Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a 4th generation Oklahoman; Teresa is the Founder and former CEO of Community Care College, Clary Sage College, and Oklahoma Technical College which she started in 1995. In the summer of 2015; she converted the colleges from a for-profit corporation to a public charity, 501(c)(3) called Community HigherEd. Teresa continues to advocate for career and technical education.
Family life is the best for Teresa! She has three children—Ronnie, Lilliana, and Annabel- and a wonderful husband, Ivan, from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Teresa worked as a dental assistant for 7 years before coming up with the idea of opening a dental assisting school. She believes in the incredible power of career-focused education and wanted to share with others that you don’t have to settle…that you can get out of your situation, no matter how bad it may seem and a rewarding career is the foundation of that change.
Because Teresa deplores drug abuse and how it destroys families, she founded a business called Knox Laboratory Services, a drug and alcohol testing laboratory. Although she sold the business; she is still a huge proponent of drug testing to maintain a clean and safe drug-free workplace and education environment.
Teresa is a commercial real estate developer and historic preservationist. Developing a business model to support property sustainability is her expertise. She is the landlord of multiple commercial tenants. She is the owner of the historic Harwelden Mansion and developed an event center and bed & breakfast. The Church Studio, another property on the National Register of Historic Places, underwent a 5-year restoration and is now open as a recording studio, audio engineering school, event center, and entertainment network.
2021 Board and Committee Seats
Teresa is a two-time recipient of Tulsa Economic Development Corp’s “Small Business of the Year” and is a recipient of the Newsmaker Award from AWC. She was 2017 Tulsan of the Year and a Crystal Star recipient for Entrepreneurial Success. Her businesses have been recognized for “Best Places to Work in Oklahoma,” the President's "National Community Service Honor Roll" multiple A-List and Best in the World lists.
Teresa earned her MBA from Oral Roberts University.