Barbecue Nation Closing Celebration featuring Operation BBQ’s Stan Hays and Friends

Barbecue Nation Closing Celebration featuring Operation BBQ’s Stan Hays and Friends

Operation BBQ Relief was founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri, a community of about 50,000 residents. Volunteers from competition barbecue teams from eight states answered the need to help feed displaced families, police, fire, National Guard, and emergency personnel.

Operation BBQ Relief continues to respond to natural disasters and other situations to help feed displaced residents and emergency personnel, and recently published a cookbook, Operation BBQ, a compilation of recipes from championship-winning barbecue teams who volunteer for disaster relief efforts across the United States. These unsung heroes develop barbecue dishes that wow crowds and judges everywhere, and then help feed displaced residents and emergency personnel―putting the “comfort” in “comfort food.”

Tickets are $30 for not-yet members, $25 for members, and include samples from all four champion competition barbecue pitmasters in residence. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and access to the Barbecue Nation exhibition in its closing hours are also included. Copies of Operation BBQ will be available for 25% off.


Grilled pork tenderloin w/ jalapeño-apricot glaze
Texas Caviar

Crunchy Deep-Fried Ribs
Sweet Slaw for a Crowd

Ty’s Hawaiian Pork Skewers
Brisket Baked Beans

Reverse Sear Cap of Ribeye
Mac and Cheese

Speaker Bios

Yes, Dear

Yes, Dear BBQ is a Savannah, Georgia based competition BBQ team headed by pitmasters Frank Neagle and Chad Warner. They started competing in FBA, SCBA and KCBS contests in 2011, and since then have won multiple Grand and Reserve Grand Championships. In 2017, they won the Georgia BBQ Championship Team of the Year contest, and also took home 1st place TOY awards in pork and chicken.

In 2015, Yes, Dear released their first batch of BBQ sauces including their “Red Sauce,” a sweet, spicy, tangy, tomato based sauce, and “Yellow Sauce” a sweet mustard based sauce. Early in 2019, their Competition Sauce "#notjuice" was introduced and has been heating up the competition circuit ever since. Most recently, it was used on 1st place ribs at the 2019 Memphis in May contest. All three sauces are available for purchase all over the country at local and online retailers.

Sweet Swine O' Mine

Mark Lambert is the Pitmaster of the Sweet Swine O' Mine Competition BBQ team out of Byhalia, MS. He is a 6 time World Champion, winning some of the biggest BBQ competition in the World! He is a 4 time MemphisIn May World Champion, an American Royal World Champion in Ribs and won a World Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He is considered one of the best pork Pitmasters in the World!

For two decades, Sweet Swine O’ Mine Distributing ( has been a labor of love. Sweet Swine O’ Mine grew from an upstart competition BBQ team to becoming a World Champion cook team selling their own rubs and sauces, that include the team’s award-winning flavor profiles. What started as a hobby has become a full-time lifestyle. When Mark is not competing, he likes to spend his days grilling over live fire, working on new techniques and mastering new recipes. If he’s not competing, he’s cooking!! Along with being a regular face at cooking competitions, Lambert is an active brand ambassador for Operation BBQ Relief and B&B Charcoal. Mark also serves on the board for the National Barbecue and Grilling Association.

County Line Smokers

Stan Hays, co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief and barbecue competitor, has participated in more than 35 sanctioned barbecue contests with two grand champion awards, four reserve champions and several top ten finishes. He was runner-up in the 2015 season of Chopped Grillmaster on Food Network.

In May 2011, Stan and Will Cleaver established OBR after a tornado swept through Joplin, Mo. At that deployment, the team served 120,000 meals with the original intention of serving 5,000 meals. Before coming home from the first 11-day deployment, they sat down and developed plans for a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Stan’s passion for barbecue and helping those in distress developed into Operation BBQ Relief®, which now has served more than 3 million meals in 26 states.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, over 55,000 meals were served four days in a row by nearly 175 volunteers each day. During the past eight years, Stan and his team have responded to 60 disasters with the help of more than 14,000 volunteers nationwide. Stan works hard to “create normalcy” for the victims of natural disasters through the comfort of a hot barbecue meal. He was recognized as a 2017 Top 10 CNN Heroes for his work with Operation BBQ Relief®. While he receives several congratulations and awards for his leadership, he says that the most rewarding gratitude is from the people he has served hot Prairie Fresh® barbecue sandwiches to during the past eight years.

Wilbur’s Revenge

Wilbur’s Revenge is a competition BBQ team headed by pitmaster David Marks, a franchisee of Famous Dave’s BBQ, out of Collegeville, PA. In 2010, in response to a growing BBQ movement, David , began to compete in MABA, SCA, and KCBS contests. Wilbur’s Revenge has won multiple Grand and Reserve Grand Championships. In 2012, they won Tyson’s Best Wings on The Planet at The National and World Championships giving them their first national and world title. They have followed up with many other awards, including three- time Pennsylvania State Champion, two- time New Jersey Iron Chef Champion, and one- time Delaware State Champion. David can also be seen on the final episode of Destination America’s show SMOKED winning the Kingsford Trophy.

David has been involved at the highest of levels of Operation BBQ Relief. It all started in 2012 when he deployed to help serve over 100,000 meals in NY and NJ to those in need and the first responders of Superstorm Sandy. Since that time, David has been in a leadership role for the organization and played a significant role in the 3,000,000 hot meals served through the years. He served as Chief Operating Officer in 2015-2016 and was named the Head of Marketing and Communications in 2017. David has spearheaded many significant projects for OBR including Pigapalooza, the Operation BBQ Cookbook and Operation BBQ Relief Seasonings.

David lives the BBQ lifestyle. He has blended his work, hobby and charitable works into what he loves, serving the one hot meal that matters. David is often seen on deployments in the disaster zone where he Connects, Inspires, Serves, Educates and Feeds Those In Need with the healing power of BBQ.

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