Kim Noonan: Driven by Purpose & Our Mission to Exceed Expectations

4/17/2019
​In today's competitive business landscape, the most successful companies start and end with their client. Organizational values, purpose, culture and priorities are all informed by them, and if they aren't, nothing else matters because that organization won't survive. That's why our mission is stated not in terms of what we do, but what our clients do: Driven to exceed your expectations and empower your mission through the buildings we deliver. We live our mission through our unique project delivery model, product quality and track record – and our people and culture, which Kim Noonan, vice president, marketing & brand, will tell you are our most powerful differentiators. 

“We have amazing talent and a passionate team who are aligned and driven to deliver for our customers – whether it's for an external client or partner, or an internal customer or teammate. That passion, power and impact ultimately enables us to deliver a differentiated client experience that ultimately brings great value," Kim said.

Delivering Overall Value

Kim is responsible for leading marketing, branding and innovation at Opus. She and her staff are both specialists and business generalists, and they have a lot in their toolbox. In addition to developing and executing brand strategy and promotion, integrated marketing programs, public relations and media outreach, and internal and external communication, they lead innovation and client-centricity initiatives. As part of the executive leadership team, Kim also collaborates on company direction, enterprise priorities and strategies, communications and associate development. 

“When people ask me what Opus does, I like to tell them we create and deliver meaningful places where people and communities achieve their goals and thrive," Kim said. “While my role is to lead and support that purpose through marketing, branding and innovation initiatives, I tend to approach my role as a broad-based business thinker and people leader who happens to use the marketing function to deliver overall business results."

Kim joined Opus in 2015 as senior director, marketing and brand, and was promoted a year later to her current position. Prior to Opus, she held senior leadership positions at Jostens and Polaris Industries. “When the opportunity at Opus presented itself and I had a chance to meet the talented team here, see the work and learn about Opus' legacy, values and culture, I was hooked." 

Finding Her Way to “Purposeful Work"

From an early age, Kim was an orchestrater, planner, organizer and driver. “Whether it was reorganizing my childhood bedroom 'for better design' every other month, starting various businesses marketing products to my neighbors as a kid, or being made fun of because I was the only kid in school who used a planner to keep myself on task – that's who I was." 

Kim's parents exposed her to a variety of opportunities and experiences. They encouraged her to work hard, do her best, be observant, creative and curious, get messy, play in the dirt, and tinker at her father's workbench. “When I was eight years old, I dismantled a remote-control Barbie Corvette I got for Christmas because I wanted to see how it worked and thought I could build something more useful using the motor …I think my mother was simultaneously proud and infuriated." Kim was also influenced by different family businesses. In addition to their day jobs, her parents were part owners of a residential real estate rental business, which at times was a family affair involving everyone, including Kim and her sister. And her grandparents were also entrepreneurs who started a business of their own which has since grown significantly, and remains family owned. 

That upbringing, combined with being exposed to business, marketing, writing and DECA in high school, led Kim to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in psychology at the University of Minnesota. She went back four years later to get her MBA in marketing while working full time.

“While working on my undergrad, I completed a four month study-abroad program traveling around the world from the east to west coasts, stopping in nine countries along the way. That was definitely one experience that sparked my curiosity and interest in people, perspectives and culture. In addition to recognizing and valuing their differences, I gained a better understanding of what drives human behavior and motivation, the power of great storytelling and the importance of pursuing purposeful work, versus simply doing work."

And that learning continued as she entered the professional arena as a marketer. “Even from my very first job out of college, I’m thankful for the significant opportunities I’ve had to work across a diverse portfolio of industries to think strategically, solve important challenges, develop and bring to market new ideas, lead and develop teams and individuals and stretch my capabilities every day. I’m also thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to learn from a lot of experts along the way, including here at Opus–it’s amazing what you can learn if you’re willing to simply listen and observe.” she said.

For Kim, part of doing “purposeful work" means caring deeply about developing others and helping her teams make a meaningful impact. She also cares deeply about impacting the customer experience, keeping the customer at the center of our work and aligning our collective efforts and resources to their needs. For example, after spending time listening to our clients to better understand what is important to them, she developed the foundation of what has now become the Opus Client Experience (OCE). It is a framework that utilizes client research to identify points along the client journey that matter most to them, so we can focus resources to maximize value for clients. It also helps associates align their efforts and understand how their role impacts the client experience, both individually and as part of the broader team. Continual client feedback and associate involvement support and sustain the OCE process. 

Delivering Value Through Differentiation & Expertise

“We have an extremely differentiated process, collaborative approach and some of the industry's best talent and expertise. That's why we can consistently deliver outstanding experiences and outcomes for our clients and communities, which at the end of the day is what builds our brand and sustains our business," Kim said.

“Kim is a passionate and strategic leader at Opus," said Tim Murnane, president & CEO. “She has an incredible breadth of knowledge and experience in relating to the needs of the customer and is always pushing to make sure Opus is living our mission and delivering on our brand promise to the customer. She has been instrumental in helping all of us rebuild a great company."

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When Kim isn't at work, she's spending time with her family – often found cheering in the stands or sidelines of youth hockey and soccer events. She enjoys running, spending time at the lake and attending live music events. Kim volunteers for her kids' sports, church youth groups and school activities; and at variety of organizations in the Twin Cities, from packing meals at Feed My Starving Children to judging high school DECA competitions.

Our associates are talented, dedicated and knowledgeable. They streamline complex projects and always deliver value to clients. Read more profiles of our team.