Faces of AWNY: Jennifer Nason

jennifer-nasonJennifer Nason moved to New York City 29 years ago with J.P. Morgan. We caught up with her on role as the first female Chairman of the American Australian Association, tips for professionals working in the City and her favorite brunch spot.

What brought you to New York City?
I was born in Adelaide and went to Melbourne University. I came to New York in 1987 with JP Morgan and have basically been here ever since, now working in technology investment banking.

Tell us about your role as Chairman of the American Australian Association and being the first Australian and the first woman as Chairman?
Well it feels very overdue, but I have been in the role for a year now and we are making many exciting changes. John Berry, the former US Ambassador has just joined as President. We are going to expand our mandate – stay tuned!

As a successful woman in the banking and finance industries in NYC, who is also the Chairman of the AAA, what are your top 3 career tips for other AWNY members?

  1. Play the long game and learn how to persevere through the tough times. I enjoy my job more today than at any other point.
  2. Appreciate and enjoy the great things that happen every day. I keep a mental “Top 10 Highlights” of funny, exciting, crazy, unique moments to remind myself of what a great ride I am having.
  3. Don’t be frightened, take chances and push your way into things.

Where do you live?
I live on the Upper East Side today, but have also lived in the West Village and Upper West Side.

What’s your ‘only in New York’ moment/s?
Shopping at a grocery store one evening and another shopper just started giving an impassioned speech in front of the fruit & vegetable about the poor quality of the produce. We all applauded!

What are your top 3 tips for friends visiting NYC?
See Hamilton, eat brunch at Beauty & Essex in the East Village, and see a concert or a game at the Garden.

Favorite NYC cocktail spot & cocktail of choice?
Well, it used to be the Four Seasons Bar at the Four Seasons Restaurant on 52nd Street and Park Avenue, now it is the Baccarat Bar on 53rd Street.

What do you like and dislike about living in NY?
Love the diversity and everything there is to do. I love Central Park, I love working in the city, I love that you can get anything you want delivered at any time. I don’t like the traffic and the fact that it is hard to have a car.

Anything you miss about Australia?
Lots of things – mainly the food and that Aussie sarcasm.

What’s the biggest challenge or road block you’ve been faced with since being in NYC and how do you overcome it?
I’ve had so many, but who hasn’t. Dealing with a very sick parent and juggling the travel home, the job and the family during that difficult time. It was really hard and I’m still getting over that. Also, experiencing 9/11.

Any advice for people moving to New York?
Embrace the new experience. Don’t compare the new life to the old life. Viva la difference.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given about living or working in NYC?
Jump in and keep up. Embrace the noise, the fast pace and the competition.

Any advice for other Professionals working in NYC?
Network. NYC is a melting pot of professions, talents, interests. Jump into the mix.

As a professional working in NYC what are the differences to working in Australia?
NYC provides the service infrastructure that you need as a working mother, which is so valuable.

Who are some Aussie ladies doing awesome things in NYC who are currently on your radar?
Melissa Babbage (DC)
Rachael Ruddick (LVMH)
Patrice Derrington (Columbia University)

What do you like about being part of AWNY?
The energy and the eclectic group of women.


Can you share with us any plans for the future of the AAA? 
2017 is the 100 year Anniversary of Australia joining with the US in every conflict for 100 years.  We are the only US ally that can say that. Next year is also the 75 year anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea in WWII. We are planning some specific events around these milestones. We also want to support and acknowledge our veterans.

Connect with Jennifer
Contact Jennifer via the American Australian Association or email her at chairman@aaanyc.org

American Australian Association’s Benefit Dinner is this week – November 30, 2016.

Attend to see key industry leaders recognized and celebrate the Education Fund Fellows – more information here.

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