|By Igin Staff|
Sales and marketing director of the landscape and turf division at Netafim
Once people get involved with our industry and it´s markets, they tend to stick around. Although a few leave the industry, some seem to be drawn back in. is one of those who chose to return, and is making a difference.
Noecker grew up in the Northeast. Born in New York City, she was a year old when her family moved to Weston, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. After completing high school, Noecker left Massachusetts to attend Duke University, where she majored in psychology.
Upon graduation, she worked at Duke in the Undergraduate Admissions Office, as an admissions counselor recruiting high school students from the Northeast. After two years, she moved to the Career Development Center to manage Duke Futures, an undergraduate internship program. After four years, she moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she enrolled in the University of Arizona, graduating with a master’s degree in business administration.
With her MBA in hand, Noecker moved back to the Boston area and did a stint with a boutique consulting firm. After a few years, she relocated back to Tucson. In 1996, Noecker took a position with Rain Bird Corporation as a product manager. “Despite my lack of experience in the irrigation industry, Rain Bird gave me the opportunity to transfer my marketing skills to that industry. I was hired to work in product management,” said Noecker. “While I was there, I managed a number of different product lines, including controllers, sensors, spray heads and valves. It gave me an opportunity to learn a great deal about the irrigation industry.” While at Rain Bird, Noecker moved from product management to marketing communications, and then distributor channel relationship management.
In 2005, Noecker was offered a marketing position with Hunter Industries, relocating to the San Diego area. She stayed with Hunter for two-and-a-half years.
Upon leaving Hunter, Noecker contemplated her next move. She realized that with the exception of a short stint with a consulting firm in the New England area, her entire business experience since receiving her MBA was in the irrigation business. Maybe it was time for her to expand her horizons.
Noecker ended up joining a brand new industry—telecommunications —when she was hired by AT&T Mobility. In a company as large as AT&T, there are tremendous opportunities to learn different skill sets.
Noecker was hired into the wireless division; they were looking for someone with marketing experience, and she fit the bill. Initially hired into the marketing department to manage customer retention for the San Diego/Las Vegas/Hawaii market, she then picked up Arizona and New Mexico to manage as well.
“I started at AT&T Mobility at a pivotal time. They hired me to manage the company’s cultural change to a customer-centric focused culture, where the sole focus was the customer experience,” said Noecker. “While the position required a tremendous amount of analytics, it also required a significant amount of time training salespeople on how to provide an extraordinary customer experience.”
Noecker learned new skills and polished some of the old ones. She was moving her way up the corporate ladder. It was obvious that she did a great job for AT&T, as they promoted her to regional director for the West Region—all this in a very short time.
At the end of the year 2010, the powers that be decided that they wanted to move this unit up to Washington State. “The job got relocated there and I didn’t want to leave San Diego,” said Noecker. “When I got the word that I would have to relocate, I started looking for another job.”
“I started looking at the people in my network, and realized that I know a lot of people in irrigation. So when I heard that Netafim was looking for someone in sales and marketing, it sounded like just the job for me. I left AT&T at the end of January
2011 and started the next day at Netafim, as sales and marketing director of the landscape and turf division,” said Noecker.
“Netafim is a leader in drip irrigation. They were the first company to develop drip,” said Noecker. “What appeals to me about drip irrigation is that it is the most efficient way to water. Given the fact that water is a limited resource, I feel—in some small way—that I’m helping the world by promoting drip irrigation.”
“I was fortunate enough to bring my marketing experience in product management, marketing communications and customer retention to Netafim,” said Noecker. “To be externally focused on the customer— I’d like to think I’ve brought that focus to my new job.”
So, what does Noecker do in her spare time? Right now, she doesn’t have much spare time. However, in between travels, Noecker likes the outdoors; she loves hiking, running, and spending time at the beach. She enjoys going to museums and listening to live music. An avid downhill skier, she has skied in Utah, British Columbia, and many spots in Colorado. Her favorite, though, is Aspen, which is where she learned to ski.
Noecker also likes to cook. Years ago, while living in the Boston area, she attended the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts to learn to become a professional chef. But baking is her favorite pastime. She was known around the industry for the cookies she would bake for people. “When I find some spare time, I’m going to bake again.”
“Low-volume irrigation will play a major role over the next decade and beyond,” said Noecker. “I hope to be able to get this message across to both distributors as well as contractors, so we can all conserve water, and be environmentally compliant, without sacrificing the beauty of green landscapes. If I can help achieve this, I will have accomplished my goal.”