HRA Meets with NRA to Discuss Government Affairs

HRA Incoming Chair Tom Jones, NRA Director Keith Stephenson, HRA Executive Director Sheryl Matsuoka, and HRA Legislative Committee Chair Victor Lim met at Tiki’s Grill and Bar.

On February 15, 2019, Keith Stephenson, Director of State and Local Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association visited Hawaii and the Hawaii Restaurant Association.  Executive Director Sheryl Matsuoka, HRA Treasurer Michael Miller, Incoming Chair Tom Jones, and Legislative Committee Chair Victor Lim met at Tiki’s Grill and Bar to discuss the issues the state and local Grass Root teams are addressing around the country.  He also shared with HRA the various programs the NRA administers such as Kitchen Cabinet, Restaurant Advocacy Fund, Restaurant Roundtables, and the Public Affairs Conference to name a few.


The group fervently discussed Hawaii’s hot topic legislation such as wages & tips, paid leave, scheduling, and plastics.  Keith shared how grassroots programs like “Kitchen Cabinet” available to state restaurant associations to develop overall advocacy capacity in a specific market or funding to support additional advocacy tools.  State associations can also request Restaurant Advocacy Fund resources for specific advocacy issue campaigns.  The HRA was not able to participate this year, however, intends to take advantage of these programs for 2020.

Keith also shared a link to a new website his team developed which explains the benefits of tipping (which will help make the argument for retaining the tip credit). Please feel free to check it out at


If you are interested in learning more about how the National Restaurant Association supports HRA and the legislation that affects our members please feel free to contact Keith.


Keith Stephenson | Director, State and Local Government Affairs
National Restaurant Association
2055 L Street NW | Washington, DC 20036
P: 202-973-5392 | E:

C: 202-578-9582 | |


If you are interested in being a part of the legislative committee please contact Sheryl via email at


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