This United senior manager draws on her family’s trades of hospitality and construction to deliver custom comfort around the globe
Author A. Averyl Re
Nina Moore lives life in perpetual motion.
“I’ve been on the road nonstop since last November,” Moore says. As United’s senior manager of airport lounge operations, she has spent the last year-and-a-half overseeing simultaneous build-outs on brand-new clubs in three locations: Boston (opened in April), London and San Francisco (both open this month).
“Right now, my job is 75 to 80 percent travel,” she says. “I’ve been back and forth between those cities and Tokyo, the D.C. airports and Hong Kong. I support operations and renovations for United’s clubs around the world.”
United introduced a new design concept for its clubs in late 2012, at Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 2, and built new clubs with this design in Seattle and San Diego before the latest round that has kept Moore busy.
The airline operates more than 45 United Club locations, with complimentary bar service, snacks, free Wi-Fi and conference room access. Redesigned clubs enable customers to relax or work with greater comfort and ease, offering expansive bar and lounge areas, dynamic lighting, modern furniture and additional workstations and power outlets. With these specifications, Moore works with a team to take a club from design to opening, ensuring it meets the needs of the modern, connected traveler. “I make sure the space is functional and comfortable. We create a lounge experience that offers a respite from busy terminals and offers the amenities that help busy business travelers get work done.
“Our customers have a choice,” she continues. “They can be somewhere else. They choose to be in our club. I want to make sure they have a great experience and it’s worth their time.”
Putting in new clubs requires taking care of innumerable details, requirements that vary from city to city. “Then, once the facilities are built, I see that they deliver the services and experiences our customers expect every day,” Moore says.
So how does she keep up such a brutal, globe-spanning pace? “No matter where I am, I go home every weekend to refresh my clothes, sleep in my own bed and spend quality time rejuvenating and focusing my mind in a peaceful way,” she says. “And I talk to my family no matter where I am in the world, to say good night to my dad, my sisters and their children.”
Moore, who earned her degree in Business Administration from Chicago State University, feels she was born to do this. “It goes back to what I enjoyed as a child,” she says. “I was the one who would have a popcorn and lemonade stand, because I didn’t want just lemonade. I told my sisters what to do, and I coordinated everything.” Perhaps her father owning a construction company also helped. “I didn’t work for him,” she jokes, “but I pretended I did. As I was growing up, I drove his truck around.” She also visited sites and learned to read building plans.
Moore has spent a total of 26 years with United, starting in 1985. She left the company in 2004 to help manage her family’s restaurant and to work for Oprah Winfrey—experiences that prepared her well for her return to the airline and a role that has her working to deliver an exceptional airport experience for some of United’s best customers. “This industry gets in your blood,” she says. “I enjoy the energy. I enjoy taking care of customers.”
She also enjoys a job well done. “It’s rewarding to see the end result. I get to work with amazing people, design firms, architects and contractors. I’ve had nothing but the best colleagues and co-workers.”
What does Moore plan to do when her projects are finally complete? She’s going to devote some time to Say Beignet, the new wine and coffee bar her family opened last month in Bolingbrook, Ill., and she has another, more personal goal. “I’m getting myself a puppy,” she says. “Prince is my all-time-favorite artist, so that is what I’m going to name my Akita. And he’s going to wear a purple bow. Absolutely awesome.”