Mike Racz, the Hungarian-born owner of a Wynyard- based group that runs 28 Domino’s pizza franchises, was named Business Person of the Year at the Tees Valley BME Achievement Awards.
Held at Jury’s Inn, Middlesbrough, the annual BME Awards recognise the wealth of achievement and contribution BME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) individuals and groups are making in the region.
Mike, whose Racz Group employs around 1,000 people and also runs 15 Costa coffee stores and 15 Anytime Fitness gym franchises, received his award in front of an audience from diverse backgrounds represented by many of the Tees region’s leading organisations.
The award for BME Woman of the Year went to Amanda Adeola of Tees firm BHP Law.
Crowned Business of the Year were Dil Se Weddings, while awards were handed by Middlesbrough mayor Andy Preston, Middlesbrough College chief executive Zoe Lewis and senior representatives of TTE, Prior Pursglove College and Tees Valley Combined Authority among others.
Organiser Yasmin Khan, who presented the awards along with ????, said the event highlighted the success stories of the BME community.
“Tees Valley, like many areas in England and Wales, faces similar challenges in education, employment, meeting the skills gap for future workforce and improving the health and well-being of our communities,” she said.
“The Tees Valley BME Awards ceremony provides a much needed platform which highlights the work and success stories of our BAME communities and key stakeholders who are creating opportunities which bridge the racial equality gap.
“I really do feel our community spirit is like no other. After almost 25 years, I’m still here but I would like to see how we can create a fairer society in which our origins do not determine our destinies.
“The awards ceremony provides the climate for this change.”
The category winners were:
Youth Individual Award: Sidra Alhamar, Middlesbrough College
Youth Organisation Award: MFC Foundation
Community Individual Award: Salhia Akhtar, Aapna Services
Community Organisation Award: Halo Project
Community Safety Award: Stronger Communities Middlesbrough
Public Sector Award: Cleveland Police Positive Action Programme
BME Business of the Year: Dil se Weddings
BME Business Person of the Year: Mike Racz, Racz Group
Apprenticeship Individual Award: Arooj Amjad, Middlesbrough Council
Apprenticeship Organisation Award: Tees Valley Combined Authority
BME Woman of the Year: Amanda Adeola, BHP Law
Education Award: Middlesbrough College Equality and Diversity Programme
Lifetime Achievement Award: Imran Naeem, Natural Progression Boxing Academy