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.


Jim Hopper
President & CEO
Represents 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 American Hotel & Lodging Association and the National Restaurant Association on federal issues. Also serves as President & CEO for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Chief Strategy Officer
Primary contact for association operations and with OHLA Board of Directors. Directs industry relations, marketing/communications, partnerships, and activities surrounding association meetings and events. 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). Also serves as CSO 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 CEO for 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. Brings together industry with student classrooms through Oklahoma ProStart and HospitAbilities student programs which foster careers in hospitality, culinary arts, and restaurant management.

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 Hester
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). 


Benny Vanatta
Contract Lobbyist
Represents industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.

Julia Jernigan Smith
Contract Lobbyist
Represents industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.