Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Stories of Leadership: Noel C. Gillespie

Noel Gillespie has achieved a lot of succes since graduating from SDSU in 1996.

Noel C. Gillespie, ’96, is the chair of Procopio’s Medical Technology Practice Group.

Gillespie regularly assists clients with strategic patent portfolio development and implementation so as to protect their technology and help them achieve their business objectives. This process includes developing claim strategies that create market barriers and protect or create revenue streams, as well as preparing and prosecuting U.S. and foreign Patent Applications.

He has extensive experience in dealing with telecommunications companies, especially wireless telecommunications companies, wireless health, health IT, medical device companies, clean tech and software/Internet companies.

Gillespie has helped clients build portfolios and protect or build market positions in the areas of wireless sensors for health applications, smart grids, semiconductor memories, lab and chip technology and energy efficient data storage.

Tell us the highlights of your professional career.  What are your proudest achievements?

I am most proud of the fact that I was named partner at Baker McKenzie in 2007, only five years after graduating from law school. Not too many people can claim that.

As for my professional career, I’ve been able to work with a lot of companies in securing patents for their businesses, creating a lot of value.  Most people don’t know how involved, complicated and difficult that can be.  At the same time, it is very rewarding enabling engineers and entrepreneurs to secure the value of their work.


Aztec Leadership Network

What’s your favorite college memory?

My favorite memory is graduation! I attended SDSU while working and raising a family so I do remember it being a lot of work, and a lot of classes. The one memory that really stands out is a special project in one of my engineering classes.  That allowed me to work on something that took me out of the classroom and lab.  It was a project that involved both my college education and my work at the time.

Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

My favorite classes were Digital Circuits and Optics. Those still hold special interest for me to this day.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Have a plan. Everything is hard work, so pick a path, generate a plan and follow it.  Put everything you have into making that plan work. Having said that, it’s okay if that plan has to change or if you change your goals.  

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

I’m always reading the Bible for inspiration, and with children I do read parenting books in an effort to be a better parent. My boys and I are reading the Narnia books now. As for a favorite of mine, that would be Rembrandts in the Attic. It’s a book about unlocking the value of patents which has been my career choice.

What is your passion?

My passion is my family. My business passion is working with start-up businesses and helping them create value.  On the lighter side, I do enjoy golf and play to an eleven handicap.

What is your motto?

Put in the time to achieve the results you want.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I’d make sure my family was taken care of and support my church and charities. While I’d still want to be productive and work, winning the lottery would allow me to be a little more selective in what I do.

Which trait do you value most in your friends and colleagues?

Hard work.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?

I don’t really have an answer for that.  Knowing you could not fail takes the fun out of it, doesn’t it?