The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) president and CEO, Dawn Sweeney, was named one of 2014’s “Most Powerful People in Food” by The Daily Meal. This marks the second year in a row Sweeney has earned a spot on the list.
“We are proud of Dawn’s inclusion among such a prestigious list of industry leaders,” says Ken Conrad, chairman of the NRA. “Dawn has led NRA and NRA’s Educational Foundation to new heights, advocating and promoting important initiatives that benefit America’s restaurants and its over 13 million workers.”
The Daily Meal recognized Sweeney’s leadership in directing NRA’s food safety, environmental sustainability, foodservice education, and children’s nutrition initiatives.
The list of the top 50 recipients is compiled by Daily Meal editors with the criterion that these individuals substantially impact the quality and variety of the American diet or the way Americans think about it. Included in this year’s list are heads of national food processing and distribution companies and retail food outlets, agribusiness moguls, tech gurus, and recognized restaurateurs.
As president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association, Sweeney leads the primary business association for the restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Association represents multiple foodservice concepts, including quick service, fast casual, managed foodservice, and casual and fine dining, along with manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors, for an industry of nearly one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and 13 million employees.
Sweeney also serves as the CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, a philanthropic foundation dedicated to enhancing the industry's service to the public. The foundation's major goal is to prepare students for rewarding careers in restaurant management and the culinary arts through the ProStart program, which runs in over 1,900 high schools across the country, and through providing educational scholarships.