Nonprofit Spotlight: Randy B. Nobles
By Gerry Czarnecki
Randy B. Nobles is president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County. He spent more than 30 years with Comerica Bank, where he was president and regional managing director of Florida Market. He served as chairman of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, and is on the boards of Trustbridge Hospice, West Boca Medical Center, the Boca Raton Airport Authority and the YMCA of South Palm Beach County, as well as being this organization’s past chairman. Previously, he served on the boards of the Center for the Arts at Mizner Park, the Boca Ballet and the Palm Beach Community College Foundation. He has received numerous business and community awards during his career. SFBW recently interviewed Nobles.
What was the first nonprofit board you joined? What was that experience like? Would you do it again?
It was the Boca Ballet. A business acquaintance asked me to join, and I was honored to do that. I was impressed with the people who founded it, and the members of the board. It was a great experience and I stayed on for about three years. What I did discover was that I was very interested in giving back to the community, and social services was my nonprofit passion.
You have a varied business portfolio. How has that influenced your thinking about nonprofits?
I think that I have always brought a keen sense of commitment to the community, which has helped me to be intense in my support, where ever I served. I believe my varied background has helped me to see the incredible value nonprofits can bring to the community.
Do you think that your business experience help you to provide leadership to the boards you serve on?
Absolutely. I think that all nonprofits need to be managed more like a business than like a government agency. We are stewards of supporter’s commitments, and we must manage those contributions to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Plus, many have functions that resemble an actual business model. As an example, at Habitat we have ReStore locations that we need to be managed as if they were regular retail stores.
What are some of your great “give back” passions?
I think that my “give back” passions are driven by a desire to help the less fortunate in our society. That is why Habitat was an opportunity I just could not pass up. Our vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live, said it all for me.
What is your greatest success as a board member?
In 2001, being part of the local YMCA board that had the vision and courage to expand our mission and build a new state-ofthe-art 15,000-square-foot Y facility (Devos Blum branch). I was honored to be the board chair when this facility was dedicated.
As a board member, what are your most significant expectations of your fellow board members?
First, have passion for the mission. Second, be ready to help the leadership to stay focused on effectively running the organization. Thirdly, focus on strategy, leave the operations to the management. Fourth, make a financial commitment. ↵
Gerry Czarnecki is founder and chairman of the nonprofit National Leadership Institute (nationalleadershipinstitute.org), which helps boards of nonprofit organizations become strategic assets to the leadership team. His extensive background as a C-suite executive and CEO is coupled with current board leadership of corporate and nonprofit organizations. He is also chairman and CEO of the Deltennium Group. Contact him at 561.293.3726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.