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Texas Restaurant Association and Foundation Announce 2023 Board Officers and Directors

New class ensures both organizations continue to exemplify diversity and extensive industry experience

AUSTIN, TX (September 28, 2022) – The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) and Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) are proud to announce their Officers and new Directors, beginning their service January 1, 2023. The current board met in Horseshoe Bay in early September and approved 13 new TRA Board Directors and 2 new TRF Board Trustees who represent every facet of the industry.

TRA Officers elected for 2023 include Chair Jonathan Horowitz, Founder and CEO of Convive Hospitality Consulting and Senior Vice President, Hospitality Development for Midway (Houston), who will be supported by Vice Chair Skeeter Miller, Owner, County Line BBQ Restaurants (Austin); Treasurer Chris Aslam, CEO, Rock Strategic Restaurant Group (Dallas); and Immediate Past Chair Leo Duran, Owner, L&J Café (El Paso). Pictured below from left to right.

“This is a critical time for the Texas restaurant industry as we continue to navigate supply chain disruptions, inflation, and staffing levels that are pacing well below strong consumer demand,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President & CEO of the TRA and TRF. “Our current officers and local leaders representing 23 chapters across Texas, joined by these new board members, will ensure we have an impactful 88th Texas legislative session and are able to lead the sector through the final challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

TRF Officers elected for 2023 include Chair Russell Woodward, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing for the Texas Beef Council (Austin), who will be supported by Vice Chair Chris Snyder, Corporate Director of Independent Sales, Ben E. Keith Foods (Fort Worth); Treasurer David Cole, Co-Owner, i Fratelli Pizza (Dallas); and Immediate Past Chair Ashley Rosenfeld, Principal, A La Carte Foodservice Consulting Group (Houston). Pictured below from left to right.

In addition to naming new officers, the TRA and TRF boards, which provide governance and strategic guidance to serve the needs of the Texas restaurant and foodservice industry, also added the following newly elected Directors: 

Brian Beaver, Director of Brand Development, Giglio Distributing
Ron Campos, Labor & Employee Relations Manager, Office of General Counsel, Whataburger
Jeff Chandler, CEO, HiBar Hospitality Group | Hopdoddy
Allison DeRoberts, Government Affairs Manager, Inspire Brands
Aaron Emrich, Director, GM Southwest, Uber Eats
Masroor Fatany, CEO, AYG Food Services
Lindsay Flores, General Manager, Lytle Land & Cattle Company
Will Grinnan, Owner, Republic of Texas
Stephen Higgs, Market President, South Market, Sysco
Alli Jarrett, President & CEO, Harold’s Restaurant, Bar and Terrace
Jerry Liebbe, State Director, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Brian Medina, Vice President, Strategy & Talent Acquisition, Self Opportunity
Kimberlee Vandervoorn, Vice President, UnitedHealth Group | Optum Health

Marcus McMellon, President, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts - Austin
Ashlee Wiechkoske, Director, Customer Growth, The Coca-Cola Company

The TRA Board of Directors is comprised of 65 voting directors representing each of the 23 chapters that make up the TRA and the various industry sectors that the association represents, including independent single and multi-unit operations, top 100 chain franchisees, top 100 chain companies, and key industry vendors. 

The TRF Board of Trustees is comprised of 32 voting members representing every facet of the industry, united to develop a strong workforce. 

Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice industry in Texas. As a leading business association, the TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which comprises approximately 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the association proudly continues to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry as the TRA enters its 85th anniversary year. For more information, please visit

Established in 1994 by the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization* focused on providing the necessary resources to help restaurateurs confront educational and labor challenges with the latest innovations in education, technology, and training as the workforce development arm of the TRA. The organization’s flagship program is Texas ProStart, an industry-based, two-year high school culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum. Texas ProStart is currently in more than 185 Texas high schools, reaching more than 15,000 students annually. In 2020, the TRF established the TX Restaurant Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 crisis to provide immediate financial support to independent restaurants, raising more than $3.5 million and distributing more than 800 grants.