Brighton-born businessman Ray Bloom has received national and international recognition for his achievements in the global meetings and events industry.
Mr Bloom, a director of Brighton and Hove Albion, is the founder and chairman of the Imex Group, the exhibitions business which has its head office in Hove.
He was honoured with the Pioneer Award at the Exhibition News Awards in London last week.
Nicola Macdonald, editor of Exhibition News, said: “Ray is a true pioneer of the exhibition industry, growing truly global, trailblazing events while still remaining the approachable, personable and passionate face of the brand. We were thrilled to recognise him for his lifelong contribution.”
Later in the week he was welcomed into the Hall of Fame of one of Germany’s leading publications in the meeting and events industry, ICJ Mice magazine, in Munich.
This double-award win recognises the Imex Group’s continuing success as organiser of the world’s two leading global exhibitions in the sector, one in Frankfurt and one in Las Vegas.
Mr Bloom started the Imex Group in Brighton in 2000 and the company has grown rapidly, with staff numbers rising from 15 to 65.
The business contributes more than £5 million a year to the local economy.
The company now has growth aspirations and as it expands it is looking to relocate to new premises locally creating up to 25 more jobs.
Mr Bloom said: “As a Brightonian, I’m proud of my home city and the Albion and have life-long links here.
“Giving back to Brighton and creating a local legacy is important to me, that’s why we intend to relocate locally.”