This month we introduce Marco Noailles, Khyentse Foundation’s accountant. “A quiet and soft-spoken gentleman. A meticulous accountant and treasurer working tirelessly behind the scenes. A real pillar and unsung hero of Khyentse Foundation. A trusted friend. A pleasure to work with.” —Cangioli Che, Executive Director of Khyentse Foundation

Khyentse Foundation is a funding organization: We don’t operate projects directly, we channel resources to people and institutions who share our vision. For that reason, we have a small executive office of key players. Marco Noailles is one of those keys. He has been the treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee since the inception of Khyentse Foundation. Despite having a very busy full time job, until recently, Marco has been doing all the bookkeeping and accounting for Khyentse Foundation and 84000. It’s not a glamorous task, but it is essential. At the tenth anniversary celebration, Rinpoche singled out Marco to thank him for his selfless hard work.

Originally from northern Minnesota, Marco graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston IL with a major in Economics. Few people know that Marco helped establish a number of food co-operatives in Wisconsin, and that over the years he has lived on various goat farms throughout the midwest and northwestern United States. Marco met Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1972 and soon thereafter moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he helped with the start-up of Naropa Institute. He attended the 1975 Vajradhatu Seminary, where the second of his three sons was born.

He moved to Karme Choling in Vermont in the early 1980s, where he became the business manager and eventually the controller. Later he moved back to Chicago and worked at a CPA firm for 10 years, eventually becoming a CPA. He met Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche at the cremation of Trungpa Rinpoche in 1987 and became a dedicated student of Rinpoche’s in 1992. Marco now lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Penny and their son Mila. He is also a devoted grandpa to his granddaughter, Lucy.
Marco is an accountant in the National Payroll Services division of the Financial Services Organization of Kaiser Permanente, a nonprofit health care organization with 165,000 employees.

Despite his very busy schedule, when Cangioli Che approached Marco to help establish a foundation to support Rinpoche’s activities in 2000, he accepted instantly. “I wasn’t certain what I was getting into, and I’ve tried to keep pace with the rapid evolution of KF ever since,” he says. “Needless to say, it has been an extraordinary experience working for KF. I am constantly amazed by Rinpoche’s vision, delightfully challenged by the development of KF and 84000, and grateful beyond words to assist in whatever way I can to help Rinpoche’s aspirations be actualized.”

Photo of Marco at the 2010 annual meeting of the Board of Directors by Noa Jones.