TONY Mann, 55, is an entrepreneur who for the past 25 years has built up his reputation with successes in both international trading and the property market.
Tony is the Managing Director of The Oceana Group, a portfolio of commercial properties on the Oceana Business Park in Wallsend on the banks of the Tyne.
The Group has invested almost £3m in breathing life back into the former Wallsend Research Station site.
The Oceana Group also owns around 200 residential properties on Tyneside, Easington, Country Durham and including a block of 40 apartments in Germany – through the company’s Westnew Management arm of the business.
Tony is married to Valerie and has three children Mark, 26, Paul, 24, and Daniel, 22.
He lives in Heaton, Newcastle, and London.
Where do you mainly live?
I’m lucky enough to call both London and Newcastle my home – I’ve commuted between the two great North and South cities for the past 13 years.
What’s your dream home?
My dream home is a penthouse apartment in New York overlooking the Hudson River.
How do you get around?
A Volkswagen Passat.
What are your favourite buildings in the region?
The Cafe Royal (Nelson Street, Newcastle), St James’ Park and Alnwick Castle.
What is the best holiday you’ve ever had?
Capetown, on a visit to the Table Mountain in South Africa.
What’s the favourite thing in your home?
My collection of books – finding solace in literature is a wonderful way to relax and transport your mind to another world.
If you could have one luxury what would it be?
Never to have to worry about money.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently developing and expanding the Group’s commercial and residential property portfolio here in the North East of England and in Europe. Alongside setting up the PAMETRADA Arts Centre – an exciting new charity studio venture to help showcase and nurture the region’s artistic talent – watch this space!
Where is your favourite place in the North East?
Anywhere around the River Tyne and especially taking in the amazing seascape views at Tynemouth.
What is your favourite shop?
Fenwick on Northumberland Street, Newcastle. It has everything you need in it.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Fisherman’s Lodge, Jesmond Dene, Jesmond, Newcastle.
The Cumberland Arms in Newcastle (off Byker Bank) – it has the right blend of atmosphere and provides a superb array of guest ales. There’s nothing better than rewarding yourself with a pint of real ale after a long day in the office.
My favourite food has to be Turkish cuisine. I’m a big fan of its exotic tastes and aromatic delights – the way your palette is treated with the creative use of herbs and spices… I also love anything vegetarian.
Do you spend much time in your kitchen?
Only when I can’t find the bottle opener!
What’s the last play or film you’ve watched?
To Have and Have Not (featuring Humphrey Bogart , dated 1944) A great golden oldie.
What book are you reading at the moment?
The autobiography of the late, great Sir Bobby Robson.
What are you listening to on your ipod or CD player?
Music by the legendary gravelly-voiced American entertainer, Jimmy Durante – jazz singer, pianist, comedian and Hollywood actor.
What’s your favourite TV programme?
US cop show – Hill Street Blues.
What are you proudest of?
Do you have any wisdom to share?
You come this way but once. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Enjoy it while you’re here.
What does the future hold?
That’s the beauty of life; each day is a new day – providing new challenges.