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Oklahoma Restaurant Association
3800 N. Portland Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
(405) 942-8181
(800) 375-8181

The ORA staff is a team of dedicated trade association professionals working diligently on behalf of the restaurant and hospitality industry each and every day. Our staff has expertise ranging from advocacy and governmental affairs, workforce development, certification, and licensing - and we assist members in all facets of their day-to-day operations.
James Leewright
President & CEO

Leads the association's public policy, advocacy and regulatory efforts on behalf of the restaurant industry, and works with the association lobbyist. Works to drive profitability, while managing organizational structure, and strategy. Coordinates with officers, the board of directors, and communicates advocacy initiatives with the National Restaurant Association, and also serves as CEO of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association and the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. James represents the industry through his service to the Oklahoma Foodservice Advisory Council.

Debra Bailey, CAE
Deputy Director/Chief Financial Officer

Responsible for the fiscal management of the association, directing staff activities, office operations, and communication with officers, directors, and contract lobbyists as needed. Debra also serves as President of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association, and CFO of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.
Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Chief Strategy Officer

Responsible for communicating the association‘s mission and elevating its brand. Directs efforts with regard to Strategic Partnership Marketing initiatives, as well as all meetings, events, and communications. Also serves as the association’s representative on industry and community relations. Patti also serves as President of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.

Collin Graham
Chief Member Services & Regulatory Officer 

rimary responsibilities include new member recruitment, retention, hospitality industry research, and helping members through the challenges of opening and operating a foodservice business. ServSafe certified food safety instructor and teaches ABLE certified ACE alcohol compliance classes. Directs activities surrounding the development and management of membership preferred supplier and discount programs.
Karlie Hart
Manager, Communications & Marketing

Initiates and manages all industry communications including Oklahoma Restaurateur magazine, Restaurant Recovery E-news, Ala Carte and E-Advertisement. Also manages web content, marketing, advertising, and photography.


Roberta Helsley
Director, Workforce Development & Education

Manages member educational experiences and speaker/facilitator considerations while also leading the association's workforce development initiatives. Responsible for initiatives that bring together industry and education through student programs including Oklahoma ProStart and HospitAbilities, each of which fosters careers in hospitality, culinary arts, and restaurant management. Roberta also represents the ORA through her work on Advisory Boards for OSU IT, Metro Technology Center, Northwest Classen High School, and Francis Tuttle Technology Center-Service Careers.

Sarai Maldonado
Manager, Member Care

Oversees member fulfillment including member records data, and dues management. Also, manages ServSafe Food Safety enrollment.

Lacey Pierson
Manager, Expo, Meetings & Events

Responsible for ORA Expo exhibitor relations, exhibit sales, and logistics, as well as management of other association meetings and events. Is also the primary contact for most major event registration.
Audra Pixley
Coordinator, Programs, Meetings & Events

Responsible for support of meetings and events, as well as special programming including OK ProStart, HospitAbilities, and Sonic ServSafe.
Elizabeth Sanchez
Director, Training & Accounting

Responsible for accounts payables and receivables, as well as Alcohol Compliance and ServSafe certification and training programs.
Julia Jernigan Smith
Contract Lobbyist
Works in coordination with the President & CEO to represent industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.
What's Happening
Join us for the 20th Anniversary of Odyssey de Culinaire! Celebrate 20 years of supporting Oklahoma's ProStart program and bolsterting Oklahoma's hospitality workforce! The first dinner will be Tuesday, July 11 at The River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, and the second dinner will be Thursday, July 20 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City. We hope to see you at one or both of these unique dinners benefitting the Oklahoma ProStart® program!
The ORA has partnered with Adesso Capital to help our members and non-members file for their ERC funds. To date, Adesso has helped Oklahoma restaurants claim $4.6 Million dollars and counting! Adesso will even pay your initial ORA membership dues if you are not a member, and your next renewal dues if you are already a member. The Adesso team has helped hundreds of restaurants across the U.S. and is prepared to help you. Click this story to get connected with an Adesso team member today!
3800 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
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