The National Restaurant Association announced that the 2010 Public Affairs Conference will be held April 14-16 and will host a dynamic lineup of prominent political experts, including current and former elected officials, political pundits, as well as industry leaders.

Hundreds of restaurateurs from across the country will gather in the nation’s capitol to meet with their members of Congress, advocate for the restaurant industry, and discuss issues affecting their businesses. The conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“The Public Affairs Conference presents an opportunity for restaurateurs from across the country to join together as one strong voice advocating for the restaurant industry,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “As the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, the restaurant industry is a significant player in our nation’s economic recovery. It is critical that our policymakers understand the challenges that our industry are facing, but also the restaurant industry’s role in job creation and economic growth.”

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert will be a keynote speaker at the conference. Hastert was the longest-serving Republican Speaker in history. He was elected to the House in 1987 and served Illinois’ 14th Congressional District. In 2008, Hastert joined Dickstein Shapiro LLP as a member of the firm’s Public Policy & Law Practice.

Political pundit John Mercurio will also provide an inside account of the political leaders and events in the coming year that will shape the state of the industry. Mercurio is the executive editor of the Hotline, Washington’s premier daily online source for American politics. In his 18 years of covering politics in both print and on TV, Mercurio has become one of Washington’s leading experts on campaigns, elections, and American politics.

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