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Be the Difference

College of Business Administration Award Recipients


NoonanShari Cummings Noonan, Bus Ad ’96    
New York

Shari is the CEO and co-founder of Rialto Markets, a financial services start-up, but she credits her team with the company’s success, acknowledging that “the combination of flexibility, focus and collaboration is so powerful.” As a new business in a new industry, Shari has learned adaptability is key. She loves the challenges and coming up with solutions to seemingly intractable issues.

Shari defines success as impacting others' lives, a philosophy affirmed by her Marquette experience. She remembers Dr. David Mielke as going above and beyond to Be the Difference, working to secure her an internship at the first cellular phone company in Warsaw, Poland. Shari identifies that internship as a transformational experience for her, returning to Marquette with invaluable perspective that has served her well throughout her career.

In addition to working in the financial services sector, Shari has served on the national board of Minds Matter, an organization that prepares high achieving, low-income high school students for college success through a combination of mentoring, test prep and summer college experiences. Since Shari joined the organization in 1996, it has grown to 13 chapters, 1,900 volunteers and 670 students.

Shari lives out the Marquette mission by making time to help people, whether in her business, high school students or members of the Marquette community. She believes it is critical to be available as a sounding board, to give advice or lend support. She feels called to give back to the Marquette community and help grow the university’s alumni network. “When someone reaches out to me from the College of Business or from the AIM program, I think it is important to take the time and help out; a growing network will only help everyone.”

Fun Facts:

Name someone (past or present) with whom you'd like to have dinner:
St. Francis of Assisi

What is one of your favorite Marquette memories?
Watching Marquette basketball was fun but sitting in the St. Joan of Arc Chapel will always be one of my favorite Marquette memories.