In a new article from Dawn Sweeney in the Huffington Post titled, “Women Lead the Way in America’s Restaurants,” the IWF Washington DC member and President of the National Restaurant Association discusses how her industry is poised to advance women’s leadership, citing statistics which show that restaurants owned by women grow three times faster than others and that half of all restaurants are owned or co-owned by women.
“I am proud that, as an industry, we foster opportunity for all who join us. And, that as a result we have more women in management and ownership positions than virtually any other industry. Their successes are indicative of an industry with no limits and one that is worthy of our recognition every day.” – Dawn Sweeney
Dawn Sweeney has led the National Restaurant Association since 2007, focusing on the Association’s mission of protecting and advancing the restaurant industry, composed of one million restaurant and foodservice outlets. Under Sweeney’s leadership, the Association has achieved several major legislative victories, including changes to Affordable Care Act regulations and federal legislation on menu-labeling. She also launched the national children’s menu initiative Kids LiveWell, now in 42,000 locations.
Sweeney has realigned the Association to better serve its wide membership, including quick service, fast casual, managed foodservice, casual and fine dining, as well as manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. She has consolidated their Foundation around building the next generation of industry leaders – educating students and providing scholarships through the ProStart program in high schools nationwide. Previously, Sweeney was CEO of AARP Services, the wholly-owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. In five years, she grew annual revenues from $175 million to $785 million, serving 11 million AARP members annually.
Her 25+ years of marketing and policy experience also include leadership positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, where she played a significant role in developing the “milk mustache” advertising campaign. Sweeney has been named a perennial top association CEO in the country by CEO Update, Association Bisnow named her a 2015 Trending Association Leader, she was one of 2014’s “Most Powerful People in Food” in the Daily Meal, and was “2014 Female Executive of the Year” in the Griffin Report. She serves on the boards of the American Society of Association Executives, Save the Children, U.S. Travel Association and the Women’s Foodservice Forum. She’s also an active member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100, the International Women’s Forum and the Committee of 200, an international network of female executives.
Click here to read the full article in the Huffington Post.