Noel began his career in the food industry as a laboratory technician, R&D and quality control. Prior to establishing Northspec Chemicals (now part of Terra Firma), Noel was at Canada Colors and Chemicals in marketing and sales management positions; he was one of the main instruments of the successful and profitable growth of the CCC specialty division. Noel graduated in 1987 from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry with a minor in food science.