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Our Team
Oklahoma Travel Industry Association
3800 N. Portland Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
(405) 942-1121
(800) 375-8181

James Leewright
Chief Executive Officer

Leads the association's public policy, advocacy and regulatory efforts on behalf of the travel and tourism industry, and works with the association lobbyist. 

Debra Bailey, CAE

Responsible for the fiscal management of the association, as well as directing staff activities, office operations, and communication with officers. First point of contact for Oklahoma Tourism Conference, Lt. Governor Summits, and Red Bud Awards. Also serves as Chief Financial Officer for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association.
Patti Colley, IOM, CMP
Chief Strategy Officer

Responsible for communicating the association’s mission and elevating its brand. Directs industry relations and Strategic Partnership Marketing initiatives, as well as marketing collaborations. Oversees activities surrounding association meetings and events. Also serves as Chief Strategy Officer of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and President of the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association. 

Roberta Helsley
Vice President 

Supports the President while managing association activities including the Lt. Governor Tourism Summits across Oklahoma, as well as member educational experiences and speaker/facilitator considerations. 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 OTIA through her work on Advisory Boards for OSU IT, Metro Technology Center, Northwest Classen High School, and Francis Tuttle Technology Center-Service Careers.

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 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.
"Bety" Elizabeth Sanchez
Director, Training & Accounting

Elizabeth oversees member fulfillment including member and nonmember databases, dues billings and collection, retention programs and endorsed partner relations.

Surge Ali
Manager, Marketing & Technology
In 2023, Surge became an integral part of the ORA team, with a distinct focus on elevating the AMS (Association Management System) initiatives. As an AMS administrator, Surge not only ensures the smooth functioning of this essential system but also spearheads its development and management. His contributions extend to various dimensions of ORA's marketing strategies, encompassing digital and print domains. His scope encompassing responsibilities such as curating content for the Oklahoma Restaurateur magazine, crafting web content, orchestrating photography, and shaping graphic design for the association.


Jorie Helms
Manager, Member Engagement & Communications
Jorie Helms, became the Manager of Communications & Engagement in 2023. She oversees Ala Carte e-News and plays an important role in linking our communications strategically to member priorities and member needs. She also manages many aspects of social media, and is an integral part of our meetings and events team. Jorie, is also your contact for event registration.

Sarai Maldonado
Manager, Member Care

Since joining our team in 2019, Sarai plays a pivotal role as your initial point of contact, whether you're reaching out by phone or updating your membership information. She takes the helm in member fulfillment, managing member records, data, and dues. Sarai's expertise extends to overseeing ServSafe Food Safety enrollment and class proctoring. As a Certified ServSafe Proctor, she ensures the highest standards of food safety education.

Julia Jernigan Smith
Contract Lobbyist
Works in coordination with the CEO to represent industry issues at the state capitol and state agencies.
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3800 N. Portland Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73112
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