Meet Our People

From the town of Bunn, where she lives, to the Oak City and beyond, our Corporate Accountant, Rachel Vorys, is a shining leader. Born just south of Buffalo, NY, Rachel moved to Raleigh, NC, with her family at the age of 6 and has stayed near the Triangle area ever since.

Rachel and her husband of 21 years, Tom, live with their two children – Thomas (22) and Lily (18) – and one granddaughter – Maelynn (3). On any given weekend, you can find Rachel wandering around Chris’ Green House, finding new plants to put in her garden, and perusing the treasures at SuzAnna’s Antiques in Rolesville. She enjoys local eats with her family at the Farmer’s Kitchen or Levi’s Soul Café, but her favorite thing to do is go to Clifton Pond to hike, meditate, or paddle board around the ponds and streams.

Before joining York, Rachel had experience with bookkeeping and accounts payables and receivables for a local real estate firm. She says that what feels like 10 minutes has now become 10 years at York. During that time, Rachel has had many different titles and has become the go-to person for all accounting needs. We consider her the “fixer of things” and “sorter-outer of messes.”

In 2022, Rachel was selected to participate in Leadership Raleigh, a program designed to prepare and connect community leaders and business professionals in the Triangle. As part of the Leadership Raleigh program, she and a group of peers are currently working with the non-profit SAFEchild, whose mission and purpose is to end abuse and neglect for children and families.

While Rachel might not have just one saying or motto, when you chat with her, you are bound to hear something that will make your day brighter. Her pleasant and joyous personality brings smiles and laughs to all the York team.

Thank you, Rachel, for all you do! We are so proud to call you our own!

York Rings in the New Year with First Night Raleigh

Parker and George York are proud to serve as the honorary chairs of the 2022 First Night Raleigh celebration in Downtown Raleigh!

First Night Raleigh is the party of the year as Raleigh comes together to celebrate the end of a prosperous 2022 and kick off 2023 in style. Parker and George have been longtime supporters and participants in the First Night Raleigh celebration, as well as advocates for the host organization Artsplosure.

Artsplosure is a nonprofit arts and cultural event production studio in Raleigh that is committed to enriching and inspiring the community through visual and performing arts. Artsplosure works to achieve this by producing accessible events for artists and the Raleigh community alike.

First Night Raleigh brings together representation from many of Raleigh’s local arts community in a fun and festive family event. The festivities begin in the afternoon on December 31 and continue late into the night for attendees to watch the Raleigh Acorn Drop and a fireworks show when the clock strikes midnight. Other activities include a parade, silent disco, an interactive projection exhibit, a pop-up skate park, and more!

Parker and George are honored to have been selected as this year’s honorary chairs and they look forward to celebrating with our amazing community.

Visit their website to purchase tickets and learn more about this event.

A Sweet Brokerage Outing

Our brokerage and marketing teams recently enjoyed a beehive tour led by much-appreciated client Bee Downtown. After the tour, the crew enjoyed food and drinks at nearby Boxyard RTP. This was a beautiful day and a great fall outing!

Bee Downtown developed the Bee Downtown Corporate Hive Program, which creates experiences such as beehive tours, honey extractions, and beekeeping classes to allow employees to engage with bees, agriculture, their workplace, and each other. Participants are able to understand the environmental and economic impact of pollinators and how they and their organization can help.

A huge thank-you to everyone who was able to attend and support Bee Downtown with their goal to achieve sustainable urban agriculture and create healthy honeybee populations.

To learn more about Bee Downtown, visit their website.

Fireside Chat with Smedes York and Fellow Citizens

We hope you can join us for this special “fireside chat” featuring oral histories from key citizens in our community, including Dick Daugherty, Joe Holt Jr., Wade Smith, and Sherry Worth.

This is the second book that Smedes York has produced in conjunction with John Sharpe, and we are excited to learn their stories! There is no fee to register. Light refreshments will be served.

Sunday, September 25 at 3:00 PM
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W Jones St, Raleigh, NC

York Divisions Come Together for the Holidays

Holiday brunch with all of our employees is something we look forward to each year! It’s a time when all divisions come together under one roof to celebrate.  Since we weren’t able to host the event last year, this one was extra special. George York presented service recognition awards for both 2020 and 2021.

****2020 Awards****

25 YEARS of Service – Lyle Wilkinson
15 YEARS of Service – Robert Howell, Jose Romero
10 YEARS of Service – Amy Rogers
5 YEARS of Service – Ryan Beacham, June Wright, Pablo Peralta, Randy Sichterman, Carlos Ruiz Del Cid, Jose Sanchez and Eladji Lambongo

****2021 Awards****

40 YEARS of Service – Willie Hunt
35 YEARS of Service – Mike McCormick
30 YEARS of Service – Kenneth I’ve
25 YEARS of Service – Kathy Decker
20 YEARS of Service – Shelton Griffin
15 YEARS of Service – Pablo Turcios
10 YEARS of Service – Jose Alvarez Estrada
5 YEARS of Service – Haley Day, Shawn Banks, Alita Copney, William Williams, Gardenia Buendia, Joshua Lee, Preston Parker and Fred Rodriguez

Thanks to all of our employees for your hard work, dedication and loyalty!

Meet Our People

Efrain Ortiz joined Bloomsbury Landscapes, a division of York Properties, as its Operations Manager in January 2021. Since joining the Bloomsbury team, he has been instrumental in making our landscaping business more streamlined, increasing revenue, and bringing our crews together as one team.

Efrain was born in Mexico and grew up in Southern California. He has lived in North Carolina for 12 years and is married with 2 kids; a daughter, age 4, and son, age 11. He enjoys training his German Shepard, Togo, and spending time with his family. As a family, they love going the extra mile decorating the house during Christmas – they even do a light show in the neighborhood!

When asked about his job, Efrain says he loves the industry he’s in and especially enjoys leading his employees to success. He is thankful for the support from upper management, corporate staff and Bloomsbury General Manager, Joe Sweet, for making it the best company he’s worked for.  “It feels like home,” he says.

One of Efrain’s favorite quotes that he tells the crews is, “Treat it like it’s yours.” That bit of advice applies across the board – from the mowers, trimmers and trucks, to the properties themselves.

We are so happy to have Efrain here!

Work hard, play hard

Celebrating a great Q1 with our landscaping division, Bloomsbury Landscapes by throwing a taco party for the crews! Operations Manager, Efrain Ortiz, made authentic tacos and they raffled off lots of great prizes.

Thanks to General Manager, Joe Sweet, and Operations Manager, Efrain Ortiz, for your leadership.

Black History Month: Awesome Individual Highlight

Meet Brandi Weaver, founder of the WORLD L!T STREET FOOD FESTIVAL:

Brandi is a Charlotte, NC based creative and catalyst for change, championing cross-cultural exchange.  She is a Durham native and NC STATE grad, with fifteen-years as an engineer at Duke Energy. She recently traded in her STEM career for a focus on multiculturalism, working to bring the community together across cultural divides.  She founded a platform called WORLD L!T where she promotes and curates local cultural events.  Its purpose is to highlight the rich cultural fabric of her community and help guide people to opportunities to experience different cultures.  She feels very strongly that exposure to persons of different heritage within our own communities can help dissipate the divisiveness of ignorance, and thus make us stronger.

The highlight of her work was the WORLD L!T STREET FOOD FESTIVAL. She founded and produced this event which debuted in Charlotte, NC at Camp North End on September 2019 and attracted over 2400 attendees. The WORLD L!T STREET FOOD FESTIVAL was the manifestation of Brandi’s vision to give people a chance to connect and experience a variety of cultures. The goal was to curate a fun, experience that was enriching for US natives, as well as for those who have journeyed here from afar. Recognizing the challenges (economic and otherwise) faced by newer members of our community, the WORLD L!T STREET FOOD FESTIVAL was designed to give them a taste of home at one of Charlotte’s hottest venues.

Brandi is working to grow this festival to increase its impact on the greater community.

Black History Month: Joe Holt, Jr.

Throughout the month of February,  we are shining the light on African-American history and stories here in Raleigh and Wake County.

The excerpt below is from Smedes York’s upcoming book Raleigh: What We Remember, a collection of oral histories from Raleigh natives.  Joseph Holt, Jr. is one of the interviewees.  We expect Raleigh: What We Remember to hit shelves at Quail Ridge in the second quarter of the year.

Joseph Holt, Jr. family’s trail-blazing efforts on behalf of the Civil Rights Movement and the integration of Raleigh’s school began two years after the U. S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling declaring segregation in the nation’s public schools unconstitutional, and one month after the NC General Assembly enacted legislation (the Pearsall Plan) designed to thwart public school integration.  … The Holt struggle was a solitary one.  They became socially isolated, as many former friends, fearing white reprisals, began to distance themselves from the family.  Over the next several years [they] endured constant duress, experiencing intimidation and harassment from angry whites, receiving hate mail and threats on their lives from hate groups, enduring unreasonable demands from creditors, and suffering numerous economic reprisals.  His parents even received word that there was a plot to abduct their son.  The legal battle the Holts waged in federal court in the form of a suit against the Raleigh City School Board exhausted the family emotionally and physically.  The Holt fight ended in October 1959 when Joseph H. Holt, Jr. was in his senior year at J. W. Ligon Junior-Senior High School.

 

110 and Counting

York just completed its 110th year in business, solidifying us as one of the oldest companies in the Research Triangle region and certainly the oldest commercial real estate company. And, since we can’t comprehensively fact check the “oldest” claim (although Our State Magazine profiled the oldest 100 NC family businesses in 2017 and it checks out), we challenge any other locally-owned and operated CRE firm in the Triangle to debunk our claim!

In honor of this milestone, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at Raleigh in 1910 when Charles Vance (C.V.) York relocated from Greenville, NC to hang his shingle in the yet-to-be founded Research Triangle region.

Trolley at Fayetteville and Martin Streets

First a quick history lesson:  Raleigh was founded in 1792 near the geographical center of the state on the Joel Lane plantation. Lane’s house was a popular stop for travelers, so the entrepreneurial Lane built a tavern and a church to cover all needs. This precursor to Raleigh was known as Wake Courthouse or Bloomsbury (also the name of our landscaping division!).

By 1910, Raleigh was modernizing and growing into a veritable city:

  • 19,218 residents lived in Raleigh and the city encompassed 4.026 square miles. Durham’s population was slightly smaller at 18,241 residents.
  • Not only well-placed as the center of NC, the city was also marketed as the midpoint between Boston and New Orleans; NYC and Jacksonville; Quebec and Miami – “equidistant between the icebergs and the palms.”
  • The North Carolina State College basketball team, known as the Red Terrors, had a bull terrier mascot named Togo and was a huge source of pride.
  • 14 blocks downtown were paved with asphalt that year.
  • Raleigh was already an educational center boasting “..a larger school population in proportion to its total than any other place in the country and.. no fewer than twenty-nine educational institutions of all degrees” including:
    • The above-referenced North Carolina State College (now university)
    • Two historically black universities: Shaw University, the oldest HBCU in the South, and St. Augustine’s University. NC Central University in Durham was just being founded this year.

Shaw University Faculty

  • Three women’s colleges: St. Mary’s College (now St. Mary’s Highschool), Peace Institute (now William Peace University) and Meredith College (renamed in 1909 from Baptist Female University) at the corner of Edenton and Blount Streets.

Baptist Female University/Meredith College

  • The Raleigh Electric Company Power House on Jones Street was constructed that year. Little did C.V. York know that his descendants would purchase the Powerhouse Square in 2014 in a joint venture.
  • The Masonic Temple Building (133-135 Fayetteville St, NE corner of Hargett) had just opened its doors, becoming the first reinforced concrete skyscraper in NC. The building now houses a First National Bank branch and offices.
  • Raleigh’s elites were planning the Raleigh Country Club (now Carolina Country Club) and “one of the finest golf links in the South.”  C.V. York would construct the Clubhouse which opened in 1911.
  • Carolina Power & Light’s Bloomsbury Amusement Park was under construction at the end of the trolley line on Glenwood Avenue. The 100-acre amusement park, opened in 1912, was built to promote use of the company’s electric trolley and electricity, and was brilliantly lit by 8,000 bulbs.  Its original carousel is still in use at Pullen Park.

A self-proclaimed “City of Opportunity,” Raleigh was already attracting young, smart entrepreneurs like C.V. York from smaller NC towns to build their lives and businesses.  Now on the fourth generation of York leadership, York Properties continues to grow its business based on the bedrock values of excellent service, integrity and community engagement.

Sources: “Raleigh: a City at the Crossroads, 1914”; Alumni News NCSU; “Charles V. York – Builder and Entrepreneur,” by Terry Henderson; Meredith College Timeline; City of Oaks by David Fleming; National Park Service “Raleigh: A Capital City”