Downtown Advocates, Businesses Honored During Downtown First Awards

DFA 2019 Group Photo.jpeg


YORK, PA – Downtown Inc recognized businesses, organizations and individuals who have put forward exceptional commitments of time, advocacy and resources toward Downtown York during the 19th Annual Downtown First Awards Sponsored by The Glatfelter Agency at Logos Academy on Thursday night. A total of 60 businesses, nonprofits and individuals were nominated for Downtown First Awards across eight categories.

Downtown Inc is proud to announce this year’s winners:

Outstanding Large Business Presented by Susquehanna Real Estate – York Traditions Bank

York Traditions Bank has long invested in Downtown York, but in 2018, it made its strongest commitment to downtown yet by opening a brick-and-mortar branch on the corner of George and Philadelphia streets. York Traditions beautifully renovated the 2,000-square-foot space, keeping its character while adding modern flair. Situated across the street from the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, close to Central Market and within walking distance of the county courthouse and several restaurants, the branch has helped solidify a key corner of Downtown York.

Outstanding Small Business Presented by Stock and Leader – McCallister & Myers
Adam McCallister and Rob Myers bring a wealth of resources and a level of attentiveness, local knowledge and York-style hospitality that sets them apart from most realtors. The entire team at McCallister and Myers plays an integral role in bringing new talent and residents to York, and all serve as excellent ambassadors for the downtown.

Outstanding New Business/Merchant Presented by the York City Independent Restaurant Association – Aurora’s Bakery 
Anselmo Arrieta, his wife Guadalupe and their son Ariel realized a longtime dream when they opened Aurora’s Bakery in Downtown York last summer. From the moment they cut the ribbon at their restaurant, they’ve been bringing people together over food. The menu features a fusion of Latino and American cuisine, offering everything from eggs and home fries to huevos rancheros for breakfast, to burgers and burritos for lunch. Dessert lovers will find decadent cannolis, cupcakes, cookies and more. But Aurora’s offers more than just a delicious place to dine. Its arrival filled a key vacancy in a vital downtown shopping center while growing the diversity of dining options downtown.

Outstanding Merchant Presented by CGA Law Firm – Molly’s Courtyard Café
Last fall, Molly moved her downtown location from the rear of Cherie Anne's to its own storefront nearby, hiring several new employees and creating a lovely new place to grab a coffee, have a meeting or get a snack. Molly’s Courtyard Café is always active with music and welcoming activities on First Fridays. Plus, Molly’s still has the courtyard – one of the greatest hidden gems of Downtown York.

Outstanding Nonprofit Presented by The York Revolution – Martin Library
York’s own Martin Library was named the first-ever Library of the Year by the Pennsylvania Library Association in 2018, and Paula Gilbert won Librarian of the Year. It’s clear why it has earned the accolades. Few institutions impact so many people in so many places in the city. From providing after-school programs, opening a library in the Salem Square neighborhood, to bridging the digital divide by bringing new technology to the community, Martin Library impacts the community every day.

Better York Appell Beautification Award Presented by Better York – Ron Boyd
Anyone who has driven up Beaver Street around 7 a.m. has likely seen Ron Boyd outside, broom in hand, cleaning the street and sidewalks. Boyd does this every day, showing that making a community beautiful can start with the smallest of actions. Over time, those mornings spent sweeping the street have accumulated into something amazing: a sign of a deep commitment to the community.

Outstanding Individual within an Organization or Business Presented by PeoplesBank – José Santiago
It’s hard to overstate the importance of Santiago’s work as the Director of the New American Welcome Center. Every day, he works to help newcomers to the country integrate into the community and feel welcome. Never has it been more important for people of different cultures to connect, and Santiago plays a pivotal role in ensuring transitions that allow new Americans to thrive in York.

Outstanding Volunteer Presented by C.S. Davidson, Inc.  – Douglas “D.K.” Knight

Known to many as DK, the late Doug Knight was the loudest and greatest cheerleader for Downtown York. He believed in York and its Renaissance. From First Fridays to the Masquerade Ball to York’s 275th Birthday Bash to even his own wedding, Doug brought his years of non-profit and event experience to many community celebrations. He helped everyone selflessly. He could turn a simple meeting into the most inspiring hour of your day. He was the constant presence that you couldn’t miss as he walked down the street, attended an event or posted on social media. He was a friend. A mentor. Chief Connector. The ultimate volunteer. Downtown Inc thanks him for his service to our community.


An affiliate of the York County Economic Alliance, Downtown Inc is THE organization working to drive, enhance and encourage investment in York’s central business district through economic development, promotions, placemaking and public safety. Downtown Inc is the trade name for a joint venture between the York Business Improvement District Authority and Main Street York, a 501(c)(3) not for profit. Visit for more information.


 Andrew Staub
Marketing & Communications Director
Downtown Inc
717.849.2331 or 717-350-0962