Oklahoma Restaurant Association - Event Information
in partnership with
The goal of ORA Academy is to offer continuing education and professional development to particular demographics of ORA’s membership.
Each Academy date will consist of two two-hour sessions - one in Management/Front-of-the-House training and one in Culinary/Back-of-the-House education - held quarterly. With the exception of the April Academy, all Management sessions will be from 9-11 am and Culinary sessions will be from 1-3 pm, and each session will be $25. Registration is transferable but non-refundable.
4/2/2019 8/22/2019 10/22/2019
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Central
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 To be held at River Spirit Casino Resort, 8330 Riverside Pkwy, Tulsa, OK 74137 in conjunction with TulsaFest
*For this event, the Management/FOH session will take place from 10:30-12:00noon and the Culinary/BOH session will take place from 2-3:30pm. Cost will be $50/session/person. **Registration for the April 2 Academy sessions can be found under TulsaFest registration.
ORA Academy Session 2 (Morning)
The People You Lead,presented by John Isbell
Here's a hot-take for you - people are different. In fact, very different. So why do we try to lead them all exactly the same way? In this highly interactive session, based partially on a self-discovery assessment that is eerily accurate, you will learn how to quickly judge the type of leadership an individual needs and deliver on that leadership in a customized way to the learner/team member. You will take a quick 20 question assessment that is the basis for the presentation. We will talk about everything from generational differences to personality types and everything in between. This is a fun, funny, and incredibly interactive session that is sure to be a favorite at your next conference.
ORA Academy Session 2 (Afternoon)
Brick By Brick: Building (or Re-building) Your Company Culture,presented by John Isbell
Join John as he shares his experiences in helping to rebuild the internal culture of not 1 but 2 iconic brands on opposite ends of the spectrum like the Improv Comedy Clubs and IHOP. John's funny, sometimes irreverent, look at what it takes to rebuild any brand, whether it needs slightly refreshed, needs some resuscitation, or just needs to be dug up out of grave. In this session he will discuss: finding your history (there's one no matter how boring you think it is), finding your voice, understanding who you are and aren't, getting your people behind you in team environment, the role training plays, and finally - how to keep that synergy going once you have it.
Thursday, August 22, 2019 To be held at The Tasting Room, 4322 N Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Management 3 Session (Morning)
A Couple of Apps for the Table: Reviewing Technology that is Changing the Industry,presented by Jon Skelly
Culinary 3 Session (Afternoon)
Cocktail Trends: Making Your Beverages Stand Out,presented by TBA
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 To be held at The Bond, 608 E. 3rd Street, Tulsa, OK 74120
Management 4 Session (Morning)
HACCP Plans: How do We Figure This Stuff Out?, presented by TBA
Culinary 4 Session (Afternoon)
Whole Hog Cooker: How To Utilize All Cuts & Pieces of A Whole Hog in Asian Cuisine,presented by Ben Alexander
Join local Chef Celebrity, Ben Alexander, the VP of Culinary Operations for McNellie's Group, as he shares some of his secrets of Asian Cuisine.
VP of Culinary Operations, McNellie's Group
Chef Ben attained his first chef position at the age of 19 at a Thai-American restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has no formal schooling in culinary arts, but he has worked with a lot of very knowledgable and successful chefs, restaurateurs, and cooks including positions in the United States Navy, Sisserous in downtown Tulsa, the Wolfgang Puck Bistro Tulsa, and several restaurants in Arizona. His first passion in life is his family, but he cooks to provide for his family and that is why cooking and learning every aspect of food is his second passion. It also gives him an outlet to help his community.
As a former Vice President of Operations & Training for the Improv Comedy Clubs, a 25-unit chain of full-service comedy clubs with full bar and scratch cooking menus, John Isbell knows how funny business can be. He was responsible for reviving the culture and history of the brand by installing culture-based training programs and operational systems. By standardizing both front and back of the house operational procedures and training programs, he helped increase top line sales for the brand . He also learned how much of an asset a sense of humor and great communication skills can be when building toward something bigger than yourself.
John has held leadership positions in both Training & Operations in other organizations such as Logan’s Roadhouse, O’Charley’s and IHOP. John also spent eight years in the United States Air Force/Air Force Reserves where his last position held was Unit Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge (Unit N.C.O.I.C.) of Training and Development for the 452nd Air Reserve Mobility Wing.
John is a past President of the Council of Hotel And Restaurant Trainers (CHART), an over 500 member organization of hotel and restaurant training professionals, and currently still acts on an advisory committee. John has been featured in many trade magazines such as Nation’s Restaurant News and Food and Wine, while also making numerous presentations at trade shows and conferences across the U.S., including 4-time speaker at the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.
John has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Workcenter Education & Development and holds anAssociate Degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Educational & Instructional Technology. He is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) with the Educational Institute and, in 2009, was awarded anHonorary Doctorate of Foodservice (HDF) by the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers Association (NAFEM) for his contributions to the Hospitality Industry.
John currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife & 2 children.
John’s presentation style has been called “hilarious!”, “…like he’s having a conversation with just me…” and “…engaging and thoughtful…”
Join John as he shows you why talking about leadership and team building can be energizing, sometimes life-changing, and downright fun.
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.