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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:01-23-18
Event Time:09:00 AM - 04:00 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

The above link is for the 1/24, 8/15, and 11/15 sessions. If you are registering for the April 3 session, held in conjunction with TulsaFest 2018, please register HERE.
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
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 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: 9am - 12pm
Topic: Writing Your Restaurant's Story
Instructor: Jon Skelly, Journey Media
Every restaurant (and every customer's dining experience) is a story, but we often make some critical mistakes as we "write" them. Using centuries of storytelling principles as a guide, learn how to identify the heroes, villains, and a few surprise characters...and what that means for your customers and your restaurant.

Afternoon BOH: 1pm - 4pm
Topic: TBA
Instructor: Chef Christine Dowd, Aunt PittyPat's Catering

Morning FOH: 10:30am - 12pm
Topic: Hiring and Recruiting - Make it Work!
Instructor: TBA

Afternoon BOH: 2pm - 3pm
Topic: Restaurant Efficiencies
Instructor: TBA
Session III
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Morning FOH: 9am - 12pm
Topic: National Hospitality Employment Law Trends that Impact Your State
Instructor: Andria RyanFisher Phillips

Afternoon BOH: 1pm - 4pm
Topic: Modern Dessert Applications
Instructor: Chef Grady Perryman, OSUIT
Session IV
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: TBA
Instructor: Chef Rob Johnson, US Foods


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.

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).

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. 
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