If dining out in Tulsa very often, one is likely to eventually eat at an establishment in which Northeastern State University alumnus Tony Henry owns an interest.
A 1988 graduate of Bixby High School who began his university career at NSU, Henry is now associated with some of Tulsa's most popular restaurants and nightclubs. He is owner of Full Moon Cafe, managing partner of Wolfgang Puck Bistro, and a shareholder of In the Raw Sushi and Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Cue.
Through the NSU Alumni Association, Henry is participating in the Alumni 2 Alumni (A2A) program. A2A members may present their cards for a 10 percent discount on any food purchase at any restaurant in which he holds ownership.
"There is no limit on the number of guests or anything like that," Henry said. "We have always loved taking part in community projects and giving back, and the A2A program was a chance to give something back to the alumni at NSU. It is also beneficial for us because it allows us to promote our restaurants among the alumni."
"I was a member of the soccer program, and Danny Johnson (NSU director of alumni services) was my teammate and a reason I came to NSU," Henry said. "We're still good friends to this day. My coaches Jim Malone, Dan DeLoache and Lee Quiett helped me a lot along the way. So did Dr. Jocelyn Payne (assistant professor of educational foundations and leadership). I learned a lot of things at NSU that translated into my career."
As a restaurateur, Henry said he most enjoys the social facets of his work.
"I really like the interaction with people," he said. "I enjoy talking with our guests – helping to ensure they have a great experience. I also enjoy working with our employees, many of whom have been with us for a long time."
Henry attended NSU for five semesters, but graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1993. His first restaurant and bar venture was more than a decade ago in an old building on 11th Street adjacent to the University of Tulsa and a hit with the students – JR's Place.
Despite its popularity, Henry knew he had to enter other ventures because TU planned to purchase the property. He bought Full Moon and for many years was part owner of a nightclub space which went through several incarnations in Tulsa's Brookside district.
"In any business it is important to know when to reinvent yourself," he said. "You always look at the product mix, facilities and entertainment. An example is the Oklahoma City Thunder phenomenon. At Full Moon we've always offered plenty of live entertainment, but we've had to reschedule or cancel some of our acts because patrons want to watch the Thunder games. That is a great example of us having to adapt in our business."
While at NSU, Henry was named a National Intercollegiate Athletics Association Academic All-American. At NSU and TU, he was a double major in accounting and finance. He was also named Man of the Year at TU in 1992.
Henry is a certified public accountant who began his professional career with Coopers & Lybrand in 1992. He later joined Flint Industries, Inc. as director of internal audit. Henry has also served as President and COO for Nameplates, Inc.
Alumni of Northeastern State University who maintain their connection to the institution through the Alumni Association receive benefits through the A2A program.
Association members receive coupons and membership cards which entitle presenters to discounts at establishments owned by participating NSU alumni.
Those interested in featuring their businesses through the A2Aprogram can contact Daniel Johnson at 918-444-4211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Alumni Association call the Office of Alumni Services at 918-458-2143 or visit the Alumni website.
Published: 7/2/2012 1:59:43 PM