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Oklahoma Restaurant Association - Event Information

Event Name:ORA Academy
Event Type(s):Event
Description:The goal of the Academy is to offer continuing education and professional development to particular demographics of ORA’s membership, specifically Culinary/Back-of-the-House education and Management/Front-of-the-House training.
in partnership with

Academy will consist of four 1/2 day sessions, in each track, held quarterly. 

We are excited to announce that in 2018 we will offer Academy in both Oklahoma City AND Tulsa! Management sessions will be from 9-12 and Culinary sessions will be from 1-4 pm. 
Event Date:1/23/2018
Event Time:9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Central
Details: Sessions
Oklahoma City
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
12777 N Rockwell Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Tulsa Tech - Owasso Campus
10800 N 140th E Avenue
Owasso, OK 74055
Session I
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Morning FOH: 9am - 12pm
Topic: Liquor Law Changes & What's Coming Up
Instructors: (OKC) John Maisch, University of Central Oklahoma &
(Tulsa) Adam K. Marshall, Barrow & Grimm

Afternoon BOH: 1pm - 4pm
Topic: Modern Culinary Workshop
Instructor: Chef Bill Leib, Francis Tuttle Technology Center
This workshop will discuss modern culinary techniques used to elevate food to new heights. We will discuss some basic ideas and plate presentation tactics and how it will affect the overall customer experience. We’ll also talk about how to fully utilize menu descriptions to enhance the appeal of the items being served.
Session II
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
***This session will be held at River Spirit Casino Resort in conjunction with TulsaFest. Please register for this session HERE.

Morning FOH: 10:30am - 12pm
Topic: Hiring and Sourcing Talent
Instructors: Jennifer Lopp and Kim Thompson, US Beef Corp/Arby's 
One of the biggest challenges faced by hospitality employers is personnel. Having good people in your business has a positive impact on every facet of your operation. 

Of course, the process of maintaining an employment base of skilled, well-adjusted, dedicated employees begins with the hiring process. But you also must maintain an effective overall personnel plan to hire and keep good employees. Additionally, you need an effective system to weed out the people who don't fit in due to deficiencies in job skills, commitment or interpersonal interaction.

In this session, a panel of leaders well versed in Human Resources from Arby's/US Beef will address the recruiting and the hiring process.

Afternoon BOH: 2pm - 3:30pm
Topic: How to Avoid 3 Deadly Mistakes in Labor Cost
Instructor: David Scott Peters,
Labor tends to be the largest expense in a restaurant, after an empty chair. It is also one of the most important expenses because a good team delivers great customer service, appropriate ticket times, incredible food and fulfills your promises. In this session, David Scott Peters, founder of and session speaker, will teach restaurant owners three deadly labor mistakes and how to avoid them. Attend this session to learn: 

• The one number you must know to have any chance of being profitable
• How to calculate and control this one number
• How to successfully budget for labor
• How to identify your sales efficiency by position and quickly identify shifts where you are over staffed
• How to track to control labor cost
• How to avoid overstaffing

Session III
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Morning FOH: 9am - 12pm
Topic: How to Survive the Employment Law Trends Impacting Oklahoma's Hospitality Employers
Instructor: Andria RyanFisher Phillips
co-hosted by the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association
Think you have all the answers to maneuver the changing trends and state laws regarding employment? Think again! It's ever-changing and you need to be informed more today than ever - and it may even require you update your employment policies.

Fisher Phillips is one of the leading labor and employment law firms specializing in hospitality law with more than 32 offices nationwide. 

In this session, veteran attorney Andria Ryan will address how to recognize and remedy the most common wage and hour violations, practical tips to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs, discrimination, how to ensure you are complying with state and federal discrimination and whistleblower laws, and how to handle transitioning and transgender employees.

She will also cover the latest trends in local and state laws that relate to criminal background checks, sick leave, scheduling, and marijuana use. And last but not least, we will have a timely discussion about how to prevent and respond to harassment and avoid becoming the next #MeToo employer.

Afternoon BOH: 1pm - 4pm
Topic: Modern Dessert Applications
Instructor: Chef Grady Perryman, OSUIT
In this session Chef Grady Perryman will focus on transforming classic desserts in to a more modern contemporary version. He will be taking flavor profiles that everybody knows and loves and transforming them into fresh contemporary style.

Session IV

Session IV has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018

Morning FOH: 9am - 12pm
Topic: Handling Customer Service and Online Reviews
Instructor: Mike Koehler, Smirk New Media
Brands can no longer - be they public, private, small or large - hide from customer sentiment. Social media is the great equalizer. Customers can now instantly react to the products they receive or a bad interaction with an employee. Many companies monitor for those complaints, but the art of replying (in a consistent brand voice), reacting (with the right tone) and redirecting (creating a workflow to put them into your offline customer service funnel), takes social media and communications savvy. Learn the best practices that are evolving as quickly as the social media platforms and review sites are.

Afternoon BOH: 1pm - 4pm
Topic: Sustainable Practices, Sourcing, and Global Responsibility with Foodservice Providers
Instructor: Chef Rob Johnson, US Foods
Ever have a customer ask what your business' sustainable footprint looks like? From where you're sourcing your food? Or if anything on your menu is organic, sustainable, local, gluten-free, or responsibly sourced? Maybe this isn't even something you’ve considered. Let Chef Rob Johnson with US Foods walk you through this hot topic and how a foodservice provider can not only be a resource, but an answer to this ongoing trend.


Single Sessions
  • $50 per 1/2 day session, or 
  • $80 per full day (morning FOH and afternoon BOH) - bundled savings of $20/person!

Full Packages
  • $175 for all 4 morning (FOH) sessions
  • $175 for all 4 afternoon (BOH) sessions, or
  • $250 all 8 sessions (ALL morning FOH and afternoon BOH sessions) - bundled savings of $100/person!
*Registration is transferable but non-refundable. Academy classes are limited to 40 students, with the exception of the April 3, 2018 sessions held in conjunction with TulsaFest.


Chef Rob Johnson
US Foods

After gaining invaluable experience through key culinary positions, including executive chef at a top country club and hotel in Austin, Texas, Rob Johnson started a catering company specializing in the Southern-style dishes, which gained a beloved following. Formally trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin Texas, Johnson bridges his love for Southwestern cuisine with inspiration from travels to Germany, France, Austria and the Middle East while serving in the Army. He is currently holds the position of  Food Fanatic Chef / Division Executive Chef with US Foods Oklahoma since 2006. See more.

Mike Koehler
Founder and Chief Strategist, Smirk New Media

Mike Koehler is the founder and chief strategist at Smirk New Media, a consulting firm he launched in July 2010. For more than 20 years, Mike has helped tell stories and transform the way content is delivered to audiences online. At Smirk New Media, Mike and his team help companies connect with their audiences online using great content and proven strategies through social media, websites and online advertising. Smirk is recognized as one of the largest and fastest-growing digital consulting firms in the region.

Mike speaks around the country about how to use digital platforms and integrate them intomarketing and public relations plans. He also continues to innovate the way social media strategy is developed and executed. He was a featured speaker at the 140 Characters Conference in New York City in 2009, the first national conference on the impact of Twitter on business, and has spoken at regional AMA and PRSA conferences, the NCAA National Convention and National Association of Government Communicators National Conference in 2017.

Chef Bill Leib
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Bill Leib was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, PA. He started pursuing his passion for this business at a young age, taking cooking classes when he was 12. During his high school years he worked for “Pleasures of the Palate Catering,” the largest catering business in the state of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 2002 and trained at Hotel Hershey while in school. He started his own catering business serving the central PA area, then he helped open the National Military Park and Museum in Gettysburg, PA, managing its catering program. From there, he went on to be catering director at Shippensburg University, and then production manager at the campus’ largest dining hall, serving close to 4,000 meals a day. While at OSU-IT Bill developed the modern cuisine program as well as redesigned the international cuisine class. He is currently an instructor at Francis Tuttle Technology Center in Oklahoma City. He has worked with and trained under some of the best chefs in the country in places like Providence, RI; New York City; Baltimore, MD; Napa and San Francisco, CA; and Chicago, IL. Bill is a member of the American Culinary Federation Oklahoma City Chapter Board of Directors and continually helps with the state ProStart competition by judging and bringing student volunteers to help.

Jennifer Lopp
US Beef Corp. dba Arby's

Jennifer Lopp is the Talent Acquisition Manager at US Beef Corp DBA Arby’s. She has more than 18 years of human resources, financial management, business operations, sales and strategic planning experience. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has worked for two large privately owned corporations and  a Fortune 500 company. She has also owned a local business, which she grew and sold to a private equity group. In addition, Jennifer has advised and raised capital for a number of companies ranging in size from start-ups to mature companies looking to grow. Jennifer has placed countless candidates over her career at all levels. 

Jennifer has gained extensive industry experience working in energy, occupational medicine and the restaurant industry. She has advised and recruiting for companies that focus on all industries. Jennifer has numerous years of experience in employee relations, training and development, identifying high potential employees and recruiting. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Tulsa with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In addition, she holds a master’s in business administration (MBA) with an emphasis in human resources, also from the University of Tulsa.

John Maisch
University of Central Oklahoma

John A. Maisch has served as an Assistant Professor teaching Business Law at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma, since 2012. He also serves as the President of the Institute for Responsible Alcohol Policy. Maisch previously served as the General Counsel for the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission from 2008-2012, and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma from 1996-2001. He graduated from the University of Tulsa Law School in 1995 and Midland Lutheran College in Fremont, Nebraska, in 1992.

Maisch has published several articles in the Oklahoma Bar Journal, including his 2010 article, “Oklahoma’s Modern Liquor Statutes,” and his 2016 article, “Alcohol Modernization on November Ballot.” He has been asked to provide webcast continuing legal education courses on Oklahoma’s liquor statutes for the Oklahoma Bar Association in 2011 and 2016.

Adam K. Marshall
Attorney, Barrow & Grimm

Adam Marshall’s law practice focuses primarily on business law with specific emphasis on business associations and transactions, private offerings, start-up counseling, tribal business transactions, federal and state brewery licensing and compliance, and estate planning. Adam received his Juris Doctor (with distinction) and Master of Business Administration in May of 2003 from the University of Oklahoma.

In addition to his law practice, Adam is a co-founder of Marshall Brewing Company in Tulsa. Marshall Brewing Company is a production craft microbrewery which distributes craft beer in Oklahoma and surrounding states. In 2007 and 2008, Adam oversaw all the legal matters and many of the business planning aspects of the brewery’s start-up including entity formation, capitalization through a private offering, state and federal licensing, and commencement of manufacturing operations. Adam currently serves as its Vice President and General Counsel dealing largely with state and federal regulatory compliance and strategic business planning.

Adam’s professional associations include the Oklahoma Bar Association, Tulsa County Bar Association, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Bar Association, and the Tulsa Title and Probate Lawyers. He serves as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Tulsa County Bar Foundation. He is a member of the board and Treasurer of the Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma. Adam is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the board of the Tulsa Regional Chamber. In 2015, he served as Chair of the Tulsa Small Business Connection and Vice-Chair of Small Business for the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s board and executive committee. He is Treasurer of the Carnegie Elementary School Foundation, a member of B.P.O.E (“Elks”) Lodge #946 in Tulsa, and an active adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout Pack 67. In 2014, the Tulsa Business & Legal News honored Adam as one of twenty Tulsa-area “Power Attorneys & Legal Professionals.” He was honored as one of the 2011 class of Oklahoma Magazine’s “40 Under 40”. Adam was recognized as the 2008 Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Tulsa County Bar Association and served as the 2007-08 Chair of the Young Lawyers Division.

While in law school, Adam served for two years as student clerk for the Hon. Charles S. Chapel of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. He also served as Online Editor for the Oklahoma Law Review and is the author of “Oil & Gas Law: Royalty Valuation: Rogers v. Westerman Farm Co.: Burdening Lessees With an Implied Duty to Deliver Gas to a Marketable Location,” 56 OKLA. L. REV. 233(2003).

Chef Grady Perryman

Chef Grady Perryman is a 1995 graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute. He then went to L’Auberge de Sedona in Sedona, Arizona, with Chef John Harrings. Chef Perryman is a accomplished pastry chef and ice carver. His work has been featured in Arizona Highways and Food and Wine Magazine. Chef Perryman joined the OSUIT School of Culinary Arts in 2005. Before OSU Chef Perryman owned and operated Muskogee Bread Works in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Prior to that he held positions at Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri, Little Italy Restaurant in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Miss Addies in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Adams Mark Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also serves on the advisory board for Hale High School Culinary Program.

David Scott Peters

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, speaker, coach and trainer for independent restaurant owners. He is the developer of SMART Systems Pro, an online restaurant management software program helping the independent restaurant owner remain competitive and profitable in an industry boxed in by the big chain restaurants. He is best known as the SMART Systems guy who can walk into any restaurant and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door... Guaranteed! Learn more at

Andria Ryan
Fisher Phillips

Andria Ryan is a partner in the Atlanta office and she serves as the chair of the firm's Hospitality Industry Practice Group. She represents employers in virtually every area of employment and labor law.

Andria represents employees throughout the United States in defending employment discrimination and harassment cases as well as handling traditional labor matters such as unfair labor practices and union campaigns.

She spends much of her time counseling employers in day to day employment and labor decisions and educating employers about prevention and practical solutions to workplace problems.

She is a frequent speaker to industry groups and human resources professionals on such topics as avoiding harassment in the workplace, maintaining a union free workplace, avoiding discrimination claims, proper interviewing, and effective discipline and discharge techniques.

In 2007, she received the Chairman's Award from the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association for her development of the Employment Compliance Guide for Colorado Hospitality Employers. She and Fisher Phillips have also been honored by the South Carolina Hospitality Association as Supplier of the Year – Stars of the Hospitality Industry Awards 1994-2015 and the Washington Lodging Association for valuable contributions by an Allied member. Andria is "AV" Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Jon Skelly
Journey Media

Jon Skelly is the founder and chief storyteller at Journey Media, a consulting firm specializing in helping individuals and organizations become masters of the story skill. As a former Fortune 500 Chief Marketing Officer and current head of digital experience at one of the nation’s largest privately-held banks, Jon has helped executives, business owners, sales professionals, recruiters, and other leaders harness the power of storytelling as they build customer experiences, new products/programs, and their overall brands.

Additionally, Jon is an award-winning screenwriter and copywriting consultant. He has spoken at events across North America, helping people understand the simple, centuries-old principles of a good story – and why that matters to their career and their company, as well as the critical, common mistakes that most organizations make. 

Kim Thompson
US Beef Corp. dba Arby’s

Kim began her career with United States Beef Corporation in 2005. As the Vice President of Human Resources and Risk for over 7,500 restaurant employees, her role is key to one of the largest Arby’s franchisee’s in the United States. Kim’s responsibilities include, human resources, recruiting, workers compensation, general liability, benefit, employment lawsuits and other risks that face the company as whole. 

Prior to 2005, Kim began her career in the insurance industry with Prudential where she worked for over 10 years with individuals and small employer groups in Tulsa. In 1995 she took a position in Dallas with Lockton as a consultant/broker, working with large employer groups, she returned to Tulsa in 1999 as the Senior Vice President of Marsh & McClennan where she consulted for large multi-state clients on health, welfare, casualty, EEOC and risk. 

Kim’s expertise spans from human resources, recruiting, employer welfare plans, property, general liability, casualty, EEOC discrimination charges and employment lawsuits. Kim currently teaches Labor Law classes throughout the year to hundreds of restaurant managers spanning over 8 states.
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