Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), has been named one of Washington’s most powerful women by Washingtonian magazine. The list includes more than 100 of the region’s most influential women in business, law, government, education, media, nonprofits, and the arts.
“[Sweeney] is a leader in the restaurant industry and it comes as no surprise that she has been recognized as one of the most powerful women in Washington,” says Jack Crawford, chairman of the NRA. “[Sweeney’s] leadership has been vital in continuing to grow both the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) as we promote key initiatives that benefit America’s one million restaurants and the 14 million Americans that drive our industry. We are proud to have her included among such a prestigious list of influential women.”
The Most Powerful Women list recognizes those who define the agenda and determine the course of action in their enterprises.
As president and CEO of the NRA, Sweeney leads the primary business association for the restaurant industry. The NRA represents more than 500,000 restaurants over multiple foodservice concepts, including quick service, fast casual, managed foodservice, casual, and fine dining, along with manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors.
Sweeney also serves as the CEO of the NRAEF, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to enhancing the industry's service to the public and building the next generation of industry leaders. The Foundation's major goal is to prepare students for rewarding careers in restaurant management and the culinary arts.
Under Sweeney’s leadership, the NRA has realigned its priorities and structure to strengthen its core operations, and the association’s annual tradeshow – the largest restaurant and hospitality industry tradeshow in the U.S. – has seen growth in revenue and impact.
Sweeney also directs NRA’s key initiatives, including Kids LiveWell, its nationwide children’s nutrition program; its ServSafe food safety handling certification program; Conserve, the Association’s sustainability initiative; and theNRAEF ProStart program which runs in nearly 2,000 high schools across the country and provides culinary scholarships to thousands of future restaurant and foodservice leaders.