rely on and who make everything I do worthwhile. I know I have people in my corner that I can count on, like my specialists, district manager and wonderful staff. They make working together enjoyable and efficient."

Sarah Romano
Assistant Store Manager, Longo’s Liberty Village, Toronto

"My favourite part of the job is the people part. I enjoy working with my team and helping mentor and coach them—I love to watch them advance their careers. It made all the difference when somebody believed in me and if I can pass that on and make others enjoy coming to work every day, I feel like I have truly succeeded."