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CEDA unveils extra Legacy Honour winner

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Caterware MD Mark Drazen picked up his Legacy Honour from CEDA chair, Kirstin Hatherley-Bramwell and past chair, Jack Sharkey.

Last night, CEDA presented a further Legacy Honour to add to the seven it presented on Wednesday in the first of two awards ceremonies of the association’s 2021 Conference.

The eighth winner of the award could only attend the event on Thursday and so was surprised with the accolade during the Grand Prix Awards ceremony at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.

And the victor was Caterware MD, Mark Drazen.

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Former CEDA chair, Jack Sharkey, detailed Drazen’s achievements to the hundreds of assembled guests.

Drazen left school aged 17 and joined his mum, Helen, and dad, Bernard at the family business, Caterware.

The business was not quite 3 years old and Drazen was employee number four.

An early highlight of Drazen’s career was being sent out by his father with a van full of pots and pans and told not to come back until he had sold them all.

Bernard expected Drazen not to return for many days, only to be surprised when he returned that evening with an empty van has sold all its contents.

Sharkey commented: “This is a great example of the friendly, yet competitive, working relationship that father and son enjoyed.”

In the 1980s, Drazen was instrumental, firstly in moving Caterware into heavy equipment sales and then developing the company’s design and service capabilities to expand both the offering and customer base further.

This growth continued and in expanding Caterware’s geographical coverage, the client base soon started to include national chains.

In 1990, at the age of just 28, Drazen became MD and over the next three decades has been the driving force behind Caterware’s development into the business it is today, employing over 20 people and designing, delivering and maintaining kitchen projects small and large throughout the UK and overseas.

In 1996, Drazen was named Entrepreneur Magazine North West Young Entrepreneur of the Year and two years later Caterware was named the Lancashire Evening Gazette Business of the Year.

In 2000, having spent several years on the CEDA Council, Drazen became CEDA chairman and, at the age of 38, remains the youngest chair CEDA has had.

A major highlight, for both Drazen and Caterware, was the winning and delivery of the Etihad Stadium project. Not only was this the largest scheme the distributor had completed but it was Drazen’s dream customer, being the home of his beloved Manchester City FC.

Sharkey detailed: “Many, many successes over many, many years but Mark would be the first to recognise the great fellow directors and colleagues that have supported him and the family over that time.”

He paid tribute: “Mark is a passionate and committed advocate of our industry. Always giving of his time, knowledge and experience and always forthright in his views, thoughts and opinions.

“Forthright yes, but respectful and courteous too and this manner has earned him many friends across the industry – customers, suppliers and competitors alike.”

Tags : awardscaterwareCEDACEDA conferenceeventlegacy honours
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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