Industry News | June 17, 2010

NRA Wins Big Awards in Excellence

The National Restaurant Association has received two Awards of Excellence in the 2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards program, a national competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The National Restaurant Association’s ProStart career-building program and Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability environmental initiative are two of the 21 winners. The Association is the only organization to receive two awards in this second round of the AAA Awards, which received more than 100 entries.

“We are honored to receive the Awards of Excellence and proud to support America’s nearly one million restaurants as they serve their guests, their communities, and their employees,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. “Both the Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative and ProStart program play big roles in assisting our industry in reaching new levels of excellence. Our vision as an organization is to enhance the quality of life for all we serve, and these programs help us realize that goal.”

“The programs put forward by the National Restaurant Association truly embody the spirit of ASAE’s Associations Advance America campaign,” says Ping Wei, 2009-2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) committee chair and director of educational opportunities for the American Society of Civil Engineers. “It is an honor and an inspiration to showcase these activities as examples of the many contributions associations are making to advance American society.”

ProStart is a career-building program by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and state restaurant associations. Nationwide, 83,000 high school students in 47 states, territories, and districts are served by the program, which blends classroom learning with mentored work experience to teach management and culinary skills for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. For more information on the ProStart program, visit

Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability is the National Restaurant Association’s environmental initiative that aims to help restaurants nationwide increase their sustainability efforts. The Conserve website – – houses free tips, tools, and resources for restaurant operators to understand the issues and find ways to reduce their environmental footprint while minding the bottom line.

The ProStart program and Conserve initiative are now in the running to receive a Summit Award, ASAE & The Center’s top recognition, to be presented in ceremonies at ASAE’s 11th Annual Summit Awards Dinner at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., on September 29, 2010.

Now in its 20th year, the Associations Advance America (AAA) Awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward — with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards - setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship, and community service. Although association activities have a powerful impact on everyday life, they often go unnoticed by the general public.

A third National Restaurant Association program – the ServSafe food safety training and certification program – was named to the 2010 AAA Honor Roll.

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