Washington/July 17/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- The National Restaurant Association announced the selection of Dawn Sweeney as the president and chief executive officer of the organization.

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 one million restaurant and foodservice locations, and generating annual sales of more than $537 billion. The president and CEO also oversees the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, as well as the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

As the president and CEO of AARP Services Inc. during the past five years, Sweeney has a tremendous track record of leadership and success in developing market-changing products and services for millions of older Americans. Sweeney has been responsible for generating annual revenues of more than $700 million. The organization experienced double-digit sales and revenue growth each of the past four years under her leadership.

"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."

"This is an enormously exciting time for the restaurant and hospitality industry," said Sweeney. "I share the vision of the members of the board, staff and the state restaurant association partners for broadening and strengthening the reach of the association and look forward to this unique opportunity."

Among her 25 years of experience in marketing and advocacy, Sweeney's previous leadership includes positions at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the International Dairy Foods Association, where she began her career.

Sweeney will assume the association president and CEO position on October 1, 2007.

From the July 30, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash