Jule Gomes Noack is a human service nonprofit executive who has dedicated her career to social and racial justice for those with intellectual and development disabilities, their families, and the staff who support them. Currently she is the President and CEO at HMEA in Franklin, MA where she has held several leadership roles in her career of over thirty-five years.
The only light-skinned child born to an immigrant family from the Cape Verde Islands, Jule is one of seven children, five of whom were born in the Cape Verde Islands. Her lived experiences and lessons on racialization have helped to shape her keen interest in the broad topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a college student completing a work-study program at a Massachusetts institution for people with I/DD, her immersion within the systems then in place further shaped her professional pursuits. Jule shares, “I was totally appalled, saddened, and scared to see the special hell that was created in the walls of the institution in order to segregate and discriminate against people with I/DD.” These experiences, the values instilled in her by her family, and working for the betterment of others gave her a deep appreciation for and compelled her to public service.
After college graduation, Jule was employed for seven years as a staff psychologist with the institution at which she had completed her work-study program. She moved from that position to join HMEA, where she could work meaningfully toward the deinstitutionalization and community integration movement for people with I/DD.
Under Jule’s leadership, HMEA has grown in revenue and scope of services. She led the creation and expansion of the Quality, Learning, and Performance Department, which is focused on ensuring the highest level of service quality, improving staff development methods to address a diverse workforce, and measuring performance outcomes in all divisions and departments throughout the organization. She has also been the champion and driving force behind the development of HMEA’s diversity initiative, promoting a culture of inclusion and equity, supporting a resolution of respect, and insisting on a ‘No Place for Hate’ workplace.