Noble successfully returns to her Midwest roots
Laurie Noble spent more than two decades in California working in the corporate world but moved back to her native Wisconsin in 2006.
The return to home soil has been beneficial for the Watertown native. On July 1, her 49th birthday, she took over as St. Croix County treasurer, following the resignation of Cheryl Slind at the end of May to take a job with a private software company.
Noble was one of 53 applicants for the position. "They narrowed it down to three people and we took second interviews," she said during a conversation in her Government Center office last week. "At the June 16 board meeting they appointed me to the position."
Noble grew up in Watertown west of Madison, where she graduated from high school in 1978 and was active in drama.
"I was a candidate for the Miss Wisconsin pageant in 1981," she said. Her talent portion of the contest was a recitation of a scene from a Neil Simon play. "I didn't make the finals, but it was a good experience representing my hometown."
Noble credits the experience with sharpening her people skills and helping her in the business world. She also received a scholarship for participating in the contest that helped her with college.
She moved to southern California and worked full time while financing her education. Noble earned an associate degree in business administration and accounting from Riverside Community College.
She spent 24 years on the West Coast working in accounting and payroll departments for manufacturing firms before she felt a tug to come back to the Midwest.
"I missed the change of seasons," she said. "And it's so beautiful in Hudson with the historic downtown. It's convenient to the Twin Cities. I still have family in Watertown and it's an easy drive to get there."
Noble worked for two years for a St. Paul corporation, then took the job as deputy treasurer in North Hudson in August 2008.
"At North Hudson, I learned so much about government accounting and dealing with people," she said.
Noble said that the village may be one of the smaller municipalities in the county, but "it's really busy."
She started the job, however, after the new village hall was up and running so never had the experience of the previous cramped and dreary office spaces.
Noble was appointed to head up the three-person treasurer's office at about the busiest time of year. The second-half payments for property taxes are due by July 31, and there is always a last-minute rush.
"You just jump into the saddle and ride," she said about the pace two weeks into her new position.
She said along with first deputy treasurer June Sather and clerk Denise Boron, a group of experienced people assist in the property tax rush.
Noble, who is single, will face her first public election in 2012 if she chooses to continue as county treasurer. She said campaigning for office will be a whole new experience in her life.
In the meantime, "I just want people in St. Croix County to know we are here for them, to listen to their questions and give them answers."