Oklahoma Association of Realtors CEO found her niche in Virginia

But photography, Lisa thought, was her calling. Off she went to college at the University of Nebraska, with warm memories of her dad, and especially the help he gave that young couple, tucked away with other times living in Bellevue, Neb.

But public relations turned out to be her forte, then economic development, then marketing — and then working with Realtors.

It was then, 17 years ago, that the daughter, now Lisa G. Noon, found her real niche working with the Virginia Association of Realtors. She found that Realtors make it a habit to take care of their clients. She thought of her dad. She was hooked.

Noon, 53, came to Oklahoma last spring to take the reins of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors as CEO. Here are excerpts from an interview with The Oklahoman:

Q: The National Association of Realtors’ bus tour was in Norman on Thursday. When the tour first started, it hit just the big cities. Is it just now getting to smaller cities, or is there something about Norman, or Oklahoma, that prompted the stop here?

A: Actually, the bus was headed to the Southwest part of the country, and we simply asked them if they could stop in Norman while our annual conference is there. Fortunately for us, they said yes! It’s exciting for our Realtors because of what the bus represents: The fact that homeownership does matter in this country by improving our communities and strengthening our economy.

Q: How did a nice person like you wind up working with Realtors?

A: I started my career in communications and marketing, working in state economic development, university relations, and finally corporate marketing before going on to work with the Virginia Association of Realtors 17 years ago. Once I was there, I felt like I’d truly found my niche.

I absolutely love working with Realtors, which may come partially from watching my dad. After he retired from the Air Force, he became a real estate broker, and I have warm memories of all the personal help he provided to his clients — even lending $500 to a young couple once to help them with their down payment.

Realtors are the ultimate in service-oriented professionals, and the more I work with them, the more I admire them for the many, many services and care they provide to their clients and customers — plus the vast amount of knowledge they’re required to have to do a good job.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up? What happened?

A: I’ve always had a love of photography, and that was my original career aspiration. When I was in college, that program was under the journalism degree, and so that’s where I started. Somewhere along the line, though, I just happened to take a class in public relations, and that was like a light bulb.

Q: If not this, what do you think you would be doing for a living/career?

A: Running a bed-and-breakfast in a historic home. My husband and I love old houses and historic sites, plus he’s a great storyteller, so that would be a great combination!

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: The constant change; there is never a dull moment, and no day is ever the same.

Q: What do you do to relax? What about it relaxes you?

A: I guess this goes back to my love of pictures, but I discovered scrapbooking a few years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s fulfilling to know that I’ve got memories to pass on to my kids someday. Plus, I never really sit still and it gives me something creative to do while I’m relaxing at home. I also enjoy walking our dogs with my husband and reading as much as I can.

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