In a special edition of WBL's Member Spotlight, we featured Christina Noble, CFP, who most recently served as Chief Growth Officer at Sonora Quest Laboratories and as Board Chair of Greater Phoenix Chamber. Today, she serves on the board of MediKarma, Inc. and on the advisory board at Checkable Health, Inc.
As a two-time attendee of the WBL Board Program, Christina utilized the program and her WBL connections to prepare for and ultimately succeed in her search for a board seat. Read her story below!
Christina Noble serves as Member, Board of Directors at MediKarma, Inc. and Member, Advisory Board at Checkable Health, Inc., both digital health startups. Earlier in her career as Area Vice President of CVS Health, she led the pharmaceutical benefits $1.1B TPA Division. She started her career at Accenture’s Health Care Systems Integration Practice.
Christina holds certifications in financial planning CFP and Innovation from MIT Sloan School. She is Korn Ferry 360 Coaching Master and Six Sigma Green Belt designated. Christina was named “2023 Top 25 Outstanding Women in Business” by the Phoenix Business Journal. As a Registered Yoga Teacher, she brings wellness and resiliency to her board roles and private coaching practice, Your Inside Counsel.
When did you decide you wanted to pursue board service? What about serving appeals to you?
My interest in board service started in 2012, the year I joined Sonora Quest Laboratories. Part of C-suite leadership development at Sonora Quest included investing business acumen via board service in Arizona’s non-profit community ecosystem. Later, I attended our local “2020 Women on Boards” conference dedicated to filling at least 20% of all public company board seats with women by the year 2020. This was a pivotal moment in my board service career. It was during the program that I realized board service was achievable for me and is a way I can expand my impact beyond my “day job.”
Tell us about attending WBL’s Board Program. What was your experience like?
Both times I attended the program, my experience was 100% positive. My company sponsored my participation, and I was motivated to get the most out of the time and investment. The program was interactive and comprehensive, and fostered networking with and exposure to leaders in PE and VC whom I would not have otherwise had an opportunity to meet. I walked away with two tangible tools: an elevator pitch and a draft board bio, which have been tailored over the years and are still in use by me today!
There are plenty of board readiness courses out there, but you attended WBL’s not once, but twice! What about the Board Program stood out to make you want to attend a second time?
There are three highlights of the WBL Board Program that stand out to me. First, the time dedicated to interacting with other participants made it feel more individualized. I felt seen, heard, and engaged, and left with a group of peers to stay in touch with. Second, the sessions helped me build confidence in my abilities to contribute to a board, know what questions to ask when searching for a seat, and educated me on topics that were important to my future as a director. Third, the support I gained from my cohort and faculty leader, Cindy Chandler, was invaluable. Our group met during and after the program kickoff for focused and personalized guidance that kept me moving forward during my board search.
How did you find your first board role?
I accepted my first board role in January 2022. The bottom line, as was highlighted during the WBL Board Program, is that it all starts with networking. I’d say that is the #1 most important action you can take.
In 2018, I was asked to speak at a supplier partner’s annual strategic meeting. While I was there, I met many members of the company’s leadership team. One of those team members joined a startup. When they were formulating their board in 2021, he brought up my name and I was offered a seat. Next was the important step of gaining the required approval from the leadership at my company. I’ve got plenty of insights and best practices to share about that process for anyone interested! I am the only woman on that board.
Later that same year, I was contacted by my WBL Board Program cohort leader Cindy Chandler about an opportunity to be considered for the Advisory Board of a company called Checkable Health. Turned out Checkable’s CEO is Patty Post, a WBL member. I was interviewed, invited to join, and am now serving as Advisory Board Member effective this month!
How else did you utilize WBL to prepare for the board search and service process?
I attended two follow-up sessions hosted by WBL that directly applied to my board journey, which focused on the role of the Certified Financial Expert and the importance of D&O insurance. This month, I attended my first WBL invitation-only board governance discussion. These sessions are yet another way in which WBL continually invests in the success of members that serve on or want to serve on boards.
I am forever grateful to WBL and highly recommend the Board Program to women that I network and speak with. It’s one of the major differentiators that I point out when recruiting new WBL members. A WBL member I spoke with about the program sent me a note last week that she enrolled! I’m thrilled for her.