Careers at TRA

Careers at TRA

The Texas Restaurant Association is one of the largest state restaurant associations in the country. Our membership reflects the diversity of the state’s culinary landscape, from small family owned restaurants, to multi-unit independent operators, regional and national chains.

TRA is headquartered just north of downtown Austin, Texas with regional offices in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. We offer full-time employees a comprehensive benefit package, including health care, a 401(K) plan and paid time off.

We recruit exceptional candidates for full-time positions and independent contractors. TRA has a strong sales team focused on membership as well as our annual convention and trade show, TRA Marketplace.

Send all letters of interest and applications to Susan Petty in TRA's HR department.

Available Positions

Regional Executive Director - Dallas, TX

The Regional Executive Director is the key leadership role responsible for representing the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) and Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) in their respective Region and its Chapters. Their core focus is two-fold; Membership and Advocacy. By driving member acquisition and engagement as well as local government affairs and advocacy, the Regional Executive Director grows the strength of the Association and its advocacy impact, adding to member value. Based in the Region’s metro office, they are also responsible for key administrative duties to support their Chapters.

Membership Development & Engagement
Core to the success of each TRA Region is a strong membership, counted not only in number of members, but strength of engagement. Regional Executive Directors play an integral role in the success of membership development and retention. Key activities include:

  • Oversee Regional Member Sales & Engagement Staff, ensuring goals for member acquisition, membership retention, and member products & services sales are met for the Region as established in collaboration with the Chief Strategy & Operations Officer.
  • Seek out new lead sources (i.e. TABC New Licensee List) to support Regional member acquisition.
  • Track regional membership engagement activities and assign out key activities when overseeing multiple member engagement staff as required by TRA customer relations management software (iMIS).
  • Serve as first tier escalation for any member-related issues or questions referred by sales and/or engagement staff. Be available for in-person meetings to support new member acquisition.
  • Oversee planning and execution of, and Host, Regional membership meetings and events, including development and promotion of sponsorship opportunities for chapters within Region. Align Regional sponsorship strategy with overall State sponsorship plan and existing Preferred Partner relationships, in collaboration with Chief Revenue & Innovation Officer.

Work with Region’s Chapter Presidents to:

  • Develop a strong, cohesive board, continually identifying and encouraging members to take an active role in local Chapter leadership (and identifying from local leadership / active members candidates for service on the Association’s State Board).
  • Ensure Chapters continually meet the minimum number of required members for Chapter viability.
  • Develop members to be leaders in the community and organization.
  • Oversee / Execute special member acquisition and engagement projects for the Region or State, as assigned by the Chief Strategy & Operations Officer.

Government Affairs & Advocacy
Coordinate closely with the Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy, to (1) develop, lead, and execute the region’s local policy agendas and (2) support TRA’s state and federal advocacy agendas. While close coordination with TRA is key to ensure consistent messaging and maximum effectiveness, Regional Executive Directors are expected to lead on local issues and create/maintain relationships with local leaders within and outside the industry. Regional Executive Directors are also critical to building the grassroots support that is necessary to execute TRA’s state and federal advocacy goals. Key activities include:

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with members who can advocate on behalf of the industry at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Maintain a close view on local issues throughout the region. When issues arise, keep TRA and local members aware and lead a proactive response in support of the industry.
  • Identify opportunities for local advocacy, ensure they complement the statewide agenda, and then drive the local engagement.
  • Coordinate with allied stakeholders, government offices, and other groups as appropriate to address problems and execute local policy objectives (i.e. city health department, local TABC office).
  • Organize and leverage community events and direct engagement to further TRA’s policy objectives at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Coordinate and execute local communications strategy in coordination with the Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy and the Chief Revenue & Innovation Officer, including:
    • Acting as the local industry spokesperson when needed – be available for media requests, stakeholder meetings, regulatory meetings, government hearings, etc. throughout the region.
    • Organizing local webinars and/or in-person events with elected officials and allied partners throughout the region to drive grassroots advocacy and engagement efforts.
    • Attend state and federal lobby meetings in Austin and Washington, D.C. during the Texas legislative session and annual NRA Public Affairs Conference.
    • Drive local PAC fundraising strategies for TRAPAC in coordination with the Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy.

Administration & Management
Based in the Region’s metro office, the Regional Executive Director is responsible for additional duties tied to the successful operation and management of the staff and Chapters within the Region. These key activities include:

  • Schedules, creates agenda (in collaboration with President), and attends all meetings for Region’s Metro Chapter, and is responsible for final creation and distribution of minutes (with copy to State leadership).
  • Maintaining the activities for Region’s Chapters in the unified global calendar. Develop strategy and oversee annual fund-raising activities within region to support growth of Education Foundation.
  • Budget planning and management in coordination with the Association leadership and, as applicable, with the Board of the metro Chapter.
  • Expense management of all budgets under the Regional Executive Director’s purview and meets the annual budget set and approved by the TRA leadership and local board.
  • Setting annual goals and objectives for staff in collaboration with the Chief Strategy & Operations Officer and Chief Revenue & Innovation Officer and Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy as appropriate, and signed-off by the President & CEO. Conducting semi-annual staff reviews and monitoring staff performance throughout the year.
  • Leads and coordinates Regional staff participating in annual TRA Marketplace, providing support as required by TRA Marketplace leadership.
  • Collects and reports on all scholarship activities of Region’s Chapters to Chief Strategy & Operations Officer for inclusion in TRAEF Annual Report.
  • Establishes relationships with Texas ProStart high schools within Region to support Texas ProStart Coordinator in expanding and improving program. Attends annual Culinary Educators Teaching Conference (CETC) and maintains metro office status as proctor site for ServSafe exams. Ensures chapter boards’ Education Committees are strong and able to support regional ProStart schools.

All other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Government Affairs, Business Management, or any other related field and 5 years’ experience, or 10-12 years minimum special events/special functions experience.
  • Expert-level competency with Microsoft Office Suite (Office 365), Quickbooks experience preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills, Comfortable presenting to large crowds or televised media.
  • Proven attention to detail, highly organized, and able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to maintain a consistently positive outlook towards all members and staff.
  • Previous experience in the hospitality/restaurant and/or association management/leadership is a plus.

Qualified candidates send cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to: