Meet Nina Roth
ON HER MORNING ROUTINE
I wake up at 6:30 - 7:30 AM and always have a full glass of water to rehydrate. I hop in the shower to wake myself up and end with my favorite oil, Aveda’s Stress Fix Composition Oil, that I rub on my hands, wrists and neck. It’s a pleasant way to take in the moment of the morning. I set a timer for 10 minutes to do my morning stretching. I’ve noticed that when I take this time for myself I have a clearly focused day with less aches and pains from sitting at a computer all day. Then I’ll walk my dog with my husband. We try to make an effort to walk him together whenever possible. Then I’m off to work! Once I’m out the door and walking to the subway, I pop in my headphones and listen to NPR newscast.
on growing up in a religious Jewish home
From first grade to high school I studied a dual curriculum of English and Hebrew/Jewish studies in a Jewish private school. I have fond memories of that time in my life, and to this day, some of my best friends are from grade school. College was the first time I stepped outside of the tight-knit community that I grew up in, and that led to a lot of soul-searching and experimenting with things that I never had exposure to when I was younger. I went to Barnard and studied history with a focus on Latin America. The Latin culture and Spanish language always fascinated me. I studied abroad in Mexico and Argentina to surround myself with it. My major gave me a greater passion for adventure and excitement to step outside of the familiar.
on going into radio after college
I was so incredibly lost when I first left college. I’d always been obsessed with music since elementary school. I vividly remember my fifth grade boyfriend giving me a Pink Floyd CD that I coveted for a long time. College was my first opportunity to study music history, so I made sure that I was in a music class each semester. I got involved in the Columbia radio station, WKCR, and became a programmer in the Jazz department. Since I was a rookie, I was given the 5AM time slot with only a handful of listeners, one of which was my dad on his commute to work. Working at the radio station with people who were so passionate and knowledgeable about music really inspired me. I thought I would find my way into a career in music and even tested the waters for a bit, but it didn’t captivate me in the way I had imagined.
on her unexpected entry into the startup world
After realizing that music was not for me, I searched for a job and was introduced to my boss at Superhuman, the first startup I ever worked for. There I met one of the would-be founders of Oscar and reconnected with him about a year later. I wasn’t specifically looking to work in healthcare, but I was hoping to join another small team that I could help build and scale. Oscar had eight employees at the time and needed a ninth who could handle internal operations. My four years at Oscar were a roller coaster of personal and professional growth. The company hired over 700 employees during the time I worked there!
Then I took about six months off and traveled to Africa with my now husband. We rented a truck with a rooftop tent and camped our way around Southern Africa. I feel so lucky that I took the time to reflect and think about my next opportunity with a clear mind.
As I searched again, I was drawn to opportunities in the health-tech space. It’s where I found the most impactful and meaningful missions that I could sink my teeth into. I reconnected with one of my old colleagues at Oscar, Harry Ritter, who was about to start Alma. His idea was to create space for therapy by giving providers a platform to manage and grow their practices (community support, tech, lead gen opportunities) and clients a simpler way to find the care they need. Alma’s mission is that we have the opportunity to take part in the conversation to destigmatize mental illness and mental health issues. I truly believe that we can move the needle forward on this. As the Head of Community & Operations at Alma, I oversee member experience and engagement. So I manage new member sales and onboarding, community engagement, operations of the space, and day-to-day issues.
The part of my job that can’t be learned is the ability to connect with each person you interact with, a genuine interest in their story, and a sense of empathy and sensitivity towards others. If you have a love for human connection and a deep understanding of what makes people tick, a Community role is a great path. That being said, there’s also a need to drive projects forward, be super organized, and be a vulnerable and devoted leader.
on therapy and making space for yourself
I go to therapy once a week and it’s one of the best things that I do for myself! On the most basic level, therapy is a way to ensure that I’m making space for myself each week. It’s incredibly easy to get lost in my routine and the mechanics of the day without tapping into my feelings or emotions. Therapy has given me a space to let my guard down, be myself, and just cry. I’m working on bringing that outside of the office too.
on finding the right balance and self-care
It’s really hard to step away from work, especially when you love what you do and work for a small team with a lofty mission. Balance has gotten a bit easier as I get older because I’m more efficient and better at prioritizing. When I have a clearer sense of the “must-get-dones” versus the “can-waits” I’m able to leave my desk and shift away from work at the end of the day. I work really hard but I also make a concerted effort to step away from my desk, leave my work at the office, and recognize that most of the time things can wait until tomorrow.
I’ve been spending time learning guitar and listening more actively to music. These hobbies bring me a lot of joy. In the craziness of life and work, I sometimes forget to take time for the things I love. I also love to dance and find myself in a casual dance-off every now and again. Self-care at its finest!
on her beauty routine
The best makeup products I started using in the last year are the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and the Secret Camouflage. I don’t wear lots of makeup but I love a beautiful bright lip. One of my favorites is the YSL Matte Lip Stain. I wore it at my wedding and it stayed on impeccably for the entire day! I also use Glossier Boy Brow.
on her style and shopping habits
I’m a very practical dresser and love being comfortable. If I could wear my pajamas all day I would! Everlane does the trick for my basics. The rest is a combo of consigned clothes (Salvation Army in Bed Stuy and Beacon’s Closet), things I held onto for decades, and new stuff from Reformation or sample sales.
on her favorite books
After reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Alan Singer I had one of my most profound “aha” moments. The book helped me internalize that I had been defining myself by my work, thoughts, fears, and relationships, rather than acknowledging these things as objects and experiences that will pass. It helped me get underneath all of my fears and voices in my head to become more myself. I also love Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated.
nina’s favorite records
nina’s favorite films
nina’s favorite places in nyc
My favorite neighborhood coffee shop in BedStuy is Playground. It’s owned by a young woman who lives in the neighborhood and organizes community programming in the space. I really like Bed Stuy Acupuncture and Massage Therapy on Bedford for a more affordable massage. My go-to order-in spot is Silver Rice on Franklin in Crown Heights. They have the freshest most delicious rice and fish cups. If I want to eat out, I’m getting tacos at Chilo’s on Franklin, Caribbean at Miss Lily’s in Soho, Glady’s in Crown Heights, or Shu Jiao Fu Zhou in the LES for amazing peanut butter noodles. For music in a more intimate setting, I really love Barbès in Park Slope (I always find myself dancing by the end of the night) and (Le) Poisson Rouge in the West Village.