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National Restaurant Association - Women's Foodservice Forum honors NRA CEO

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Women's Foodservice Forum honors NRA CEO

The Women’s Foodservice Forum honored National Restaurant Association president and CEO Dawn Sweeney with the Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award at its annual leadership conference in Dallas.

The award, named for the WFF’s former chief who died in 2013, is presented yearly to someone who supports gender diversity and helps create new opportunities for women.

“When we build our teams and push each other outside our comfort zones, we’re blazing trails,” Sweeney told the audience March 13. “When we allow ourselves to envision a future that is brighter, more diverse and inclusive and then take steps to make what we’ve envisioned a reality, we are blazing trails.”

Sweeney, the NRA’s CEO since 2007, said she was honored to receive the award bestowed on former Harman Management Chair Jackie Trujillo, Dine Equity President and CEO Julia Stewart, Sodexo Region Chair for North America and CEO Schools Worldwide Lorna Donatone and PhaseNext Hospitality President and CEO Roz Mallet, who presented her with the award.

“Dawn has blazed many trails in the last eight years,” Mallet said. “She demonstrates the selfless philosophy of leadership and has an industry point of view that positively influences and impacts everyone and everything she touches.”

Thanks to Sweeney’s commitment to advancing women's careers, the NRA has quadrupled the number of female members elected to its board over the last three years, Mallet noted.

“Dawn not only executes with excellence, she also leads every interaction with passion and respect for those who get the work done -- our employees,” she said. “She not only blazes new trails by role-modeling great leadership qualities, but continues to create new opportunities for all of us through her representation of the industry.”

Sweeney said she looks forward to more years of advancing women leaders.

The Women’s Foodservice Forum’s leadership conference runs through March 16.

Photo, from left: Hattie Hill, president and CEO, Women's Foodservice Forum; PhaseNext Hospitality President and CEO Roz Mallet; and National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

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