The National Restaurant Association today announced the selection of Dawn Sweeney as the president and chief executive officer of the organization.

Sweeney will take the helm of leadership at an association that represents one of the largest industries in the country, employing more than 12.8 million people at nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice locations, and generating annual sales of more than $537 billion. The president and CEO also oversees the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®—the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals in the Western Hemisphere—as well as the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

As the president and CEO of AARP Services Inc. during the past five years, Sweeney has a tremendous track record of leadership and success in developing market-changing products and services for millions of older Americans. Sweeney has been responsible for generating annual revenues of more than $700 million. The organization experienced double-digit sales and revenue growth each of the past four years under her leadership.

Among her 25 years of experience in marketing and advocacy, Ms. Sweeney’s previous leadership includes positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, where she began her career.

Ms. Sweeney will assume the Association president and CEO position on Oct. 1, 2007.