About Us


What we are all about


The Nevada Barbecue Association is a member driven organization.  Our mission "TO MENTOR AND PROMOTE BARBECUE AND THE BARBECUE LIFESTYLE IN OUR LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS AND THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF NEVADA." is what we are all about.  We are an all volunteer organization that has enjoyed being part of the large growth of competition grilling and BBQ events.  The Nevada BBQ Association meets the third Wednesday of every month in Las Vegas, NV. Fill out our contact page or find us on facebook for meeting time and locations.

Board Member Bios

Steve Roy - President

I have always loved grilling and entertaining guests but my true barbecue journey didn’t start until 2009 when my mother handed down her barbecue sauce recipe. I started on a Weber kettle grill that my father used to smoke Thanksgiving turkey on every year. Soon I found my big pit known as “Big Bertha”, and was ready to give competition barbecue a try. In 2013 I competed in my first professional contest and got involved with the Nevada Barbecue Association. I love the barbecue family and I am thankful to the Nevada Barbecue Association for being my crutch to stay involved in the community and help others by teaching the many things I have learned while being a member.

Travis Barr- Vice President

Travis Barr is pitmaster of All Up In My Grill BBQ -  a family-owned & operated competition BBQ & catering team. After campfire cooking for years, Travis fell in love with competition BBQ in 2017 while participating in a Nevada Barbecue Association Spring Training event. He has been active in the Nevada BBQ community ever since. Joined by his wife Stephanie, and their two children (aka pitmasters-in-training), the Barrs are expanding their love of BBQ through catering and plan to continue spreading the BBQ love whenever & wherever possible. Whether competing with their 270 Smokers KC smoker, backyard grilling on their 50 year old Weber grill, or campfire cooking with cast iron, you can bet they are having a delicious time!

Christie Vanover- Secretary

Christie is a competitive pitmaster, certified barbecue judge and the editor and publisher of GirlsCanGrill.com. Through her website, she shares recipes, bbq tips, grill reviews and video tutorials to help other people learn to grill. Her brand receives around 2 million impressions per month. In addition to competing in 8-10 contests a year, Christie has judged multiple world championships including the Jack and the American Royal. She has been recognized nationally in the Wall Street Journal, Now Food, Epoch Taste, Hearth & Home, Tailgater Magazine, and multiple BBQ podcasts, including The BBQ Central Show, BBQ Beat, The Pitmasters Podcast and Man Meat BBQ. She also hosted her own podcast – The Live Fire Cooking Podcast. Numerous national brands have signed Christie to endorse their products, including Hestan, Cuisinart, Oklahoma Joes, Home Depot, the National Pork Council, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, Smithfield, Certified Angus Beef, Reynold’s Wrap, Cowboy Charcoal and so many more. She has her own nationally distributed award-winning BBQ rub line with Spiceology. She’s excited to serve on the board of the Nevada Barbecue Association to help put Nevada BBQ on the map. 

Mark Knirk- Treasurer

Mark Knirk is pitmaster of Crazy Cockatoo Cookers, a competition BBQ team for him and his wife.  Mark was drawn to the lifestyle and atmosphere of BBQ after a weekend visit to the Best Dam BBQ Competition in Nevada.  After meeting all of the great people and seeing what competition BBQ was about, he decided that it was something he wanted to pursue.  Two months later Mark acquired his first of several smokers and joined the Nevada BBQ Association.  Six months after that on a very cold February day Mark got his first call out in the Nevada BBQ Spring Training event and has been competing 3-4 times per year since. 

Leon Drew - Director of Judges

Leon was born in Lawson, Mo, a small town 35 miles north of Kansas City.  He’s the third of six children.

In 1961 Leon and his childhood friend left Lawson for California in a 1951 Cadillac convertible without a top.  They ran out of gas money in Colorado and got a job washing dishes in Estes Park.  When the season ended they continued on toward California.  They started having car trouble outside of Delta, Utah but managed to make it to Ely, Nevada.  The car was parked behind the Hotel Nevada and never ran again.  His friend got a job bartending and Leon got a job dealing craps at the Hotel Nevada.  That job was the starting point for a 45 year career in the Gaming Industry. 

Leon met his wife Mary at the Hotel Nevada in 1961 and was married in Ely in 1963.  In

1964 they moved to Reno, Nevada to work for Harrah’s.  In 1969 their son Robert was born.

Leon and Mary’s Gaming career covered 45 years in many different cities across the country plus Canada and New Zealand.  Leon dealt the games for nine years then moved up to management for the remainder of his career.  He retired in 2005 from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  Retirement gave him the chance to do what he always wanted to do, Barbecue.  Leon’s first contest was the 2006 American Royal Open.

Leon is a Master KCBS Judge and the Head Cook of the Squat and Gobble Barbeque team. He is a long time member of the Kansas City Barbecue Society.  He cooks on a WSM and competes about five times a year.  He also judges five or six contests a year. 

His favorite contest is the Best Dam Barbecue Challenge held in Boulder City, Nevada.  He’s competed in ten American Royal contests and considers it the ultimate contest. 

Barbecue is a great sport.  The interaction and friendships that develop at contests are a great part of the barbecue world.  He has been a NVBBQA member since its start up in 2011


Jackie Difloe - Director of Membership

Lived in NV since  Nov. 2000

2 boys, Joey and Adam

Served on the Coronado Band concessions team for 3 years and headed concessions for 4 years.

Volunteer for the Boy Scouts for 20 years at the unit and district levels. Eagle Scout Project Reviewer and Eagle Board of Review staff for 7 years.  

Member of NVBBQA since 2012.

Traveled to CA and AZ for competitions


In 2011, my then 14 yr old son Adam kept talking about smoking meat. I told him this wasn't something we needed to do!  Months later, I saw an off-set smoker/charcoal grill on clearance at Target and bought it, mostly to grill on charcoal. Adam commandeered it for smoking. While channel surfing one night, I came across BBQ Pitmasters. I told Adam about it, and we started watching it. We went to check out a bbq competition at Mandalay Bay and met Johnny Trigg and Harry Soo. Harry gave Adam some tips. We talked to a local team and found out about Best Dam BBQ in Boulder City, the following month. I called the promoter, and asked if Adam could hang out with a team and learn how to do this crazy thing called barbecue. She found him a team, but at the cook's meeting we found out the team had to cancel the event. We walked around, and met Bill from The Smokin B.A.R., and he said Adam could help him. He let Adam trim, inject and temp all of the meats. He taught Adam a lot. The team fared very well and took RGC, and they made Adam an official member of the team. Adam worked with them on several events over the next 2 yrs, and we did a lot of practicing at home. Adam, at 17, decided to start his own team, and I am his pit crew. My son Joey helps sometimes, with loading, setup and tear down. Our team, Stoked to Smoke, has gotten several awards over the years. 1st ribs, 2nd brisket and 7th chicken- NVBBQA Practice Cook Apr 2013, 2nd Pork and 5th Ribs- High Desert Music Festival and Bbq Showdown June 2014, 2nd pork, 3rd chicken, 3rd brisket, 3rd ribs RGC- Logandale Fall Festival October 2014, RGC NVBBQA Open Practice Cook 2015, 9th ribs- Horsetown Brew n Que May 2015, beating out Harry Soo, Moe Cason, Neil Strawder and Myron Mixon in ribs, at the Horsetown Brew and Que.

9th Brisket- Smokin in Mesquite May 2015