Women & Business September 2018: Nicole Moga
Nicole Moga is the owner and operator of Boat Pittsburgh.
Owner & Operator, Boat Pittsburgh
Nicole Moga came to Pittsburgh in 2001 and hasn’t stopped moving since. In 2014, she launched her business, Boat Pittsburgh, with only two pontoon boats, but in its first year it had 103 rentals and more than 600 customers.
Located on the Allegheny River in Sharpsburg, Boat Pittsburgh now rents out kayaks and three luxury pontoon boats that can seat up to eight people each.
“As a nature-lover and conservationist, I know that when people make a personal connection with our waterways, they are more likely to support efforts to keep them clean and healthy,” Moga says. “My hope is that my business encourages other riverfront businesses and initiatives.”
When Moga moved to the city from Ohio, she was told that in Pittsburgh, we build bridges, not burn them. The advice she offers to other women in business is to be courageous and speak up.
“As women, we’re often challenged by male-dominated industries and chains-of-command,” she says. “Be confident that you’ve done your homework and know what you’re talking about. If not — ask, listen and learn.”
As the owner of her own business, Moga wears all the hats. She develops operations and policies from scratch, is her own human resources department and deals with customer service. She also sources equipment, manages marketing strategies and works to expand services. On top of all that, she is the secretary and a member of the Pittsburgh Safe Boating Council.
“My spirit animal is the honey bee,” Moga says. “Benevolent and quiet, yet super organized, focused and determined to make things happen back at the hive. I love working with people from all walks of life and creating innovative ways to get the job done.”
Moga’s goal for the next five years is to develop a riverfront space of her own; a recreation center where people could come to enjoy boating, biking, paddling, walking, fishing and relaxing by the water, with public amenities such as bathrooms and water fountains.
“It’s high time Pittsburgh appreciates our riverfronts as the assets they are and protect them accordingly,” she says.
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