Texas Restaurant Association Adds Tech and Leading Restaurateurs to 2021 Board of Directors

Oct 13

AUSTIN, TX (October 13, 2020) – The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) is proud to announce its Officers and new Directors for the upcoming year. The current board met in San Antonio last week and approved 30 new Directors representing every facet of the restaurant, food, and beverage industry.

Gary Johnson, Director of Operations, Frontier Enterprises (San Antonio), will serve as Chairman of the Board of the Texas Restaurant Association, supported by Vice Chair Leo Duran, Owner, L&J Café (El Paso), Treasurer Jonathan Horowitz, Founder, Convive Hospitality Consulting (Houston), and Immediate Past Chair John B. Gessner, SVM Productions and Fox Rothschild, LLP (Dallas).

“With more than 50,000 entities employing 1.3M people and with sales of more than $70B prior to the pandemic, this is a critical time for our industry as we continue to navigate the crippling impact from the COVID -19 pandemic. We must tackle the challenges before us while positioning the industry to recovery and rebuild,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President & CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “Our officers and chapter leadership, joined by this incredible group of industry leaders, will bring their knowledge and expertise to guide the Association through the days ahead. Additionally, this group will be deeply involved in the 87th Texas Legislative Session that is just a few months away. Adding these powerful voices will ensure we have the strength to advocate for our members and position the industry for a strong and sustained recovery.”

In addition to naming the new officers, the TRA added the following newly elected Directors:

Bryan Solar, General Manager and Product Lead of Restaurant Tools, Google
Mickisha Hill, Senior Channel Commercialization Manager, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages
Anthony Birsinger, Vice President Field Operations and Training, Ecosure, ECOLAB
David Werner, Vice President, Ben E. Keith
Erin Engels, Independent Sales and Marketing, Sysco Central Texas
Moriah Murphy, Director, Association Partnerships, Optum
Melissa Doolin-Koehne, Executive Director, Sales and Industry Relations, Black Box Intelligence
Chris Miller, Senior Manager, Public Policy, Texas, UberEats
Dan Garrison, Owner, Garrison Brothers Distillery
Dallas Miller, Director of Operations, Flyrite Chicken Inc.
Glenn Mier, Owner, Black Sheep Bistro
Shane Duncan, Owner and General Manager, Border City Ale House/Thirty-Five Tavern and Grill
Dan Weinberger, Owner, Weinberger’s Deli
Cameron James, Director of Operations, Latrelle’s
Lupita Corbeil, Vice President of Human Resources, Denny’s – Den-Tex Central, Inc.
Roland Parrish, President and CEO, Parrish McDonald’s Restaurants
Ellis Winstanley, President, El Arroyo
Eddy Patterson, Co-Founder, Board Member and Operational Partner, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q and Eberly
Louis Rainey, Owner, The Pelican House Restaurant
Pete Cortez, Chief Operating Officer, La Familia Cortez Family Restaurants
Bill Crooks, Partner, Chicken N Pickle
Larry Delgado, Owner, Delgado Collective
Tracy Vaught, Owner, H-Town Restaurant Group
Jody Bailey Newman, Owner, The Friendly Spot
Mason Ayers, President and CEO, Kerbey Lane Cafè
Trent Patterson, Co-Owner, Dish Society
Clark Davis, Director of Industry Relations, Brinker International
Art Chavarria, Group Director of Compliance, Whataburger Restaurants
Travis Doster, Vice President of Communications, Texas Roadhouse
Melissa Radovich, Vice President of Marketing, Fertitta Entertainment

The TRA Board of Directors is comprised of 65 voting directors, representing each of the 23 chapters that make up the TRA, as well as the various sectors of the industry the Association represents, including independent single/multi-unit operations, top 100 chain franchisees, top 100 chain companies, and key industry vendors. The Board provides governance and strategic guidance to the Association as it seeks to serve the needs of the Texas foodservice industry.

About the Texas Restaurant Association

The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the Association protects, advances and educates the growing industry.



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