The new slate of Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) and Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) leaders took office at the annual meeting of TRA Marketplace, July 15-16 in San Antonio, Texas with San Antonio restaurateur Jimmy Hasslocher, president and chief executive officer of Hasslocher Enterprises, Inc., taking the helm as TRA president. Jessica Delgado, McAllen restaurateur and co-owner of SALT – New American Table and house. wine. & bistro., took office as chair of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation.
Jimmy has been a longtime member of the Texas Restaurant Association, and currently serves on the board of the San Antonio Restaurant Association.
He is president and chief executive officer of Hasslocher Enterprises, Inc., a family owned and operated business in San Antonio, established by his father, restaurant legend G. “Jim” Hasslocher, in 1947. Involved in the business since he was a child, Jimmy assumed responsibility for the operation of the business in 2006.
Jimmy is well-known and highly respected in the Central Texas area not only for his corporate leadership, but also for his involvement in civic and business organizations. He served on the San Antonio City Council from 1981 until 1991, including a stint as Mayor Pro Tem during his term. He was inducted in the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame in 2013, and has since received several leadership awards from the industry.
Officers serving alongside Hasslocher include President-Elect John Gessner, Front Burner Restaurants, Dallas; Immediate Past President, Mark David Bailey, Original Pancake House, Dallas/Fort Worth, Vice-President, Gary Johnson, Frontier Enterprises, San Antonio, and Secretary-Treasurer, Leo Duran, Jr., L&J Cafe, El Paso.
TRA officers have a full schedule, with 23 local chapters and more than 6,600 active restaurant and allied members, in addition to the TRA Education Foundation, which oversees the 260 Texas ProStart programs throughout the state. The restaurant industry in Texas also continues to grow, now representing 10% of employment in Texas, which is expected to climb to 16.4% by 2028. Last year, Texas restaurant sales reached more than $54 billion.
"I’m both honored and excited to be serving as TRA president this year,” Jimmy says, “The industry is changing at a rapid pace, and though there are challenges, there is also an incredible opportunity to grow and strengthen our community. We have a strong board, enthusiastic members and a hard-working staff, all looking to accomplish great things. I look forward to continuing our mission of being an indispensable resource for restaurants.”
The TRAEF is proud to have Jessica Delgado on board as chair, who has been an active member of the Rio Grande Valley Restaurant Association, where she most recently served as president. She has been a vocal and enthusiastic advocate of TRAEF and Texas ProStart.
“It is my absolute pleasure to serve our industry as chairwoman for the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation,” Delgado says. “It is our duty to this industry, to continue to build our workforce, educate those passionate about culinary and hospitality, and offer an exceptional culinary training curriculum through Texas Prostart. I am honored to lead the TRA Education Foundation and look forward to making an impact on the future leaders of our industry.”
Jessica Delgado entered the restaurant industry at the age of 18 with Carrabba’s Italian Grill. By the time she was 26, she became the company’s youngest female managing partner. Now, along with her husband, Larry Delgado, Jessica co-owns SALT – New American Table and house. wine. & bistro. in McAllen.
Serving as TRAEF officers with Delgado are chair-elect Sharon Van Meter, SVM Productions/3015 at Trinity Groves, Dallas; immediate past chairman David Cea, Orlando’s Italian Restaurant and CapRock Café, Lubbock, vice chairman Patrick Costello, St. Philip’s College, San Antonio; and treasurer Russell Woodward, Texas Beef Council, Austin.
“The restaurant industry in Texas is booming,” says Richie Jackson, TRA CEO. “It provides 1.2 million jobs, by more than 43,000 employers. To manage and continue that growth, it is more important than ever that we provide restauranteurs the tools they need. We have true leaders at the table, with both Jimmy and Jessica, with a wealth of industry experience and a solid, dynamic vision for the future.”