Students from the York College chapter of Phi Beta Lambda business club presented the 2019 Dr. Mark Moore Entrepreneurial Spirit award to Warren Thomas, long time owner and manager of Grand Central Foods.

The award is presented by York College PBL and the York Chamber of Commerce at the annual Chamber Banquet event. It was established to recognize a York area business person from among chamber members who has demonstrated one or more of the core characteristics of the entrepreneurial spirit: innovation, courage, commitment and service.

The PBL officers and award selection committee were led by chapter president Cole Satterfield, who presented the award to Thomas, with the help of fellow officers Garrett Ewing and Jake Sola. During the presentation, the students reflected on the legacy of Dr. Moore, a business faculty member who passed away in 2015. “He left behind for his students an academic mindset that embraced critical questioning, innovation, community service and continuous personal improvement,” said Sola. ”He truly had the gift of the entrepreneurial spirit. Dr. Moore lived his life with that spirit. He had a passion for professional challenge and excellence. That pursuit carried him all over the world. He was not afraid to take chances and encouraged his students to adopt that same philosophy in business and in life.”

The award selection committee searched the York Chamber of Commerce membership list for businesses that were well respected in the community and who possessed the core characteristics of the entrepreneurial spirit. They interviewed three finalists to learn more about their company’s story, vision for growth, innovation, and commitment to serving the community of York.

Warren Thomas has worked for Grand Central for 38 years and has served as owner/manager since 2005. “Since that time, he has consistently invested profits back into his company, by updating facilities and expanding product lines to best serve his customers’ needs,” said Ewing. “At the same time, he is also widely known in this community for his generous support of local charitable concerns as well as support of many York Public School athletic programs.”

Ewing mentioned the continuous innovation Thomas has brought to Grand Central with online grocery delivery and a line of prepared smoked meats, and his emphasis on customer service above all else. “He continues the legacy of his store--a store that began as a roadside produce stand some 75 years ago--to see it grow and prosper in the York community for the next 75 years.”

For more on Thomas’s history and the story of Grand Central, see this coverage in the York News-Times.

About PBL and the Levitt School of Business

PBL’s mission is to bring business and education  together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. Phi Beta Lambda has 230,000 members nationally and is recognized by employers globally. The York College chapter has 60+ members and competes in regional and national events. PBL students frequently partner with businesses in the York community for internships, projects, and other opportunities for exploration and growth. 

The Levitt School of Business offers majors in business administration, accounting, sports management, business management and agribusiness. It is one of the largest academic programs at York College with close to 100 students. Named in honor of local businessman Elijah A. Levitt, students in the Levitt School of Business are challenged to assume their place as citizens and as successful leaders in their community. Faith and learning are integrated in each course to prepare students for life--not just a career. For more information, visit