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Natalie Bogart, 37 Marketing director Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority
Nominator’s quote: “Natalie continues to introduce and implement innovative strategies and to grow new markets and increase ridership. She has successfully launched numerous advertising and marketing campaigns through several service expansions and changes. More important, she understands the economic impact associated with passenger rail, and works closely with each of our station communities to make the Downeaster and NNEPRA an integral part of their communities.” — Patricia Quinn, New England Passenger Rail Authority
What is your educational background? I received my Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Describe your current job and responsibilities. I am the marketing director at Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) and promote the Amtrak Downeaster passenger-rail service that operates five roundtrips daily between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts. I develop the strategic marketing direction, define campaign strategies, manage social media accounts, build customer relationships and create promotional communications. I also manage our small (but mighty) marketing team and sales outreach staff.
Describe your career path. I joined NNEPRA 14 years ago fresh out of college. I started as the marketing and sales coordinator and was promoted to marketing director in 2011.
How did you get into the railroad industry? Luck certainly played a role! I was excited by the opportunity advertised in the local paper. I had traveled via Amtrak on several occasions and had consistently enjoyed my experience. I thought my previous customer service roles and academic background made me a good candidate, so I applied, interviewed, and got the job. Years later I asked the executive director, Patricia Quinn, why she hired me. She said, “You told me you would work hard, and I believed you.” The rest is history.
What is the best career advice you’ve received? If you want to be a 10, surround yourself with 11’s, 12’s, and 13’s.
I have been surrounded by a wonderful team of colleagues throughout my career.
What advice would you pass along to a new railroader? Find a fearless leader, role model, or a mentor in the industry and then listen, ask questions, take notes and learn as much as possible.
What was your very first job? My first job was at the local bagel shop. I learned that if you provide great service, offer quality products, and charge a reasonable price, your customers will always come back for more.
Describe a fun fact about yourself. I worship the sun and flip flops.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? My time away from work is spent with family. I am blessed to be a mother to two amazing boys, ages 4 and 2, who keep me very busy.
What is the biggest challenge the rail industry now faces or will face? COVID-19 will have a severe and lasting impact on passenger-rail travel from overall demand for travel, to social distancing and disinfection protocols. Marketing messages will need to be altered and passenger safety and well-being will be the No. 1 priority.