Sue Hensley Headshot

Sue Hensley

Senior Vice President, Member Engagement

Sue Hensley is the Senior Vice President of Member Engagement for the National Restaurant Association. In this role, she creates ways to strengthen Association engagement with operators and allied members through impactful content and events, amplifying member voices, and leveraging data and insights.
Hensley previously served as SVP of Public Affairs and Communications for the National Restaurant Association for twelve years, through March 2016. During that time, she played a key role in creating the Association’s Kids LiveWell program, the Conserve Sustainability initiative, and the “America Works Here” image campaign. She also spearheaded the “Dine for America” campaign after Hurricane Katrina, which raised $13 million in restaurants nationwide to assist storm victims through the American Red Cross.
During the past eight years, Hensley served as EVP of Communications and Public Affairs for the American Trucking Associations. In this role, she created communications strategies that helped support and achieve numerous policy victories, as well as growing awareness of trucking's role in the supply chain. Hensley also served as Publisher of the award-winning publication Transport Topics. In addition to growing paid subscriptions for the outlet's flagship weekly print publication, she was the key architect charting the outlet's move into the digital and broadcast arena.
Prior roles include serving as the Associate Administrator for Communications and Public Liaison at the U.S. Small Business Administration, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor, and on Capitol Hill as a communications director in the Senate and press secretary in the House of Representatives.
Hensley’s journalism and communications background began as a news producer for WCIA-TV in Champaign, Ill.; news director at WPGU-Radio in Champaign; and news anchor at WRMN/WJKL-Radio in Elgin, Ill. A native Chicagoan, Hensley is a graduate of the University of Illinois’ broadcast journalism program. She also completed the Women’s Foodservice Forum Executive Credential at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and is an ASAE Certified Association Executive. During her previous tenure at the Association, Hensley was recognized as one of the nation’s top PR professionals, receiving PR Week’s “40 under 40” award.