WASHINGTON D.C. — The National Restaurant Association today announced the selection of Dawn Sweeney as the president and chief executive officer of the organization, effective Oct. 1.
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. She replaces Steve Anderson, who left the organization in January to serve as president and chief executive of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
Sweeney served as the president and CEO of AARP Services Inc. for the past five years. Under her leadership, the organization experienced double-digit sales and revenue growth during each of the past four years.
Sweeney's previous leadership includes positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, where she began her career.
"Dawn Sweeney is an extraordinary executive with a record of success leading business and trade associations. She has the leadership, business and marketing skills that will enable her to build on the National Restaurant Association's success as we seek to grow," said Association Chairman Richard E. Rivera, FMP, chairman and CEO of Rubicon Enterprises LLC. "The Association has a bright future and Dawn's breadth of experience will be critical as we move forward."