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Jeff O'Hara began his hospitality career in 1985, working part-time while a student at Florida State University. His career has taken him to every corner of the hospitality industry, from luxury boutique hotels to 1,000 plus room “supertankers.” He has managed small restaurants and developed B&Bs. O'hara moved to New Orleans in 1992, for what he laughingly describes as “a two-year assignment” while he was with Sheraton Hotels, and has made it his home ever since. Since 1997, his primary focus has been on destination management for which has a unique passion. He has worked with groups from around the country and around the globe. Since purchasing the AlliedPRA New Orleans franchise in 2002, he has made the New Orleans destination experience his focus, winning numerous awards and accolades in the process. In 2016 and 2017 AlliedPRA was named to the Inc.5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America and in 2017 to the Inaugural Seminole 100 list of fastest growing companies owned by Florida State University alumni. Along the way, O'hara has started and developed seven other hospitality businesses and two real estate companies. He has also backed several startups as an angel investor, including firms in the fields of technology, biotech, consumer staples and alternative energy. He is an active member of the NOLA Angel Network and Lagniappe Angels, and has also backed startups through the Rockies Venture Club.
O'Hara’s new book “Have Fun, Fight Back and Keep the Party Going: Lessons from a New Orleans Entrepreneur’s Journey to the Inc. 5000” will be released under Inc. magazine’s “An Inc. Original” label in December 2018. He has been in active in a number of industry associations, currently sitting on the board of directors of SITE Southeast USA and the Society of Hosts at Florida State University, which named him Alumnus of the Year in 2004. Past service includes: board of directors of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (3 years), board of directors of Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (6 years) including serving as second vice president and first vice president; SKAL International New Orleans (7 years) - holding every officer position including president; Society of Hosts at Florida State University (16 years) - and serving as president; Tulane AB Freeman School of Business Alumni Association (6 years); serving on the Education Committee of SITE Global and the Industry Relations Committee of FICP along with local chapters of MPI and HSMA, to highlight a few.
A native of Kingston, NY, he received a BS in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University and an MBA from Tulane University. His father lives in upstate New York; he has a sister in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla and a brother in Sioux Falls, SD.