Texas Restaurant Association Adds Tech and Leading Restaurateurs to 2021 Board of Directors
Texas Restaurant Association Adds Tech and Leading Restaurateurs to 2021 Board of Directors
October 13, 2020

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, 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.  www.txrestaurant.org


About LaTrelle’s — For 35 years, LaTrelle’s has owned and operated a diverse portfolio of restaurants in some of America’s largest and busiest airports, cities and sports and entertainment venues. A James family company, LaTrelle’s has won countless awards for operational excellence, customer service, menu innovations, and cleanliness. LaTrelle’s is a trusted leader in the franchise management industry and CFO, Kenneth James, attributes the company’s expansive growth and continued success to its ongoing commitment to provide great food served fresh. 

Please email all media inquiries to: press@latrelles.com