2010 Outstanding Entrepreneur
A believer in lifelong learning, Burt B. Holmes is an accomplished entrepreneur and steadfast supporter of arts, education and community. Mild-mannered and unassuming, Holmes has been at the center of a jumber of successful business venture, including the launch of one of America's best-known convenience store chains.
Holmes attended The University of Tulsa on a basketball scolarship as a freshman and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1954. He began selling insurance for his father's company after graduating and discovered a new business concept - the convenience store - while on a trip to Dallas. Compelled to start a similar business in Tulsa, Holmes pulled together a small group of investors and $16,000.
In 1958, Holmes cofounded QuikTrip Corporation. Fellow cofounder Chester Cadieux ran the first store while Holmes looked for new locations, established credit and stayed optimistic. Today, the thriving convenience store chain boasts hundreds of stores, thousands of employees and several billion in sales. Fortune Magazine consistently names QuikTrip to its list of best companies to work for in America.
Meanwhile, he also founded Burt B. Holmes and Associates, which later became The Holmes Organisation, Inc. He sold the company in 1998 and remains a consultant. He currently serves as an emeritus director on the board of QuikTrip and is also chairman of Leaders Life Inurance Company, American Institute of Medical Technology and National Occupational Health Services.
Other past business ventures include serving as founder, owner or director of Hurricane Trading Company, Gas Energy Development Co., Day Schools Inc., Healthfood Associates/Akin's, Utica National Bank and National Bank of Commerce. He also promoted Tulsa's first high-rise suburban office building, Southland Financial Center. Currently, he is leading fundraising efforts for the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden, a world-class botanical garden being created in the Osage Hills seven miles northwest of downtown Tulsa.
Holmes is past chairman and emeritus member of the TU Board of Trustees; past chairman and director of the Gilcrease Museum Association, the TU Alumni Association, and Family and Children's Services; former director of Tulsa Philharmonic, Palmer Drug Abuse Program, and Thornton Family Y; past director of Phillips Theological Seminary, and Greenwood Cultural Center; cofounder of Eastern European Children's Aid and former member of the Oklahoma Crime Commission.
The University of Tulsa honored Mr. Holmes in 1977 as a Distinguished Alumnus and the College of Business named him an Outstanding Alumnus in 2002. He has five children; Jennifer L. Holmes, Julia Angé, Janice H. Chevallier, Joan Stedman and Jeff W. Holmes.