Member Center
Login Home Contact Us
Toggle Navigation
Staff
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.
 
Jim Hopper
President & CEO

Key representative of industry views and interests before state legislative and regulatory agencies. Coordinates with officers, the board of directors, and contract lobbyists. Serves as industry spokesperson and coordinates with National Restaurant Association on federal issues and events. Also, serves as CEO of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.
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 CEO for the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association.
 
Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Chief Strategy Officer

Responsible for communicating the association‘s mission and elevating its brand. Directs all meetings and events, communications, as well as industry/community relations and Strategic Partnership Marketing initiatives. Patti also serves as Chief Strategy Officer of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.

Linda Etherton
Director, ORA Expo

Responsible for ORA Expo exhibitor relations, booth sales and logistics, as well as other various event-related responsibilities.

 
Collin Graham
Director, Membership

P
rimary responsibilities include new member recruitment, retention, hospitality industry research, and helping members through the challenges of opening and operating a foodservice business. Also 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
Manager, Education

Manages member educational experiences and speaker/facilitator considerations. Brings together industry with student classrooms through Oklahoma ProStart and HospitAbilities student programs which foster careers in hospitality, culinary arts, and restaurant management.

SaraiMaldonado
Manager, Member Care

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

 

Lacey Pierson
Manager, Meetings & Events

Manages association meetings and events, and is primary contact for all event registration.
Elizabeth Sanchez
Manager, Training & Accounting

Responsible for accounts payables and receivables, as well as Alcohol Compliance and ServSafe certification and training programs.
Julia JerniganSmith
Contract Lobbyist
Represents industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.
Benny Vanatta
Contract Lobbyist

Represents industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.
  
What's Happening
06.07.21
The Culinary Cook-off is a cooking competition that takes place during the ORA Expo. Oklahoma's most talented chefs will race the clock to create dazzling dishes using a mystery basket of ingredients. Chefs will compete in various heats until the contest is narrowed down to the last two chefs. Judges will consist of a panel of industry professionals who will critique each competitor on plate presentation, creativity, product taste, and sanitation practices, among other things. For each contestant, the high and low scores will be discarded. Chefs will be competing for a trophy, medals, and cash prizes. Learn more by clicking the link! #CCO2021
06.07.21
Support Oklahoma’s most talented bartenders as they compete for prizes in the Oklahoma Restaurant Association Cocktail Shakedown. This exciting competition takes place during the first day of the ORA Expo. Bartenders from all over the state will put their skills and abilities to the test as they compete to move through four timed rounds of cocktail preparations including the Championship Round. As each bartender lifts a shaker and creates his or her requisite signature concoction, they race the clock to create innovative and crazy delicious cocktails that will be judged on taste and balance, originality, drink presentation, and stage presentation. Each round reduces the number of talented competitors until the four finalists compete for the grand prize! Applications will be available soon.
05.13.21
The ORA Expo at the OK State Fair Park in Oklahoma City is considered the best opportunity of the year for hospitality professionals to connect with food and equipment manufacturers, and a range of other suppliers who are eager to feature products and services to help you reach that next level of success. With restaurants back in full swing, we know that operators are more interested than ever in products and innovations to help save money and build upon their success. This is one Expo you won't want to miss!
06.07.21
Thirst for a Cause, an annual event started in 2009, raises funds to help with urgent medical expenses for members of Oklahoma's hospitality industry. Through our non-profit Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation, we are able to give something back to the hard-working employees in the hospitality industry. Thirst for a Cause was established to meet the extreme medical needs of persons employed in the restaurant industry in Oklahoma. Funds are limited and will be awarded based on demonstration of need to long-term employees in the restaurant industry. Aid to individuals may only be provided if such individual has no other means to receive needed support, such as from insurance, government assistance programs, etc. Monetary support will not be granted directly to the individual, but to the entity supplying goods and services to the individual, i.e. hospitals, physicians, etc. As you walk around and sample food from some of Oklahoma City's best restaurants, you'll be able to meet and interact with winemakers from all over the wine world. These vintners, who represent some of the best wines available in the country, are coming all the way to Oklahoma to help raise money for our cause. This is THE best wine tasting event of the year! Nowhere else will you be able to meet this many vintners, taste this many great wines, and sample this much amazing food under one roof - right here in OKC!
3800 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112
Website by Vieth Consulting