The OHLA staff is a team of dedicated trade association professionals working diligently on behalf of the hospitality industry each and every day. Our staff has  expertise ranging from advocacy and governmental affairs, to operations and licensing. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the staff that loves to serve you.


James Leewright
Chief Executive Officer
Leads the association's public policy, advocacy and regulatory efforts on behalf of the lodging 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 American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Also serves as President & CEO of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Primary contact for association operations and with OHLA Board of Directors. Responsible for the operations of the association along with strategy, industry relations, and partnerships. Coordinates with officers, and the board of directors. Serves as an Officer of the Oklahoma Chapter of Women In Lodging (OKWIL) and represents the association in most matters concerning the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Also serves as Chief Strategy Officer of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.

Debra Bailey, CAE
Chief Financial Officer
Responsible for the fiscal management of the association, and office operations. Also serves as CEO of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association.

Communications & Education


Karlie Hart

Manager, Communications & Marketing

Initiates and manages all industry communications including Hotel Recovery E-news, SNAPSHOT and E-Advertisement. Also manages web content, marketing, advertising, and photography.

Roberta Helsley

Manager, 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 OHLA through her work on Advisory Boards for OSU IT, Metro Technology Center, Northwest Classen High School, and Francis Tuttle Technology Center-Service Careers.

Member Services & Accounting

Collin Graham
Director, Member Services

Primary 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.

Elizabeth Sanchez
Manager, Training & Accounting
Responsible for accounts payable and receivable, as well as alcohol compliance and food safety certification/training programs.

Sarai Maldonado
Manager, Member Care
Oversees member fulfillment including member records data, and dues management. Also, manages ServSafe Food Safety enrollment.

Meetings & Events

Audra Pixley
Coordinator, Programs, Meetings & Events

Manages the Stars of the Industry Awards program and is responsible for support of meetings and events including registration. Also helps to coordinate special programming including OK ProStart and HospitAbilities.

Lacey Pierson
Manager, Expo, Meetings & Events
Manages Lodging Summit Vendor Expo and ORA Expo booth sales, logistics, and exhibitor relations, as well as registration for some major events. Also manages activities of the Oklahoma Chapter of Women in Lodging (OKWIL). 


Julia Jernigan Smith
Contract Lobbyist

Works in coordination with the CEO to represent industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.