Some professionals make it to the top of their field after decades of intense focus and micro-specialization. These are the kind of people who knew they wanted to work in technology or human resources from the moment they stepped into the workforce—or sometimes earlier—and focused deeper and deeper. Though he’s built an esteemed career in finance, Noel Marsden isn’t that type of professional. Instead, his background is in computer engineering; Marsden even started a consulting company to help get through graduate school and pay bills.
“But I never finished my master’s in electrical engineering,” he says. “I realized that I really enjoyed the broader responsibility and experience that came with being an entrepreneur and business owner.” Marsden did eventually earn his graduate degree, taking on an MBA focused in finance and operations that has led to a wide scope of impact, a diverse skill set, and leadership experience.
Though that initial consulting company, IO Solutions, proved a successful venture, Marsden was ready to move onto the next challenge a few years after its founding. During his time in graduate school at Purdue, he was invited to participate in the school’s Innovation Realization lab, an experience that showcased for Marsden the connections between the technology and business worlds.
“Purdue had a portfolio of technology that academics had developed over the years, and it was just going to waste, just sitting in a file cabinet somewhere,” he explains. “The program partnered MBA students with PhD students to help the doctoral students realize the market for their technology.” Marsden had joined Purdue after starting his own successful business and relished the opportunity to further explore his entrepreneurial strength.
In that time, Marsden worked with a company called Griffin Analytical Technologies, which had developed the miniature mass spectrometer, a tool used for chemical detection. While some spectrometers were the size of a room, Griffin’s could fit in a suitcase, and the technological advancement led to rapid growth. “I helped them with their initial financial model and direction,” Marsden explains. “And I’m proud to say that they still exist today in the Purdue Research Park as part of FLIR Systems, the global leader in detection technology.”
Once he completed grad school, Marsden began as a finance intern at Aearo Technologies, a leading safety product manufacturer. After a short time in the office, he had already automated himself out of work, using his technology background to automate board materials and the like. Not long later, he was offered a full-time position. During six years at the company, Marsden rose in the department and gained a lot of exposure to the business’s needs, eventually becoming its treasurer.
Marsden’s next step moved from the private sector to becoming a public sector treasurer, joining Brightpoint in 2006. The Indianapolis, Indiana, organization squarely focused on global wireless distribution. After Brightpoint was acquired by Ingram Micro, Marsden decided it was time to find a new challenge after seven years of increasing integration into the organization’s many functions. After a brief stop in healthcare at Syneos Health Clinical Solutions, formerly INC Research, Marsden found a new home at Brightstar Corporation.
Noel Marsden’s Career Timeline
Marsden graduates from the Michigan State University with a BS in computer engineering
Marsden launches IO Solutions, a custom software applications consulting firm
Marsden joins Aearo Technologies as an intern, eventually becoming Treasurer
Marsden earns his MBA from Purdue, focusing on finance and operations
Marsden joins the public sector at Brightpoint
Marsden joins large contract research organization, INC Research
Marsden begins his tenure at wireless distribution and solutions company, Brightstar Corp.
Marsden takes his first corporate CFO position, joining privately held CareCloud
In that time, Marsden reaffirmed his commitment to making himself into a well-rounded professional. “I’ve always wanted to be the guy outside the boss’s office who would absorb whatever it was that needed to be done,” he says. Because of that willingness to tackle any challenge, Marsden was running not only global treasury but also global credit, financial relationships with key OEM’s as well as serving as the head of finance for a majority of the company’s wireless service offerings such as handset insurance and affordability solutions. “You need to be able to continuously improve your ability to do your core job so that you have free time,” Marsden advises. “Then use that time to fill in with additional opportunities that can help the company and help you grow your skills and abilities.”
“Noel is a respected leader who brings valuable insight and expertise to any role,” says Ed Chonko, PNC Business Credit relationship manager. “He played a significant part in building the long-term relationship PNC has enjoyed with Brightstar.”
The one thing that united his ability to excel in those myriad fields, Marsden found, came to him in his time as a young entrepreneur: leadership. “The most important thing is to learn how to lead people,” he says. “Leading isn’t something you learn in a book. It’s about exploring what each and every person needs and working toward their development.”
For some that could be career advancement or a raise, and for others it could mean a positive work/life balance and the ability to leave early for a piano recital or t-ball game. “Every person has their own needs, and to treat them as anything less than a person is really disingenuous,” Marsden says.
Once they learn that lesson, leaders work every day with the ability to see the individual perspectives of each of their team members. They can operate with the perspective needed to get the day-to-day done and to envision the big picture. Most importantly, that big picture can only come through the efforts across all of the organization’s functions.
In May 2019, Marsden began a new tenure as CFO at CareCloud, a technology platform provider for high-growth medical groups. “It’s all about breaking down barriers, encouraging my team to work with other teams,” he says. “It can be as simple as walking around the building to stop in and talk to people, connecting dots to help solve problems. You can become very valuable if you can identify all these things, and it becomes a real opportunity to drive value in the organization and acts as a real feather in the cap of your team.”
As each employee starts at CareCloud, they’re asked to share a personal motto, which will be included on the nameplate that adorns their desk. Marsden’s motto is simple, straightforward, yet inherently tied into every aspect of his work: “We rise by lifting others.” In fact, more than an essential part of his work, those five words act as a goal to rise to each and every day.