Mayor's International Community Awards (MICA)

MICA logo 

The Charlotte International Cabinet and the Office of the Mayor have hosted the Mayor's International Community Awards (MICA) since 1998. This event honors foreign-owned firms and individuals in the Charlotte region for their outstanding service and contributions to philanthropy and the development of Charlotte's international community.

Individual Award Categories and Criteria

Richard Vinroot International Achievement Award

This award is one of the original MICA recognitions and was named for Mayor Richard Vinroot, who founded the Mayor's International Cabinet, the predecessor of the Charlotte International Cabinet. Vinroot Award winners work for the continued internationalization of Charlotte and our region.

They contribute to efforts that improve the international community here and/or help others abroad in a manner that enhances Charlotte's status as a world-class city. They possess a record of outstanding service to the greater Charlotte community.

Charlotte International Cabinet (CIC) International Entrepreneur Award

This award recognizes businessmen and businesswomen who are naturalized U.S. Citizens who open a business in Charlotte-Mecklenburg or who live in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and have moved their business to our metro region. As mayor of Charlotte, Governor Patrick McCrory established the award to honor those new Americans who exemplify entrepreneurial spirit and pride in their community.

CIC award winners demonstrate outstanding community service, but the primary qualification is that the candidate be an entrepreneur who has made lasting contributions to the Charlotte community through their business activities.

Global Leader Award

This award is given to individuals who embody the spirit of Charlotte's global significance. The award was established by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx while he was mayor of Charlotte.

Global Leader Award winners display strong leadership in Charlotte's international community and cultivate awareness of the growing diversity of Charlotte. Furthermore, honorees evolved from leaders in their respective cultural communities to become leaders of the Charlotte community at large.

Past Richard Vinroot International Achievement Award Winners

Rafael Prieto Zartha, 2023

Ziaulhaq "Booyah" Ghafoori, 2022

Foster & William Harris - Naturalize Charlotte, 2020/2021

International House, 2019

Manny & Tracie Ohonme, 2018

The World Affairs Council of Charlotte, 2017

Michael S. Hawley, 2016

Catherine Hansen, 2015

Lauren Vavins, 2014

Stephanie Ansaldo, 2013

German Language and Culture Foundation, 2012

Kal Kardous, 2011

Yele Aluko, MD, FACC, FSCAI, 2010

Dr. Ki-Hyun Chun, 2009

Debbie Antshel, 2008

Samaritan's Purse, 2007

Honorary Consul of France Millie Dalton Cox, 2006

T.J. "Jerry" Orr, 2005

Dr. Billy O. Wireman, 2004

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, 2003

Honorary Consul of Mexico Wayne Cooper, 2002

Ingeborg Hegenbart, 2001

Honorary Consul of Germany Kurt Waldthausen, 2000

Michael Almond, 1999

The Honorable Richard Vinroot, 1998

Past CIC International Entrepreneur Award Winners

Reinaldo Pánico Peres, No Borders Consulting, 2023

Juan Cruz, 2022

Vinroy Reid, 2020/2021

Manolo Betancur, 2019

Chef Charles Sémail, 2018

Hadi Atri, 2017

Dr. Pinku Mukherjee, 2016

Hilda H. Gurdian, 2015

Shailenra K Suman, 2014

Augusto Conte, 2013

Philip Maung, 2012

Norberto Sanchez, 2011

Gobind "Gerry" Bhojwani, 2010

Ravi Patel, 2009

George Couchell, 2008

Felix Sabates, 2007

Past Global Leader Award Winners

Abong & Mongai Fankam - A Place of Hope and No Backpack Day, 2023

Eileen Cai, 2022

Sil Ganzó - ourBRIDGE for KIDS, 2020/2021

Lal Vishin, 2019

Najam & Farah Usmani, 2018

Wendy Pascual, 2017

Dr. Maha Gingrich, 2016

Klaus and Concha Becker, 2015

Lucia Zapata Griffith, 2014

Dr. Nini Bautista, 2013

Dr. John Chen, 2012

Foreign Owned Firm Award Categories and Criteria

Eligible companies must be owned by a foreign entity that is doing business in the Charlotte region. Examples include companies headquartered outside of the US, a subsidiary of a company with foreign owners, etc., with manufacturing, US headquarters, or other operations located here.

The size category (small, medium, large) is based on the number of employees at the company's Charlotte region location.

Past Small Company Winners (1-50 local employees)

Salice America Inc., Italy, 2020/21

Kumon, Japan, 2019

Godiva Chocolatier, Turkey, 2018

Ludvig Svensson, Sweden, 2017

Stantec, Canada, 2016

Linet Americas, Czech Republic, 2015

Tresata, India & New Zealand, 2014

BridgehouseLaw, Germany, 2013

Teupen, Germany, 2012

Pfaff Molds, Germany, 2011

Shred-It, Canada, 2010

Lufthansa, Germany, 2009

Evonik Energy Services, Germany, 2008

Globe Express Services, Lebanon, 2007

ATOTECH USA, France, 2006

Stork Prints, The Netherlands, 2005

Klingspor Abrasives, Inc., Germany, 2004

Stork Screens America, Inc., The Netherlands, 2003

Celanese Acetate, Germany, 2002

BSN-JOBST, Germany, 2001

Tesa Tape, Germany, 2000

Smith and Nephew, Inc., United Kingdom, 1999

Smith and Nephew Casting, United Kingdom, 1998

Past Medium Company Winners (51-200 local employees)

Dassault Systèmes, France, 2020/2021

Groninger USA, Germany, 2019

Kuehne + Nagel, Germany, 2018

Okuma American Corporation, Japan, 2017

Chiron America, Germany, 2016

LensCrafters, Italy, 2015

Schleich, Germany, 2014

SGL Group - The Carbon Company, Germany, 2013

Max Daetwyler, Switzerland, 2012

Coats, United Kingdom, 2011

Balfour Beaty, United Kingdom, 2010

RBC Bank, Canada, 2009

Bonsal American, Ireland, 2008

Gerdau Ameristeel, Brazil, 2007

Getrag Corporation, Germany, 2006

BASF Corporation, Germany, 2005

Transamerica Reinsurance, The Netherlands, 2004

Vermont American, Germany, 2003

BASF, Germany, 2002

Clarke American, United Kingdom, 2001

DyStar, L.P., Germany, 2000

McDevitt Street Bovis, United Kingdom, 1999

Okuma America, Japan, 1998

Past Large Company Winners (201+ local employees)

Bakkavor, United Kingdom, 2020/2021

Scor, France, 2019

Husqvarna Group, Sweden, 2018

FoodBuy, LLC, United Kingdom, 2017

Rack Room Shoes, Germany, 2016

Domtar, Canada, 2015

Electrolux, Sweden, 2014

Ingersoll Rand, Ireland, 2013

KPMG, The Netherlands, 2012

Husqvarna, Sweden, 2011

Areva, France, 2010

AbitibiBowwater, Canada, 2009

Stantec, Canada, 2008

Axa Equitable, France, 2007

Food Lion, Inc., Belgium, 2006

Compass Group, United Kingdom, 2005

Nomination and Selection Process

MICA nominations are accepted year-round. To nominate someone for an individual MICA award, please complete the Individual Award Nomination Form and include a short biography of the nominee and two letters of recommendation describing why this candidate should win the award.

All foreign-owned firms located in the Charlotte Region are eligible for nomination. Basic information about the company, its community programs and contacts are needed for nominations and can provided by completing the Foreign Firm Nomination Form.

Finalists are selected by a committee, and then the mayor chooses the winners.

If you have further questions about the MICA Award criteria or nomination process, please contact Alexis Gordon.