Outstanding Commonwealth Awards event initiates new Louis J. Appell, Jr. Leadership Award

December 15, 2017


RSDC Inc. was the first-ever recipient of the Louis J. Appell, Jr. Leadership Award, the highest award given by 10,000 Friends to private sector companies. RSDC President Josh Hankey accepted the honor at the event December 7th  at The Bond event space in downtown York.

 “Downtown York’s revitalization is a potential blueprint for every smaller, formerly industrial city in the US,” said Caroline Boyce, 10,000 Friends’ Board Chair. “Through creative public/private partnerships, visionary developers like RSDC, Think Loud, Yohn Properties, and Warehaus are reshaping and revitalizing the City in bold, strategic ways. We are delighted to celebrate these game-changing, smart growth initiatives through the annual Commonwealth Awards program.”

Named in honor of visionary philanthropist and 10,000 Friends’ founding Board member Louis J. Appell, Jr., the Appell Award recognizes outstanding private sector leadership and innovative investment promoting transformational and replicable community revitalization. By honoring these efforts, we hope to encourage leadership at all levels and inspire local developers to make more such projects a reality.

The Commonwealth Awards celebration also presented the Platinum Commonwealth Award to Think Loud Development for the adaptive reuse of the factory at 210 York Street into a state-of-the-art recording studio and commercial space. Two PNC Opportunity for All Awards were presented: One to the groups that collaborated on the Salem Square Neighborhood Initiative, bringing new affordable housing and streetscaping, a library, playground and police station to an at-risk neighborhood, and one to the Homes at Thackston Park,  which increase downtown affordable housing close to public transportation, healthcare, markets, shops and a new greenspace along the river-- making downtown living healthy and accessible.

In addition to the Appell Award, 10,000 Friends’ Commonwealth Awards were bestowed on leading private sector companies, and public and non-profit institutions,  whose projects and initiatives have made outstanding contributions to the City of York, including Warehaus at NW Triangle (Company Headquarters), Yohn Properties (One West), Distinct Property Management (Keystone Color Works at NW Triangle)Better York (West Market Street Revitalization Plan),  York County Community Foundation (Social Impact Investment), Downtown, Inc. and project partners (York County Heritage Rail Trail),  City of York (2020 Vision Plan), and the York College Center for Community Engagement.

“The Commonwealth Award-winning projects and initiatives, and the many organizations that have executed them, have collectively sparked a transformation now underway in York, one that will continue to shape its future growth and prosperity,” said Jack Machek, 10,000 Friends’ President & CEO. “Through smart building rehabilitation and innovative investment in new assets, these organizations and companies are enhancing the quality of life, economic competitiveness, and access to opportunity for all citizens of York and the region.”

Two long-time York civic leaders, Eric Menzer and Charles Bacas, were honored with the Board of Directors’ Award at the event in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to 10,000 Friends over two decades and their commitment to the organization’s mission and values.  Bacas is a founding Board member and Menzer has served two stints as the Chair of the Board.  Chair Caroline Boyce noted, “Eric and Charlie have been leaders – in the truest sense as both thinkers and doers – and two of the most consequential members of 10,000 Friends, so it is very fitting that we honor them and it will be special to do so in their home town of York.”


2017 Commonwealth Awards_Program Book.pdf3.08 MB