Oklahoma Restaurant Association - Event Information
Hirst Hospitality Awards
Held each November, the goal of the Hirst Hospitality Awards is to recognize and honor the hardworking employees in the foodservice industry. The event pays tribute to the backbone of the restaurant industry - the restaurant employees. This event gives employers the opportunity to single out and recognize their best workers, acknowledging the value of a good staff.
"This evening of celebration is a wonderful opportunity for our members and friends of our business to get together and honor those employees who often go unrecognized but who are so important to the success of the foodservice industry," says Jim Hopper, President and CEO of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
The Hirst Hospitality Awards Dinner helps us reach two very important goals. First, to celebrate employee excellence, and to recognize their personal pride, service and dedication to the restaurant industry. Second, to support the Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation's goal of providing scholarships to qualified students of the hospitality industry. Our goal is met not only through paid attendance at the event, but with contributions made during the auctions as well as additional fundraising activities.
Chevy Bricktown Events Center 429 E California Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Honoree Eligibility All employees are eligible and there is no limit to the number of employees you may recognize and register for the event. Please use your own criteria when choosing honorees, which may include management and non-management staff.
On or before October 30
Purchase 7 seats and get the 8th seat free, or
Purchase 8 seats and get the 9th seat free, or
Purchase 9 seats and get the 10th seat free
*Each person, including the person utilizing the free seat, must be registered in advance. There will be no extra seats available onsite.
After October 30
No multiple discounts
Engraved award (honorees not registered by October 30 will receive their award after November 6)
Eligible for a $1,000 cash prize drawing
Eligible for additional cash and certificate drawings
Media and industry recognition
2017 Guest Vintner
Proprietor, Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery
There’s the typical gentleman farmer stereotype so common today in wine country. And then there’s Courtney Benham, who is of a different mold entirely.
Growing up in the San Joaquin Valley and experiencing the rigors of farming firsthand inured Courtney to the romance of the grape. What called him—and calls him still—was the business side of the equation. Courtney founded Angeline in 1990 to raise the bar on every day value wines.
Courtney recognizes that great wine is the sum of more than just good grapes and talented winemakers; it’s the result of an efficient, nimble whole. A lean core team broadened by a stable of expert consultants and top-tier growers means Courtney has access to the best fruit and the best minds.
His business model unleashes the full potential of both, by fostering creativity and spontaneity while making the most of traditional technique and state-of-the-art equipment at our winery in Russian River Valley. It’s this “whole” that allows Courtney to consistently create top-quality wine that surpasses any of its peers.
“I love the challenge of creating incredible wines that over deliver. That’s where I like to play.”
Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery
The name Martin Ray resonates deeply in the history of California Winemaking. Martin Ray was a pioneer, dedicated to crafting single varietal, region specific wine from 1943 through 1972 in Saratoga, in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Mentored by Paul Masson, he took a burgundian approach to his winemaking, and developed what is now one of the most historical properties in California, known as Mount Eden.
Nearly twenty years later, Courtney Benham stumbled upon 1500 cases of Martin Ray wine in a San Jose warehouse. Recognizing his good fortune, and his intent and drive to produce terroir driven wines, Ray’s historical significance and philosophy resonated with him. Courtney purchased the brand, and since 1990 has been committed to the production of artisanal wines worthy of the Martin Ray name.
In 2003, Martin Ray Vineyards & Winery made its home in the Russian River Valley, on the edge of Green Valley at one of the oldest continually working wineries in California. Today, Courtney and his winemaking team devote themselves to Ray’s ideology of making “wines of place”. By sourcing from hillside vineyards, they are relentless at telling the story of each exceptional appellation and vineyard. The depth of the portfolio offers those seeking a unique experience the chance to explore some of the most revered appellations in California. From our 12 acre Estate, to the mountain regions of Santa Cruz and Napa, to the northern reaches of Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Coast, there is an abundance of phenomenal growing regions, great farming, and meticulous detail to vintages.
A silent auction will be held during the Hirst Hospitality Awards. Proceeds will benefit the Oklahoma Hospitality Foundation. Auction item donations can be confirmed via the online registration form. Suggested auction items include game or event tickets, baskets of goodies, dining packages, gift cards, spa gift certificates, and electronics. All donated items are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Any remaining auction items will be used as drawing items.
Allied Members and Partners Allied members are eligible to participate through partnership opportunities. Please contact Patti Colley for details. (405) 942-8181 or (800) 375-8181. Once you have confirmed your partnership you will receive a form to complete with your attendee names and submit to the ORA. Confirmed Partners do not register online for the event.