Rafał Sonik a Polish entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a winner of the Dakar Rally, will be honoured at the 11th annual CEE Retail Awards with a special Man of the Year award.
In 1989, he established the company Gemini Holding. At the beginning of its activity, the company was mostly involved in the introduction of the BP brand into the Polish market and the development of the related petrol-station network. In the following years several investments were carried out for retail market giants, such as Geant, Carrefour, Tesco, Castorama and Lidl. The company was also responsible for opening the first McDonald’s restaurants in Poland.
Since 2009 Rafał Sonik has been successfully extending the Gemini Holding portfolio with his own shopping centres – Gemini Park. At present, he owns three facilities of this type (in Bielsko-Biala, Tarnow and Tychy) with a total area of over 112,000 sqm, and a value of nearly €307 million. He is planning to establish more facilities of a similar kind in Poland.
For many years he has been involved in social and charity activities. In 2012, he obtained the Social Responsibility Award granted by Shopping Centers Poland in the field of corporate social responsibility for the construction of the SIEMACHA Association unit at the Gemini Park shopping center in Tarnow. He has been supporting and organising numerous social initiatives for years. He is the president of the Clean Poland Association (Stowarzyszenie Czysta Polska), which organizes, among other things, the Polish mountains cleaning project. Rafał Sonik is also involved in socio-cultural initiatives in Zakopane and the surrounding area, including the activities of “Friends of Kasprowy Wierch”.
After hours, he is an avid rally driver. He is a winner of the Dakar Rally, and seven World Cups. He has taken the Dakar Rally podium four times. He is also a six-times winner of the national enduro and motocross championships. He is using his authority to support the “Fast on track – safe on the road” initiative. He is also an ambassador of the FIA Golden Rules program, associating the best rally drivers in Poland.
Heralded as the market benchmark for retail success in Central and Eastern Europe, the 11th annual CEE Retail Real Estate Awards Gala is the region’s premier retail awards event. This eagerly anticipated occasion will take place in Warsaw at the InterContinental Hotel on January 24th, 2019.
The organizer, EuropaProperty, is expecting more than 450 guests including over 100 retailers doing business or planning to do business in the region. The event is subject to considerable media coverage with local and international media attending the awards. This ensures, guests, participants, companies, and award winners, an extra opportunity to publicize themselves and of course the retail sector throughout the whole of Central and Eastern Europe.
The day opens with the CEE Retail Forum, a series of discussion panels covering all hot topics and relevant issues for the retail market. The Retail Forum provides an opportunity to hear from some of the retail sector’s leading thought leaders, as well opportunities to discuss and explore the retail industries hot topics with them, and other real estate professionals.
The Awards Gala and CEE Retail Forum provide an excellent opportunity to make new contacts and renew existing business relationships in a pleasant and social yet professional environment. At the Awards Gala in the evening, retailers, real estate companies, projects and individuals will be presented with awards of acknowledgment, by the industry, for their contribution to the development of the retail real estate market in the region for 2018.
An independent jury carries out the process of deciding between the nominations for the award categories. The members of the jury are all experienced real estate professionals, and are from every sector of the commercial real estate and retail industries in the region.
The finalists, who are short listed, have their entries scrutinized and the jury then votes to decide the winners, on the night before the gala at a jury dinner held at the InterContinental. The Event Auditor, EY, audits the voting process.
Countries eligible to enter the awards include: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The CEE Retail Awards are recognized by the retail and commercial real estate industry as the market benchmark for retail success in Central and Eastern Europe.