Uno Chicago Grill(R)'s Arvik Babahkanlou-Ozcan Named National Finalist for National Restaurant Association's Faces of Diversity Award

BOSTON, April 16 // PRNewswire // -- Uno Chicago Grill(R) is proud to announce that Arvik Babahkanlou-Ozcan, general manager of Uno(R)'s Dedham, MA restaurant, has been named a national finalist for the third annual National Restaurant Association's [NRA] Faces of Diversity Award. Winners will be announced in Chicago, IL on Sunday, May 17 at 2:00 at the NRA Show at McCormick Place.

The National Restaurant Association and PepsiCo Foodservice created this award to shine the spotlight on the diversity of the restaurant industry and to inspire others, through stories such as Arvik's, to show that there are endless opportunities for success in the restaurant industry. Her professional achievements and personal journeys make for an exceptional story of triumph and determination.

Arvik, a Watertown resident, joined Uno in 2008 after more than a decade advancing through financial and management positions with Chuck E. Cheese, Applebee's and Chili's Bar and Grill. The success of the Dedham restaurant under Arvik's leadership is a testament to her skill and professional dedication.

Even more so, Arvik inspires her friends and colleagues because of the obstacles she has overcome. Born and raised in Iran, Arvik was a teenager (17) when revolution and war changed her life -- closing off educational opportunities, forcing harsh rules on women and forcing some close friends and family members into prison.

When Arvik was 23, her parents decided to send her and her two younger sisters to Europe to explore a better life -- a frightening prospect since Arvik had never traveled without her parents before. Suddenly she was responsible for caring for her two sisters in a strange land -- first Switzerland and then the United States. She persevered, learned the language, and overcame early obstacles to build a solid career in restaurant management. Ultimately, she was also able to relocate her parents to America as well.

"When we talk about the American Dream and people who have overcome adversity and great challenges to find rewarding careers and fulfilling lives, Arvik's is an inspiring story. We are proud to honor her as one of our national finalists," said Alyssa Prince, Senior Director, Community Relations, National Restaurant Association.

"Arvik reminds all of us that living the American Dream isn't some vague platitude, but the result of courage, hard work and perseverance. She is a testament to the notion that we can overcome any obstacle we face if we want it badly enough," said Frank W. Guidara, chairman and chief executive officer of Uno. "We are very proud to have Arvik, a person of great character, as part of the Uno family."

About Uno Restaurants:

Based in Boston, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation includes more than 200 company-owned and franchised full-service Uno Chicago Grill units located in 29 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. The company also operates a fast casual concept called Uno Due Go(R), a quick serve concept called Uno Express(R), and a consumer foods division which supplies airlines, movie theaters, hotels, airports, travel plazas, schools and supermarkets with both frozen and refrigerated private-label foods and branded Uno products.

SOURCE Uno Chicago Grill

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