As part of our team spotlight, we will have each month a team member answering a few questions so you can get to know us a bit better.
This month we are focusing on Mika Nachmani, CNOC's co-founder and our grounding rock.
Who are you? Give us some highlights from your past
I’m Mika, co-founder of Cnoc, wife to Gilad, mother of our two gear testers, lifelong city girl. I grew up in California with long stints in Israel, playing traditional sports and blissfully ignoring outdoors adventures of any kind.
I moved to Israel full-time after graduating with a degree in business, kind of on a whim. Gilad and I met there and together we finished his degree, moved to the UK and eventually made our way to Portland.
I think I qualify as an athlete, but the organized kind – field sports, the gym, streaming workout videos (before they were COVID-cool). Gilad took me on my first backpacking trip, and I’d like to think I know a thing or two by now, but honestly? I’m still not as skilled as you would expect from a person who has been hiking and camping and whatnot for almost 15 years. I’d have to go out on my own to see what I truly know!
Tell us about a very memorable trip outdoors from the last few years
I think my favorite trip in recent history was when we went bikepacking in the lower Deschutes for Gilad’s birthday. My older child was 6 and rode on her own, and my younger was attached to Gilad in a Weehoo. It was gorgeous, and fun, and the competitive athlete in me loved that we were able to cover larger distances – something you have to set aside when hiking with kids.
What do you do at CNOC?
Fun fact – I am not actually a Cnoc employee! Gilad and I founded the company together; I encouraged him to quit his job, I wrote the business plan, and participated in countless conversations about all things Cnoc from the very beginning. But I have a paid job and an established career that has nothing to do with Cnoc or the outdoors industry.
These days, I am mostly involved in the strategy side. That means Gilad and I talk about what ideas to start prototyping, where to invest any spare cash we might have (new molds? Hiring a prototyping company? Buying a machine of one kind or another?), inventory planning, general financial discussions, and more. I also deal with HR stuff like hiring, write things sometimes, model every once in a while, and generally act as a mother hen.
What is a running project you are working on at the moment that no one knows about yet?
Since I’m not an employee, I don’t have projects in the same way everyone else around here does. I have my own day job, and I let the professionals at Cnoc get on with their things. Gilad and I are constantly talking about potential new projects, but those are more his projects than mine. I’m really excited about all of the potential recycling programs for old products/product pieces, in particular!
What is your favorite kit that we make?
The Vecto, for some of the same reasons why everyone does, and also some others. It is a brilliant piece of gear. It works, and is durable, and that’s all there is to it. It also represents Gilad moving into inventor mode, and really opening the possibilities of what CNOC can accomplish.
What's an interesting (or not-so-interesting) non-Cnoc factoid about yourself that is important to who you are as a person?
I played on a national championship winning lacrosse team in college. It was fun, and competitive, and formed a large part of who I am. We used to play on fields right next to the agricultural programs, and we would joke that we became fitter by practicing playing while breathing through our mouths on the days when the barns were being mucked out!
When I started going on outdoors adventures with Gilad after we started dating, I really struggled to slow down and enjoy the journey. I have been so focused on competition and achieving specific goals, the concept of just appreciating a nice walk was completely strange to me. I would like to think I am better at this than I used to be, especially since having kids, but I think I still default to racing to a target end point. Old habits die hard!
To Learn more about our team, head over to our About Page.