The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has recognized Tanya Triche Dawood, VP and general counsel for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), as its 2019 Donald H. MacManus Award recipient for her achievements in public and regulatory affairs.
Dawood received the award Aug. 13 at FMI’s State Issues Retreat, an annual event that brings together food retail grocery associations and grocery company professionals from each state to discuss state legislative issues of interest to the food industry.
Most notably, Dawood’s efforts were responsible for the repeal of the Cook County sweetened beverage tax. She made the case for filing a lawsuit against Cook County just days before the tax was to go into effect. The judge granted the motion for a temporary restraining order, which delayed collection of the tax. This action bought Dawood and her coalition partners the time they needed to show the Cook County Board of Commissioners the economic harm this regressive tax was causing consumers, retailers and manufacturers within the county. This victory was a turning point in the fight against turning everyday grocery items into new sources for a “sin” tax.
Dawood also led the effort to change Chicago’s plastic bag “ban” law to the customer-paid “fee” for all bags. She defeated Chicago’s effort to ban polystyrene foam, as well as efforts in other suburbs. Dawood also led efforts to prevent Chicago from implementing heavy regulations on hiring practices and defeated an effort by the city to give part time employees full-time status in Chicago’s upcoming employee scheduling law. Dawood wrote and passed Illinois’ first organized retail crime law and drove the effort on behalf of the employer community to retire Chicago’s former “head” tax.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, said, “Tanya shares similar attributes to Donald MacManus with her steadfast focus on the people and policies that build stronger communities. She remains fiercely effective and committed to accomplishing any task in front of her, all while building relationships that champion the greater goals of the food retail industry.”
In 2008, Dawood joined IRMA a staff attorney and became its VP and general counsel in 2014. She directs the activities of the Chicago Retail Merchants Association, advocating on behalf of the retail industry in Chicago’s city hall and in front of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Dawood also lobbies for the Illinois Food Retailers Association and has been asked to serve on various government-related committees and task forces. Plus, Dawood manages IRMA’s involvement in legal matters on behalf of its membership.
She earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University Law School and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan and is admitted to practice in Illinois and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Dawood is a former executive committee member of the Chicago Bar Association’s Alliance for Women and past president of the Chicago Women in Government Relations.