Nicole Murphy knows how to adapt to new surroundings.
When she was 13, she and her family moved to Naples from New Jersey. It wasn’t an easy move, but Murphy adjusted to life in Southwest Florida.
Murphy started her career at specialty retailer Express in Fort Myers, quickly rising through the ranks and opening new stores for the company. “I love people and I love managing people,” she says.
While managing the Express store in Naples two years ago, Murphy wanted to try her hand at something new. She had learned to scuba dive and enjoyed the water.
Meanwhile, Pure Florida was growing quickly as the Naples-based company added boats to its fleet and new locations for tourists looking for fun on the water. The company now has 32 employees, Murphy says.
“They were looking for an outside salesperson,” says Murphy. “What they really needed was an operations manager.”
When they realized Murphy’s operational skills she had honed at Express, they seized the opportunity. “They hired me on the spot,” she says.
Although the marine environment differs from Express shops, Murphy says she loves the challenges of working with a growing company. For example, she’s working to build an online reservation system, a complex system that will ease the workload as the company adds to its fleet of sightseeing and pleasure boats.
Married with a son, Murphy says she’s balancing work and life by scuba diving and traveling like she recently did to Pittsburgh. “My husband is a big Steelers fan, but I’ve been accepted in the Steelers circle,” she laughs. “I have my Hines Ward jersey. I’ve got my terrible towel.”
— Jean Gruss
Name: Nicole Murphy
City of residence: Estero
Twitter handle: n/a
Employer: Pure Florida
Title: Operations manager
Birthplace: Newark, N.J.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 13
Marital status/children: Married, one son
Alma mater: n/a
Best place to network: Starbucks
Coolest business experience: Traveling to open new Express store locations
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: It’s not personal.
One website that makes your job easier: Argotrak
One community group you’re most involved with: Ancora
Favorite off-hours activity: scuba diving
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Robin Williams, Albert Einstein
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Zoologist
What’s at the top of your bucket list: Scuba dive in Thailand
What new skill would you like to learn: Stock investing
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Marisa Tomei
If I had a magic wand I’d: Go back to being 16 years old but with the knowledge I have today.