The York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) will celebrate the Spirit of YoCo Awards, presented by RKL LLP, on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Garden York.

The awards breakfast, hosted by the YCEA Economics Club, honors York County leaders for their service to our community. A true celebration of those who give back to the YoCo community, awards are presented for Non-Profit Community Impact, Community Service, Education/Workforce Development Advocate of the Year, Appointed Official of the Year, Elected Official of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Non-profit/Government Employee of the Year, and new in 2019, the Diversity Impact Award.

We are proud to announce:

  • Non-profit Community Impact Award Winner, sponsored by Conrad Siegel Actuaries – Olivia’s House

In 1996, Leslie Delp launched the “Hearts Can Heal” program to help children who have lost a love one with healing through grief and loss education.  Six years later, Olivia’s House opened to serve our community and has a location in York and Hanover. As a member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Olivia’s House connects individuals with programs like theirs around the world; and as a mentor center, they have helped many communities develop their own grief centers, including Newtown, CT; Blacksburg, VA; and Santa Clara, CA.

  • Community Service Award Winner– Jolene and Jules Tolbert

Following a 28-year career in the United States Air Force, Julian “Jules” Tolbert relocated to wife Jolene’s hometown of York, Pennsylvania, to join the executive leadership of York Container Company. In addition to moving closer to family, the Tolbert family’s major objective was to trade service to the nation to service to a community. Julian is the primary investor in Herb and Herd, a Tutoni’s venture at Central Market; a Downtown York Rotary Member; and the Vice President of New Birth of Freedom Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Tolberts were early adopters of the Historically Edgy brand for Downtown York, and champions of our Downtown.

  • Education/Workforce Development Advocate of the Year Award Winner, sponsored by Stock & Leader Attorneys at Law – Dr. Eric Holmes, recently retired superintendent of York City School District

Dr. Eric Holmes retired in June 2019 after 32 years of service in the School District of the City of York.  His career began as a high school social studies teacher, and continued to advance to assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and ultimately superintendent for the district. As superintendent, Dr. Holmes was focused on instituting researched-based reforms that resulted in three consecutive years of student academic achievement and academic growth improvement. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Martin Library and Junior Achievement; and the Advisory Boards at the Byrne’s Health Education Center and Penn State York.

  • Appointed Official of the Year Award Winner– Michael Newsome, Secretary of the Office of Administration for Governor Wolf

Appointed secretary of the Office of Administration (OA) by Governor Tom Wolf, Michael Newsome leads the agency responsible for oversight and administration of human resources, information technology, and records management. Secretary Newsome also co-chairs the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund, which provides health benefits to 300,000 active and retired employees and their dependents, and serves as a member of Governor Wolf’s senior staff and cabinet.  Previously, Secretary Newsome was appointed to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, where he brought nearly four decades of private sector business experience, including a background in accounting, finance, and management.

Dave Sunday joined the York County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor in 2009 and was named Chief Deputy Prosecutor of Litigation a few years later.  In 2018, he was sworn in as District Attorney for York County where he leads an office of prosecutors and detectives who investigate and prosecute approximately 10,000 criminal cases annually. District Attorney Sunday was a co-founder of the York County Heroin Task Force, now the York County Opioid Collaborative, and serves on the Board of Directors for the York County Bar Association, Better York, and the York County Children’s Advocacy Center.

  • Volunteer of the Year Award Winner, sponsored by LocaliQ, part of the USA Today Network – Matthew Fuhrman

Matthew Fuhrman grew up in York County, but moved to Lebanon County after graduating from Lancaster Bible College. After more than a decade away, Matthew moved back to York where he lives with his wife and five children. In addition to spending time with his family and working as a project manager at Keller Contracting, LLC, he serves as a volunteer ambassador for the York County Economic Alliance.  He advocates for the YCEA through his community engagement and can often be seen supporting fellow member organizations at Business After Hours, Ribbon Cuttings, Economics Club Breakfasts, and more.

Gwen has served as the Executive Director for the York County Rail Trail Authority for more than 20 years.  Under her leadership, the Authority completed the Heritage Rail Trail County Park in 1999, and has continued work to connect it through the city of York with the northern extension of the trail.  She has also led the Authority’s efforts to create the Hanover Trolley Trail. Her passion stems from 25 years of membership in the York Hiking Club; and also includes membership in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and serving as vice-chairman of the Appalachian Trail Museum.

Soon to be celebrating its first anniversary, the I.D.E.A.S. Center was founded in York to serve as a central hub for diversity and inclusion information and resources.  The center fosters a safe space for organizations and programs whose mission and values include equity and inclusion. The York City Human Relations Commission, The Movement, and the LGBTQIA+ Resource Center/Equality Fest have offices in the Center and are collaborative partners.  The I.D.E.A.S. Center advocates for fair and equitable policies within companies, government, and organizations; and works to develop programming that will lead to significant change in attitudes and behaviors in the York community.

The event registration and buffet open at 7 a.m.  Costs of admission are as follows: Economics Club Members, free of charge; $35 per person; $350 reserved table of eight; Register to attend via the website or contact Jason McSherry at or 717.771.4582.