Nicole Noonan, The Executive Director of BBL Churchill Group
Nicole Noonan’s BIO
Nicole Noonan is the Executive Director of BBL Churchill Group, a consumer-lending organization that provides essential funding to people involved in divorce proceedings, enabling them to pay legal fees, expert costs and living expenses when they are due. Noonan is dedicated to bettering the lives of her clients, utilizing her legal background and business education to provide solutions for those in need. As a trailblazer standing up for women who are often taken advantage of by the legal system, Noonan offers a highly specialized set of services that include not only financial solutions but also personalized care and support. As a skilled and passionate matrimonial attorney, Noonan has practiced with numerous top rated divorce law firms, and held the prestigious role of General Counsel at one of New York’s largest real estate firms.
Noonan has been an instrumental figure in the litigation of numerous complex family law cases, which involved both financial and custody disputes. Her expertise lies in family law, commercial litigation, and property law. Noonan is also an active member of the New Jersey Bar Association, New York Woman’s Bar Association, Westchester Bar Association, New Jersey Woman Lawyer’s Association and the Family Law Inns of Court. In addition, she serves as the Co-chair of the New York Junior League.
Noonan graduated with her B.A in Economics and Communications from Boston College and from there went on to receive her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please share with us what prompted the creation of BBL Churchill Group?
Noonan: The idea of divorce finance was first envisioned by our CEO Brendan Lyle back in his native Australia in 2003. My experience as a matrimonial attorney was how I saw first hand that there was need for divorce funding. I was excited to bring my experience to a company that was a win/win with both the funded clients and attorneys who served them.
2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Noonan: Everyday is different, but always starts the same: I begin each day with a scan of all latest emails and current news. This is followed by an early morning workout at Physique 57. I touch base with our CEO and the rest of the staff at the office. Communication is key to our success. I head out to my morning appointments with attorneys. This could take me to anywhere in New York or New Jersey. If I am able to, I meet a client for a late lunch. Then I head back downtown to our office on Hanover Square. There I follow up with phone appointments, prepare information to be sent out to new applications as well as follow up with our board of directors regarding discussions about financing clients. The evenings usually include a Bar Association or an event.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Noonan: MapQuest and Hop Stop! No question I use one if not both everyday. I am constantly travelling so I find these two things critical for my daily life. I also like the Linkedin App to make quick connections after meetings.
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Noonan: Time management is essential when you have multiple meetings throughout your day. I have both a hard copy of my daily planner, as well as the phone calendar. I put all my appointments in both. Being on time to appointments sets the tone for the rest of the meeting. Just as Judges do not excuse tardiness in the courtroom, I do not allow tardiness for myself professionally…my personal life is a different story.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Noonan: The judge I clerked for told me the ability to listen to what others say is the most powerful tool. Too often people are so concerned as to what to say that they miss what others have to say.
6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of BBL Churchill Group? (what you do for short term and long-term growth)?
Noonan: Word of mouth has been our most effective tool. When you have a great idea you have to get it out there! We sponsor targeted events where we can have one on one time with market participants. There is truly nothing better. You would be surprised how much you get back sponsoring an event! Sometimes for the price of only a few dozen bagels and coffee you can sponsor an event.
7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?
Noonan: I love the feedback we get from clients. When I meet a client for coffee and she has changed from a frightened divorcee to a strong empowered woman well on her way to starting her new life, I feel I have done something worthwhile.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Noonan: I enjoy what I do, so balance is easy for me. We have a fantastic work environment and every day I meet new people, which can be both exciting and challenging. In my free time my husband and I enjoy travelling. Give me 15 minutes and I can be packed and ready to go.
9. Your top 3 book recommendations?
Noonan: My favorite book of all time is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love the way you get a glimpse into the decadence of the Jazz Age. The Secret by Rhoda Byrne is a completely inspiring and life changing book and I recommend it to many of our clients. My recent favorite is The Hunger Games by Susan Collins. I loved the strong female heroine in the book.
10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?
Noonan: I am very proud of my work with the New York Junior League. The New York Junior League is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. I have been a member of the league for four years. For the last two years I have Co-Chaired the Homes Design Committee’s Home Tour, where we have raised tens of thousands of charitable support for the league.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Noonan: My grandmother always told me I could do whatever I set my mind to. On the days that seemed so impossible professionally and personally I have always counted on my grandmother for a good piece of advice. She tells it to you straight…I admire that.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?
Noonan: Never be afraid to take risk. When you see a need for something in your everyday business go for it…especially when the idea could help other.