TCC Foundation Announces the 2023 Vision Dinner Honorees

TCC Vision Dinner 2023

The Tulsa Community College Foundation announces Billie and Howard Barnett; and Pierce Norton as the 2023 Vision Dinner honorees and Joshua Paredes as the 2023 Momentum Award Winner.

“From the business sector and the arts and humanities to the health and wellbeing of students and future healthcare workers, these individuals have demonstrated, through actions, service and generosity, their commitment to education and have helped shape our community and beyond,” said Dr. Leigh Goodson, TCC president & CEO.

A well-known community and arts advocate, Billie Barnett is also a longtime supporter of TCC, having served the College under the direction of all four presidents. She was a faculty member in the Nursing program at TCC for a handful of years in the 1970s and later joined the TCC Foundation board as a trustee in 2000s, serving in a variety of roles including as a committee chair and board chair.

She and her husband, Howard Barnett, as the other half of this power couple, have supported many TCC scholarships, special projects, and initiatives for more than two decades. A business leader and attorney by trade, Howard previously served as president of OSU-Tulsa, where he worked with several TCC presidents across a decade of collaboration to provide a smooth transition for TCC graduates to OSU.

The third honoree, Pierce H. Norton, II, is president and CEO of ONEOK. He has served in numerous executive leadership roles with ONEOK and ONE Gas. He is a past board member of the TCC Foundation and served on the steering committee of TCC’s $20 million Campaign for Completion.

Joshua Paredes is this year’s Vision Dinner Momentum honoree, an award that recognizes an outstanding TCC alumni. A TCC Nursing graduate and Registered Nurse, he co-founded “Don't Clock Out” after his friend’s suicide. The nonprofit organization offers peer support and mental health services to nurses and healthcare workers. TCC now integrates information from this organization into its Nursing curriculum.

“Vision Dinner provides us an opportunity to honor those who have made a difference and brings awareness to how others can work to eliminate barriers to college,” said Kari Shults, TCC VP for advancement & president of TCC Foundation. “This work is only possible through the community support we receive and the generosity of our donors.”

Funds raised at Vision Dinner support students directly through scholarships, internships, new equipment for labs, and much more. The TCC Foundation awarded more than $420,000 in scholarships and invested more than $300,000 in programs during the last academic year.

“Education unlocks possibilities and allows an individual to see what they can become. When students are successful, our community is successful,” said Curtis Dinan, Vision Dinner Co-Chair and TCC Foundation Trustee. “Working alongside community and business leaders, we are advancing our region and developing tomorrow’s workforce.”

Vision Dinner Pathway Leaders sponsors are Barnett Family Foundation; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies; George Kaiser Family Foundation; ONE Gas; ONEOK; and Price Family Properties. Cherokee Nation Businesses; Caron and Shawn Lawhorn; Pierce and Debbie Norton; Saint Francis Health System; and TTCU Cares Foundation are Dream Makers sponsors. Additional sponsors are AAON, Inc.; The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; The Chickasaw Nation; Curtis and Brenda Dinan; Jay Helm/American Residential Group; Jim and Susannah Adelson; Bank of Oklahoma; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma; GH2 Architects, LLC; Hall Estill/Sarah Hansel; Helmerich & Payne; Hillcrest HealthCare System; Jackson Technical; George Krumme; MidAmerica Industrial Park; QuikTrip; Regent Bank; River Spirit Casino Resort; and Schnake Turnbo Frank.

The Vision Dinner 2023 Committee Co-Chairs are Curtis and Brenda Dinan and members are Stephania Grober, Tim Jackson, Molly Jarvis, Jim Langdon, and Suzanne Reese.