Tri County Tech Superintendent & CEO, Lindel Fields announces retirement.

Bartlesville, Oklahoma | January 19, 2021

Lindel Fields, Superintendent & CEO, Tri County Tech, announced he would retire on June 30, 2021. Lindel Fields began his career in the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system at the Dick Conner Correctional Center in 1991, at the age of 20, as an instructor in horticulture. In three short years, 1994, he was promoted to director of instruction to supervise the prison training programs at sites across Oklahoma. Fields’ passion for education continued and in 1998 served as the Assistant Director at Central Tech in Drumright, Oklahoma. Tri County Technology Center, located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, hired Lindel in 1999 to serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and was promoted to Deputy Superintendent in 2004. In 2009 the Tri County Tech Board of Education named Fields as Superintendent & CEO. He will continue in this role, where he has successfully given tens of thousands of students life-changing learning experiences with his 30-year career in education until his retirement on June 30, 2021.

“Tri County is home to a dedicated and gracious group of educators that give of themselves every day to help others realize their hopes and dreams. We’ve had a tremendous journey that has allowed our organization to grow and garner national recognition. I am proud to have been part of the process. We are family, and I will miss seeing my family every day, but I look forward to the next chapter. It has been an honor of a lifetime to lead such an amazing organization. Thank you, Tri County.”

Lindel Fields, Superintendent & CEO, Tri County Tech

Fields’ guidance has led to the tremendous growth of Tri County Tech. During his leadership, the number of student enrollments has tripled. The center holds one of the top student retention rates in the country, with an average of 93% over the past five years. It has also achieved graduation and a job placement rate of over 90% since 2010.

Fields furthered Tri County’s presence and commitment by adding a satellite campus in Pawhuska in 2010. The Pawhuska Business Development Center’s primary focus is to provide economic growth and development, incubator services, classroom, meeting, and conference room space for Pawhuska and the Osage County area.
His vision has created a great workplace culture that paved the way for Tri County Tech to be named the “Top Place to Work in Oklahoma” for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. In 2016, Fields reconstructed the culture and the quality of education, placing it among Fortune’s Best Workplaces™ in 2016, 2017, 2018. In 2020, Tri County achieved its highest rank yet, the #11 spot on Fortune’s Best Workplaces™ list in the nation.

Fields is especially proud of his work in the Nowata community. He spearheaded the effort to construct a state-of-the-art facility that will also serve as home to the Boys and Girls Club. As a result of a community-wide effort to raise 4.5 million dollars, the Nowata Business Development Center will open in the fall of 2021. The center will be the go-to resource for the community to energize economic growth and sustainability within the county for years to come.

“Lindel, you are not only an exceptional and completely loyal leader and visionary, but you are a solid and quality human being. Congratulations on a job well done, and for cementing an indelible legacy with Tri County Tech that will serve many generations to come.”

John Woolman, President, Tri County Tech Board of Education

In November of 2018, under Lindel’s initiative, Tri County crossed a finish line ten years in the making when they won the prestigious award for excellence, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is a Presidential-level honor, recognizing outstanding practices among American organizations and businesses, including an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership, and organizational improvement.

In 2020 Lindel launched the Skills to Rebuild Initiative supported by a $1 million Cares Act Grant. His vision and leadership aligned with his successful execution of the Skills to Rebuild program that helped more than 500 Oklahomans reskill for new and often higher-earning essential careers during the economic downturn due to the pandemic of 2020.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Foundation just announced Lindel as a Baldrige Foundation 2021 Leadership Excellence Award Recipient to embody Baldrige’s leadership values and principles and provide outstanding service to the Baldrige community and beyond for having a lasting impact on the quality of education in America. As the only Oklahoman recipient, Fields is among former Congress members and the president of the U.S. Chamber in receiving this year’s prestigious recognition.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to work with Mr. Lindel Fields. Lindel’s dedication to the CareerTech system has positively changed many lives. The CareerTech system has unequivocally benefited from his drive for excellence and genuine desire to make a better tomorrow for Oklahomans. His exceptional leadership has led his team to accomplish one of the highest honors, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of Excellence. Most recently, Lindel received the 2021 Malcolm Baldrige Leadership of Excellence award. My congratulations to you on your successes and retirement.”

Dr. Marcie Mack, State Director, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education

Lindel looks forward to spending some of his time supporting his wife, Leigh Ann, at cycling events throughout the country. An athlete himself, Lindel is currently training for an Ironman event. When he is not training or camping with his family, he plans to share his experience and knowledge with organizations that desire to create a great place to work with world-class results.