Spotlight COlorado  

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Susan Noble just happens to fit the description in Webster’s Dictionary of the word: Noble – ”Having or displaying qualities of high moral character – such as honor, generosity - a noble soul.” Many will agree that Susan Noble is a woman with all these virtues. In a competitive society where some people have to develop their own “agendas,” Susan’s sincerity and honesty is refreshing. Susan gives with no other motive but to help others and to give back to a world that has given her so much.

Susan says: “I’ve been so fortunate and led a charmed life – everyone should have a good life.” Susan loves to work, and she comes from a family who believes in always working hard, giving back, and staying active in society no matter how many material assets you might have accumulated.

Among the many charitable causes Susan supports, she has a soft spot in her heart for abused women and children. Susan has personally worked with families who are victims of violence and abuse, and those experiences have left her feeling like she is “the luckiest person alive.” Susan believes it’s everyone’s right to have a safe and peaceful home to come to. All the more reason for someone like Susan to stay involved with her favorite charities such as SafeHouse Denver of which she has been a long-term member of the Board of Directors.

As Susan so poignantly said at the SafeHouse Gala when she was honored last November with the “Carolyn Hamil-Henderson Award” in recognition of her long-standing commitment to ending domestic violence: “I view my involvement with SafeHouse as a journey. My purpose is to make a difference, and I look forward to seeing you all at the end of the road.”

What’s going on in the Denver Real Estate market today? What do you predict for the future? You get a lot of mixed reports. People are looking for those great returns on their real estate investments, and perhaps that’s not happening as much as we’d like. I believe real estate is still a great place to invest your money, if that’s what you want to do; and there is nothing better than owning your own home. I think we are going to continue to have an active real estate market, because people are always going to need homes to live in. The high-end home just takes a little longer to sell, but people are still interested in buying them. Many people are saying: “Should I buy or remodel?” and buyers are smarter and more informed than they have ever been. People don’t have to buy the first house they see, but if it’s a good house, the good ones, especially if they are priced right, go quickly.

Are you seeing a lot of out-of-town buyers? Originally no, but Coldwell Banker, who I work for, has a re-location department, and it seems to be pretty active now. We hear good news that people are coming to town - and then we hear bad news that people are losing their jobs. We need to create more jobs here, and I hear that we have had some of that happen recently.

What’s the best advice you have for a woman who wants to advance in the business world? Actually most of my experiences have been in owning my own business. Real Estate is the same kind of thing. How well you do is up to you. You can take one step forward, and sometimes two steps back. How you feel about yourself, and how you project yourself, and whether you’ve had some successes elsewhere in life - so you are confident enough to take the next step - are important. It’s also important that your family/friends are supportive and acknowledge that you are on the right track.

Corporate America is a different ballgame. You might have to work it 24-7. You talk to a lot of young women today, and they actually want to be home with their kids, but you can get caught up in being a career woman. During the Gloria Steinem era, you had to try to do it all. It can be very conflicting these days, you want to make a difference, but you want to be a good mom too. Although, women these days are more assertive about how they feel and about what they want to do with their lives. Either way, no matter what you decide to do, mom or career, or both, just go for it!

What type of personality does it take to be leader of an organization? Someone who is assertive, motivated, and focused.

What do you think is the greatest problem our country is facing today? Aside from terrorism, we need role models for our children. We have to work with children when they are young. Teaching children to make the right decisions is important. We also have to help the parents know how to teach their children to make the right choices. The children that I have seen in the different abuse programs don’t always have parents who can give their children good tools to make good decisions.

When I was working with Leigh Sinclair who is Chariman of the Board of Trustees of Urban Peak, at an alternative school, called “Fresh Start,” there were only 40 kids or so in the program, and for “Teacher Parent Night” only two parents showed up. Work needs to continue with needy parents to help them learn how to respond to some of the simple basic requirements of parenting and just about everyday life.

If you were about to spend the next year on the space shuttle, what one thing would you bring with and why? Well, I’d have to have my glasses so I could see, and I grind my teeth, so I would have to have my “night guard.” And – maybe my special pillow so I could sleep.

Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself for the future? I would have gone to law school. I don’t know if I would actually practice law. It would be great training and discipline - and provide creativity for your mind. My son keeps saying, “Just do it Mom!”

If your house was up for sale, and a prospective buyer did a walk through, what would your home tell them about you? It’s warm and welcoming, it engages you. It makes you feel comfortable, you would feel at ease in any part of my house.

Describe your dream romantic get-a-way? My husband, Howard, and I have been married for almost 14 years, and we still love talking to and being with each other. So when we have the opportunity to get away, my choice would always be to do a bike trip or something active like that. He would prefer to have time to read, and he does love to play golf, so we would choose a place that would have all of that. We loved going to Positano in Italy. We stayed at the Le Sirenuse. It’s beautiful and romantic. Another great place would be the Meadowoods up in the wine country.

Who would you like to trade places with for one day and why? I just read her book: Katherine Graham, the Publisher of the Washington Post, because she is an amazing woman.

What’s something you’ve learned from a pet? The unconditional love that dogs give you.

What social or charitable event is your favorite? The SafeHouse gala; I’m always so proud of what a wonderful event they put on. The Dumb Friends League puts on an event at the end of the summer. It’s outdoors in a tent with entertainment, and we look forward to that each year. I also like to go to the Deb Ball. It’s a very strong tradition here in Denver. The Denver Art Museum’s Collectors Choice is very nice too. I co-chaired that event one year.

How do we get more people involved in charitable giving? You have to find things that are close to people’s heart. For our population, we could definitely do better. Charity has to come from the heart. If I can do my part to make a difference, I will. It’s so important to give back to our society and to where you live, but things can be tough for people these days. You unfortunately can’t make the judgment on who should give money.

Who is your hero or mentor? My mother. She is a pretty amazing person. She’s 86 years old; I was very lucky. She’s athletic, she worked out, she graduated from Skidmore, she was one of 10 children, she was the link for our family, and kept it all together.

When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? I was always interested in fashion, color and decorating. So it was probably something in the fashion industry.

What is one thing nobody knows about you? I would have loved to have three children, and I only had one.

What do you like most about yourself? I like that I’m a good friend to people, and I like that I’m charitable. I’m honest – without being hurtful, I hope. My friends and loyalties became very important to me early on. I like that I have a love of family. Sometimes you stray away from your family, but you always come back.

What do you like least about yourself? I get too much on my plate, and I don’t do things as well as I like. I shortchange myself. I could use better time management.

What are you most disciplined about? Not missing my workouts.

If your life were a movie, what actress would best play you? Cate Blanchett.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you’ve ever met? Marilyn Van Derbur Atler. She came to my hometown of Newburgh when she was Miss America. What a courageous, brave person she is for coming out and telling her story of being abused.

What is your most treasured possession? Our collection of Haron. But that’s what it is, just a possession.

What is the best advice your Mom/Dad ever gave you? They sort of set examples for us; I’m not sure they bestowed any words on us. They have lived a good, clean, honest life. They have been devoted to one another and devoted to our family. My dad taught all of us about hard work. They showed us how important it was to be involved not through words, but through their actions.

What’s coming up in the future for Susan Noble? When you get to be 60, you start thinking about all those things you didn’t get to do yet. I’ve always worked. Work is very important; it keeps you involved in life. I hope to have some successes in real estate, so I see that as still part of my life. Making more of a difference in the non-profits I’m involved in and helping to lead them in a path of being able to continue to do their work.

What is something you would still like to learn to do? – Like play an instrument, learn another language–skydiving? Play the piano, and learn to speak Spanish.

What would you most like to be remembered for? That I was strong for my family; and I’d like people to know that I was charitable and supportive of nonprofits, and that it was very important to me because I had a wonderful life and a wonderful family. Most of all, I want people to know that I have made a difference in people’s lives.