Community Care College CEO let 'gut, intuition' lead the way
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Sunday, April 01, 2012
4/01/12 at 4:56 AM
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Original Print Headline: 'Gut, intuition' lead to her success
When Teresa Knox founded Community Care College 17 years ago to train medical assistants and other health care personnel, she became CEO by default, although she didn't necessarily use that title in the beginning.
The first decade she operated her business on "gut and intuition," and she said it was only by the grace of God that her endeavor survived.
Over the years, however, she's incorporated a lot of critical analysis and applies metrics to everything, measuring and quantifying every aspect of the business, including student satisfaction, retention and placement rates, and student loan payback rates.
Today, Community Care College is the cornerstone of a triumvirate that has grown to include Clary Sage College and Oklahoma Technical College, all of which are located not far from one another on campuses situated between 31st and 45th streets on Sheridan Road.
"I love to motivate people," Knox said. "I love to see people transform, so I've been fortunate to be in a position to be part of that transformation."
Being a CEO, though, has its challenges. Sometimes she has to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and almost contradict her nurturing personality.
Knox said she tends to want to mother employees or take more of a holistic approach and consider what impact a person's job will have on their family.
"If I stay true to our values and purpose for existence, then most decisions become very black and white," she said. "In the past, things were gray to me."
Overall, Knox said she enjoys being involved in something that is transforming the lives of students who are being given the opportunity to pursue the job of their dreams. It's also gratifying, she said, to help train employees who are important stakeholders and watch them change roles and contribute to the company's success.
She "absolutely" would like to see more women CEOs.
"When you look at the statistics ... of the top CEOs in this country, it's disheartening to see the number of women CEOs because I think they bring so many elements and dynamics to the position," Knox said. "Women are amazing multi-taskers, and they take all stakeholders into consideration, not just necessarily the shareholders."
STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World