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The National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Executive Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs, Scott DeFife, has been named a 2012 “Top Lobbyist” by The Hill newspaper, the fourth time he has earned a spot on the list.
“We are very proud of this coveted acknowledgement for Scott on behalf of the National Restaurant Association and the restaurant industry,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Under his leadership, our first-rate policy and government affairs team is focused on protecting the industry and advocating for policies that will benefit restaurateurs across the country.”
Since joining the NRA three years ago, DeFife has led the industry to important victories in the interchange debate. Under his leadership, the NRA continues its work protecting swipe fee reforms against attacks.
In an effort to educate policymakers as to the breadth, depth, scope, and influence of the restaurant industry on the American economy, DeFife initiated the NRA’s America Works Here campaign to tell the story of America’s restaurant industry. The industry is the nation’s second-largest private industry employer, providing nearly 13 million jobs or 10 percent of the U.S. workforce.
Also under DeFife’s leadership, the NRA’s award-winning Kids LiveWell program has grown to include more than 110 restaurant brands representing 30,000 locations nationwide. The NRA launched the consumer-facing initiative – new territory for a business trade association – in 2011 to help restaurants highlight their healthful menu choices for children.
In addition, the NRA has expanded its sustainability policy work under DeFife’s direction. As part of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, the NRA is working with GMA and FMI to develop a joint-industry effort aimed at diverting food waste sent to landfills and increasing food donations to those in need. DeFife also has established partnerships with the U.S. Composting Council and the Foodservice Packaging Institute to collaborate on projects that will help support the NRA’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program, an online resource designed to initiate and inspire environmentally friendly actions that also improve a company’s bottom line.
Last month, the NRA announced it had expanded the scope of its Policy and Government Affairs team to include all communications and research capabilities, a move designed to strengthen the top advocate for America’s restaurant and foodservice industry. DeFife now oversees a staff of 40, or more than double the team’s previous size.