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Restaurant Association CEO Sweeney to refocus rather than retire

Twelve-year CEO of National Restaurant Association, to leave by year end, has carved out reputation as influential association leader


May 23, 2019
By William Ehart

Dawn Sweeney doesn’t call it retirement. She calls it refocusing.

The CEO of the $123 million-revenue National Restaurant Association—one of the most prominent and highest-paid association CEOs—announced May 16 she would step down at the end of 2019 after 12 years in the role and after helping bring her successor on board.

Asked about her future plans, Sweeney was quick to note that she would be busy this year on the CEO transition, onboarding freshly hired public affairs chief Sean Kennedy and working on a new five-year strategic plan.

After that?