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, and the board of directors, and communicates advocacy initiatives with American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and serves on the board of the American Hospitality Alliance (AHA). Also serves as President & CEO of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.  


Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Primary contact with the Board of Directors. Manages committee activities, board nominations, partnerships, and industry relations. Coordinates with officers, and the board of directors, and directs staff activities. Serves as Officer of the Oklahoma Chapter of Women In Lodging (OKWIL) and represents the association in most matters concerning the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), and the International Society of Association Executives (ISHA). Also serves as Chief Strategy Officer for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association. 

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

Director, Workforce & 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
Chief Member Services & Regulatory Officer

Primary responsibilities include new member recruitment, retention, hospitality industry research, and helping members through the challenges of opening and operating a hospitality business. Directs activities surrounding the development and management of membership preferred supplier and discount programs. 
Also, serves membership as a ServSafe certified food safety instructor and teaches ABLE-certified "ACE" alcohol compliance classes. 

Elizabeth Sanchez
Director, 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

Responsible for SNAPSHOT e-News and association social media, and assists with member registration. Supports activities of the meetings, and events departments. Also helps to coordinate special programming including Oklahoma ProStart and HospitAbilities.  

Lacey Pierson
Manager, Expo, Meetings & Events
Manages Lodging Summit Vendor Expo and ORA Expo booth sales, logistics, and exhibitor relations, Also manages Stars of the Industry, as well as registration for some major events. The main point of contact and manager for the Oklahoma 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.