NRA Chief to Retire at End of 2019

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After a dozen years as the leader of the National Restaurant Association, CEO and president Dawn Sweeney has announced she will step down at the end of 2019.

Sweeney made the announcement two days before the 100th edition of the show kicked off in Chicago. She plans to retire when her contract ends and will continue to lead the association and its Educational Foundation as it works on its 2020-24 strategic plan and will assist board leadership in the search for her successor.

“Serving and leading the restaurant industry during this historic timeframe, when foodservice has grown to an $863 billion business employing over 15 million professionals, has been the most fulfilling experience of my career,” she said in the press release announcing her retirement. 

Since Sweeney took over in 2007, the NRA says it has grown its membership by almost 50%, doubled its revenues and added members from many sectors of the industry. The association also tripled the participation in the ServSafe food safety training program, certifying more than 8 million industry professionals. Last year, she oversaw the deal for an equity partnership with Winsight Media and the operational sale of the NRA Show

Founded in 1919, the NRA represents more than a million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15 million employees.

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