Celebrating Joanna Trimble Smith, 2019 Visions Honoree

Linh M. Sasser, Marketing Coordinator, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OKCNP) will honor seven nonprofit leaders in six categories on December 3, 2019, at Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leaders. In the weeks leading up to the event, we are spotlighting the honorees in each category.

One of the 2019 Pat Potts Visionary recipients, Joanna Trimble Smith is a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Hearts of Hearing, whose mission is to create life-changing opportunities for children and adults with hearing loss to listen for a lifetime.

“The nonprofit community, particularly in our state, is filled with capable, passionate and inspiring people,” Joanna said. “The work we do improves the quality of the many lives we touch and the stories that unfold through our work creates a community that transforms the world from gray to full color. Our efforts are impacting the world and I am humbled by the opportunity to work with the many nonprofit leaders in our state. Our recent growth in Tulsa has provided a delightful opportunity to meet more nonprofit heroes and I love my role more than ever.”

Joanna is a speech-language pathologist who attended Oklahoma State University for her bachelor’s degree and University of Oklahoma for her master’s degree. She is a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist. Joanna has spent her career working to improve the lives of children and adults with hearing loss or communication delays. She also developed a model for service delivery which is being implemented through various programs across the country.

Joanna has been recognized with the Gwen Cacy Award for outstanding clinical skills from the Oklahoma Speech Language Hearing Association. She has served as an executive board member for OPTION Schools International and AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language Job Analysis taskforce.

Hearts for Hearing was founded in 2003 by Joanna, along with Dr. Teresa Caraway and Dr. Stan Baker, with the idea of providing funding for the initial set of hearing aids for children with hearing loss in the state of Oklahoma. In 2007, their mission expanded to include adults and, in 2013, their first adult clinic opened. In 2019, Hearts for Hearing opened a clinic in the Legacy Plaza Assistance League Building in Tulsa.

“I am deeply humbled and a bit overwhelmed to be receiving this award,” Joanna said. “I have the best job in the world, so to receive this honor is icing on the cake. Bringing the gift of sound to a child who has never heard or an adult who has lost his hearing is truly miraculous. Then to be honored in this way for our work is an award I share with the entire Hearts for Hearing team. I am most grateful.”

The Pat Potts Visionary award is named for the founder of OKCNP. The award goes to an individual executive leader who, through focus, tenacity and leadership, has inspired the success of a singular organization in carrying out its charitable mission.

To learn more about the 2019 Visions Awards or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.oklahomacenterfornonprofits.org/connect/visions/.

Read about each of the 2019 Visions Honorees:
Bill Citty, President’s Award
Paula Gates, Inasmuch Special Recognition Award
Christie Luther, Rodney Bivens Innovation Award
David and Jean McLaughlin, Lifetime Achievement Award
Joanna Trimble Smith, Pat Potts Visionary Award
Jean Winfrey, Pat Potts Visionary Award

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