Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, has been named for the third year in a row as one of America’s “Most Powerful People in Food” by The Daily Meal magazine.
Sweeney was recognized for her leadership of:
Kids LiveWell, the NRA’s national nutrition program that promotes restaurants’ efforts to offer nutritious menu options for children
Conserve, which educates the restaurant industry about sustainability
ServSafe food safety training and certification
ProStart, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s scholarship program
“Under Dawn’s leadership, the NRA and its Educational Foundation have succeeded in growing these programs on the national stage,” said Jack Crawford, CEO of Ground Round Restaurants and the Association’s 2015 chairman. “As we continue to promote the opportunities and initiatives benefiting America’s 1 million restaurants and 14 million workers, we’re proud of her inclusion on this prestigious list of industry leaders.”
The list, which highlights the top 50 most influential people in the food business, is compiled by the online publication’s editors. Selections are based leaders’ impact on the quality and variety of the American diet, or the way Americans think about food. This year’s honorees include restaurateurs, food processing and distribution company executives, retail food outlet leaders, tech gurus and agribusiness moguls.
Sweeney (#28) is joined on the list this year by congressman Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.) (#27), co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus and Congressional Hunger Center and a leader in child nutrition and hunger relief programs; Howard Schultz (#6), CEO of Starbucks; Susan Neely (#4), president and CEO of the American Beverage Association; and Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon (#41), a well-known foodie in his own right.
“Dawn Sweeney has been an agent of change for our industry,” said Christianne Ricchi, chef-owner of Ristorante iRicchi in Washington, D.C. “I see what the Association has become because of her efforts. People who take steps to initiate change are inspiring.”
Pictured top right: NRA president and CEO Dawn Sweeney