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National Restaurant Association President & CEO to Retire

Under Dawn Sweeney's leadership, NRA membership has grown by almost 50%,

National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation President & CEO Dawn Sweeney announced today that she will step down when her current contract ends at the end of 2019. Until then, she will continue to lead the Association and Foundation, gain Board approval for the 2020-2024 strategic plan, and assist Board leadership in the search for a new CEO.

“Serving and leading the restaurant industry during this historic timeframe, when foodservice has grown to an $863 billion business employing over 15 million professionals, has been the most fulfilling experience of my career,” she said. “We have accomplished much together, including important public policy victories at all levels of government, a broadened membership base representative of the industry at large, and a revitalized organization that has expanded and bolstered its advocacy and business capabilities. I have had the privilege of serving for 12 years — the longest tenure of any position in my career. It is vital to me that we work to ensure the Association and Foundation have a smooth and seamless transition to plan for the future.”

Since Sweeney joined the Association in 2007, membership has grown by almost 50%, and the organization has added members from every sector of the industry. The enterprise has more than doubled its overall revenues and nearly tripled its growth in ServSafe food safety training and certification, expanding into adjacent industry sectors and certifying more than 8 million industry professionals. In 2018, she led the creation of an equity partnership with Winsight Media and the operational sale of the National Restaurant Association Show,

Board leadership have selected Spencer Stuart to assist with the CEO search.

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