WOMEN SHAPING HISTORY
Nancy Ploeger, President,
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
How did you choose your current career?
I fell into it, as I have done my entire working life. One thing just led to another and I was very lucky to have met great people who mentored me and gave me a chance. I am from St. Louis and have always believed in the community, which is what was appealing about the chamber position.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced; how have you resolved them?
I left a high-level, well-paying job to start my own business, representing commercial photographers, with one partner. It was a very challenging business, and while I was trying to get the business off the ground I took a part-time job to bring in extra income. I learned how hard it is for small businesses. After one year of trying to get advertising agencies to use my photographers and break into the business, we finally gave up, as it is not an easy sell no matter how good your photographers are. So I stayed with the part-time job, which turned out to be a 12-year career with a growing company. I think always you must keep your eyes open and stay flexible in the career department!
What are some of the accomplishments you’re proudest of?
In my career, I’m proudest of helping to grow New York Sports Clubs from 5 clubs to over 30. In the chamber, I’m proudest of the support we have given to small businesses struggling to stay alive in this city and the support we have given to the non-profit and educational community to support quality of life issues and educational initiatives. A community consists of all these components, and I think we have been doing great work to create a win-win for everyone.
What would you describe as a turning point in your life?
My turning point was clearly moving to New York after college and living in the collage of this great international city.
Who have been the most influential mentors in your life?
Both my parents, for teaching me the value of hard work, teamwork and community, and my mentors at Federated Department Stores and New York Sports Clubs.
What advice would you give to young people today?
Stay flexible, network, never think you are set for life, and keep trying new things! And volunteer in your community to make it a better one for you and all city denizens! #