Thought leadership and GREAT content on tap for ORA members


The ORA promised great content, thought leadership and unique information for our members in 2017. We are delivering on that commitment.

The Mid-America Restaurant Expo in late January kicked off the year with 61 elite speakers and incredible content that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure if you were paying appearance fees for experts.

We provided this for FREE for our members! Why? Member surveys confirm that you want the latest information about innovation, technology and trends. Many of you tell us that lifelong learning is critical to your success.

We hope you participate in these upcoming events:

Our next Idea Factory is set for Wednesday, April 5 at Pickwick & Frolic on 4th Street in Cleveland (2:00-4:30 pm). I spoke with our two presenters and their content will be outstanding. Kevin Goodman's inspirational story about reinvention is spot-on for our industry, where so many of us gain our first employment in an entry-level position and rise through different roles to succeed with a career. Kevin is managing director of BlueBridge Networks and is passionate about sharing his insights that apply to the restaurant business. Dr. Joel Elvery is an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. Joel said he will provide insights into the national and state economy, plus Northeast Ohio. He will discuss the massive shift in spending as consumer trends evolve at a rapid pace. He will also provide an outlook about the economy. Thanks to ORA members Nick Kostis (current board member) and Rick Cassara (former ORA chairman) for hosting the Idea Factory. In addition, I will provide insights about national and state politics, including information from the recent National Restaurant Association Public Affairs conference in Washington, D.C. Our Director of Government Affairs Joe Rosato and I hosted 15 ORA members at the conference last week.

The ORA has created Local Restaurant Alliances in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus to focus on local issues and interests of restaurateurs in Ohio’s three major cities. Engage with us in these alliance meetings where we interact with community leaders, support causes and focus on workforce development. Information about the alliances is available on our website and in NewsBites, or contact me with any questions or thoughts.

  • Our next Local Restaurant Alliance meeting in Columbus is set for Wednesday, April 5, from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson will be our guest. We'll share updates on workforce development initiatives that could benefit to your business and other outreach efforts that help to promote our industry. The meeting will be held at the law offices of Isaac Wiles, 2 Miranova Place, Floor 7, in Columbus. Contact Jen Lynch for more information.

  • Our next Local Restaurant Alliance meeting in Cincinnati is set for Monday, April 10, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP's law office, Over-The-Rhine, at 1421 Main Street, Cincinnati. The ORA will provide an update on state politics and the potential impact on the restaurant and foodservice industry. Guest speaker will be Julie Pugh, an attorney with the Graydon firm. I recently spoke with Julie and she is excited to discuss federal labor regulations and lead a roundtable on labor and benefits issues. Julie graduated from Xavier and earned a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. She serves as an executive committee member of the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association.

  • Our next Local Restaurant Alliance meeting in Cleveland is set for Thursday, April 13, from 10:00 am to Noon, at The Centers, El Barrio Workforce, 5209 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. You are invited to learn more about El Barrio. Recently Joe Rosato and I met with Ingrid Angel and her team at El Barrio. There is a wonderful opportunity to partner with El Barrio as they match qualified candidates to companies looking for diversity in their organization. Their training and intensive case management services prepare individuals to enter the workforce ready and motivated. They work with both the individuals seeking training and employment opportunities and employers who understand that economic development is directly linked to employment. To attend, contact me or call Cassandra Manna at 216-820-4241.