Noe of Sonoma Human Services wins Forty Under 40 award

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Age: 39

Upstream Investments Program Development Manager

County of Sonoma Human Services

2550 Paulin Drive, #1, Santa Rosa 95403

877- 699-686

Responsibilities with your company:

In my current role at the Sonoma County Human Services Department, I manage the Sonoma County Upstream Investments Policy Initiative. The Initiative aims to promote effective and prevention-focused approaches to ultimately uproot poverty and reduce long-term monetary and societal costs to Sonoma County. My responsibilities include managing the budget and contracts for our unit, supervising a team of research and evaluators, facilitating community planning projects, providing technical assistance to non-profits and other government agencies to improve program practice, and creating opportunities for cross sector collaborations to maximize their impact.

I also manage and facilitate the Upstream Investments Policy Committee and Executive Committee. The Policy Committee is chartered by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and provides direction to the Upstream Investments Initiative. Members include representatives from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, nonprofit leadership, county department leadership, business leaders, philanthropic leaders and other community leaders. In addition to working for our local government, I have supported our community members through my previous work with local nonprofits. My experience uniquely positions me to be a leader that creates short and long-term change in our community. I feel so fortunate to have had incredible mentors and opportunities that have led me to this point, here in beautiful and resilient Sonoma County!

In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I am described as an innovative leader who works tirelessly to assure all community members have the opportunities and services they need to be successful.

Years with company


Length of time in current position

1 year 3 months

No. companywide employees


No. that report to you:


Greatest professional accomplishment:

My greatest professional accomplishment is developing and launching Cradle to Career Sonoma County, a public/private partnership focusing on three goal areas related to school readiness, academic achievement and college and career success for children and youth.

My work with Cradle to Career Sonoma County led the launch of the Preschool Facilities and Services Grant Program. Initial investments in the grant program totaled $1,135,593 from the following investors: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, First 5 Sonoma County, John Jordan Foundation, Fort Ross Education Foundation and the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers and Sonoma County Vintners through their Sonoma Wine Country Weekend auction.

The initial investment in preschool facilities leverages over $4.1 Million in state and federal contracts annually for 428 quality preschool seats for working families. Also, it was pretty cool as a young professional to have an editor of the paper write about me as a young up and comer when I was first elected to the school board:

Greatest professional challenge

As a school board member, I recently had to lead an effort to decrease our annual budget by $1.2 million. As a leader in the district, I continue to meet the challenge of maintaining quality programing and retaining quality staff. We are working at the state level to educate our elected leaders about the challenges of local school funding despite efforts at the state level to increase funding.

Best advice received

My father passed two months ago. He started working at his dad’s store when he was ten and worked his entire life retiring four years ago. He always told me to work hard and to be honest. These are two values I hold true to each day of my life. I am proud of my career and I know by working hard and always staying true my word, I will reach my long-term career goals.

Age: 39

Upstream Investments Program Development Manager

County of Sonoma Human Services

2550 Paulin Drive, #1, Santa Rosa 95403

877- 699-686

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months

During the October fires, I was the lead county staff member assigned to manage the Analy High School emergency shelter.

My primary focus was managing the medically fragile portion of the shelter on the Analy campus, just off the gymnasium. I was very proud to work alongside the high school district shelter leadership team and volunteers. I was inspired by our community’s commitment and resiliency during this incredibly difficult time. I continue to support fire recovery efforts as a member the Rebuilding Our Community - Community Assessment Committee, and as a founding member of Sonoma County Rises partnership.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

The Human Services Department offers a range of professional development courses and a mentor program. I am participating in the mentor program this year both as a mentor and mentee. I also provide my staff opportunities to connect outside of our regular work duties via lunch, hikes and after work happy hours. Currently, the county is experiencing staff reductions. Due to the reductions, last year, two positions were eliminated from my team. The reductions were very challenging for my team. I led a transparent process with good communication to support the morale of my staff during this time. In addition, our department leadership prioritizes transparency and communication to create an environment where it is possible to regroup and make progress after such a challenging event.

Next professional goal

I want to continue advancing in leadership roles within the county. I believe every Sonoma County resident deserves to be given the opportunity to reach their fullest potential. By working for the County of Sonoma, I have the opportunity to impact the systems that serve our most vulnerable community members. As a public servant, I am responsible for ensuring access to these quality services for all our residents.


Master of the Arts, Civic Development for a Sustainable Society, Sonoma State University; bachelor of Arts, psychology and sociology, Kent State University



Community/nonprofit activities

West Sonoma County Union High School District trustee (elected to first term at 28, 4 time board president, three times elected to a four-year term; and I am up for reelection this year; Brownie Troop 10019 Leader (current), Ceres Community Project (former board member), Child Care Planning Council (former member), West County Community Services (former board member) and Workforce Investment Act Youth Council (former member).

Mentor/admired businessperson

Karin Demarest, Community Foundation Sonoma County

Buzz word from your industry you hate the most


Typical day at the office

Meet with team to work on/review projects, email (of course), meetings with community partners, work on reports, administration (budgets, Board Items, etc.)

Best place to work outside of your office

I love walking meetings in the historic Cherry Street Neighborhood (I work downtown at 490 Mendocino Ave.).


Hiking, skiing, concerts, dancing, camping and any activity where I can enjoy time outside with my husband and kids.

What you wanted to be when you grew up

Lawyer or a fashion designer

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40

I want to have ample time to do everything I feel I must accomplish. As a mother of two, wife and a career woman, I continue to work on using the hours of the day wisely and being mindful in my approach to situations and people. I believe in appreciating the present moment and not stressing about the other stuff. This is a constant work in progress!

First job

Pizza place in the mall- Villa Pizza! My husband got me the job. We were friends in high school.

Social media you most use


Favorite book

“The Story of B” by Daniel Quinn

Favorite movie

“Wild- Modern;””A River Runs Through It” Historic

Favorite after-work drink

Glass of Sonoma County pnot noir

Last vacation

Ski trip to Lake Tahoe

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

I am an attentive listener and good at communicating to an audience (small or large). I put the well-being of other people first.

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