The OHLA has a team of dedicated trade association professionals working diligently on behalf of the hospitality industry each and every day. Our team members have expertise ranging from advocacy and governmental affairs, to operations and licensing. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the team that loves to serve you.
Debra Bailey, CAE
Chief Financial Officer
Debra Bailey is a cornerstone of the ORA since 1985 and a distinguished member of our Executive Leadership Team. With the most extensive tenure among our staff, Debra holds a vital role in the association. Her responsibilities encompass fiscal management, directing operations, overseeing office functions, and facilitating communication with our esteemed officers and directors. Debra's credentials shine as she is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and an accomplished graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management. Beyond her commitment to the ORA, Debra's leadership extends to the broader community. She serves as the President of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association and holds the role of Chief Financial Officer for the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.
Chief Member Services & Regulatory Officer
Collin has played a pivotal role in the team since 2000, plays a pivotal role within the ORA's Executive Leadership Team. He excels in a range of vital responsibilities that not only bolster new member recruitment and retention but provide essential industry insights. Collin offers unwavering support to members as they navigate the complexities of opening and managing food service businesses. As a Certified ServSafe Instructor/Proctor, he ensures safety and excellence, while also teaching the ORA's ACE Alcohol Compliance Education classes. Collin's influence extends to the Advocacy team, where he stands as a resource for members addressing licensing and opening challenges. His stewardship of membership-preferred supplier and discount programs enriches member value. Additionally, Collin's participation in the Tulsa Foodservice Advisory Board showcases his local industry involvement.
Director, Training & Accounting
Since joining our team in 2016, Bety has been a vital asset, overseeing accounts payables and receivables. Her responsibilities also extend to office operations. Beyond her financial responsibilities, Elizabeth coordinates crucial training opportunities such as the ORA’s (ACE) Alcohol Compliance and ServSafe certification programs, playing a pivotal role in fostering a skilled industry community. Elizabeth is a Certified ServSafe Instructor/Proctor.
Manager, Member Care & ServSafe
Since joining our team in 2019, Sarai plays a pivotal role as your initial point of contact, whether you're reaching out by phone or updating your membership information. She takes the helm in member fulfillment, managing member records, data, and dues. Sarai's expertise extends to overseeing ServSafe Food Safety enrollment and class proctoring. As a Certified ServSafe Proctor, she ensures the highest standards of food safety education.
Director, Workforce & Education
Since 2021, Roberta has been the driving force behind our workforce development initiatives, bringing a visionary approach to bridging the gap between industry and education. As a leader, she orchestrates impactful initiatives that converge industry and education, exemplified by the transformative Oklahoma ProStart and HospitAbilities student programs. These programs empower aspiring individuals in hospitality, culinary arts, and restaurant management, fostering dynamic careers. Roberta serves on various Advisory Boards, including OSU IT, Metro Technology Center, Northwest Classen High School, and Francis Tuttle Technology Center-Service Careers. Her role on the Modernization of the National Career Clusters Framework Advisory Group reflects her commitment to shaping educational pathways. Roberta also curates member educational experiences, and considers speaker and facilitator selections, crafting an engaging learning environment.
Manager, Marketing & Technology
In 2023, Surge became an integral part of the OHLA team, with a distinct focus on elevating the AMS (Association Management System) initiatives. As an AMS administrator, Surge not only ensures the smooth functioning of this essential system but also spearheads its development and management. His contributions extend to various dimensions of OHLA's marketing strategies, encompassing digital and print domains. His scope of responsibilities includes crafting web content, photography, and shaping graphic design for the association.
Manager, Member Engagement & Communications
Jorie Helms recently assumed the mantle of Manager of Communications & Member Engagement, becoming a pivotal link in OHLA's strategic communication endeavors. At the helm of SnapShot e-News, Jorie masterfully aligns our communications with member priorities and needs. She also curates a significant portion of our social media presence and graphic design. Additionally, Jorie is an integral to our meetings and events team, and stands as your point of contact for event registration helping to ensure engagement.
Julia Jernigan Smith
Julia is a vital member of our Advocacy team, dedicated to championing the interests of our industry. Collaborating closely with the President & CEO, she ensures that industry issues are effectively conveyed to state authorities, including the state capitol and relevant agencies. Julia's expertise in public relations, communications, and strategic implementation plays a pivotal role in driving our advocacy efforts forward.
Visit Creative Capitol Strategies to learn more.