The West Chester Downtown Foundation (WCDF) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes community interest in the vitality, culture, and livability of Downtown West Chester through education, preservation and collaboration. We sponsor events and support projects relating to the enhancement of the Borough of West Chester:
PROUDLY PARTNERING WITH
The WCDF supports the West Chester Business Improvement District's efforts to brand West Chester as a destination, keep our downtown sidewalks clean, and maintain the permanent planters with attractive seasonal planting.
Matt was elected Chester County Prothonotary on November 3rd, 2015. Before serving as County Prothonotary, Matt always believed it was important to be an active member of our Chester County community. He serves as the Immediate Past President of the West Chester Public Library Board of Trustees, President of the Board of Directors of the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children, the Vice President of the Arc of Chester County, the President Elect of the Rotary Club of West Chester, a Member and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the West Chester Area Senior Center, the President of the Board of Directors for the West Chester University Alumni Association, the Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of the Friars’ Society Alumni Association, a member of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, the Secretary of the Business Improvement District Board of Directors, a Board of Directors Member for Student Services Inc., a Board of Directors Member for the West Chester Salvation Army, and a Third Degree Knight of Columbus here in West Chester. Previously he served for four years as the Vice President of the West Chester Parks and Recreation Commission.
Christopher Hazley is the point-person behind Hazley Builders Service Division, having joined the family business in 2016. The Hazley name has been associated with building and improving quality homes in West Chester and Chester County for over four decades. Upon graduating from Henderson High School, Chris went on to Virginia Tech where he was an all-conference kicker for the Virginia Tech Football Team, president of his fraternity, and active member in the Blacksburg community. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Chris spent 5 years in the insurance services industry with Lincoln Financial Group, working with advisors in Maryland and Virginia where he was securities licensed and responsible for understanding and positioning complex investment and insurance products. Chris currently lives in the borough and has a deep appreciation for the history and culture of West Chester while also recognizing the work and dedication required for its continued prosperity and development. He is actively involved with the Up On the Roof event as well as the Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation.
Carl is a Certified Public Accountant working in West Chester since 1998 and became a
Borough resident in 2007. He is a Partner at Bliss & Company, Ltd. and serves clients in various industries with an emphasis on tax planning strategies and developing the Firm’s virtual CFO and Controller services. Prior to working in public accounting, he was the controller at a regional not-for- profit agency. Carl is also securities licensed and assists clients with their financial planning needs including education, retirement, and estate planning. He is involved in several local organizations and serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Center for the Blind and Disabled.
Don has been working in the state senate for over ten years and is currently the Government relations Director for the Pennsylvania State Senate. During his time with the state, he has seen countless examples of how community leaders can truly impact the quality of life for others at the local level. It is an honor to be a part of that change serving with the WCDF. He holds his bachelor’s degree in History from Gettysburg College and is actively pursuing his graduate degree in Public Administration at West Chester University. Don lives and works within the Borough of West Chester.
For the past 25 years Holly has been closely connected with the revitalization of West Chester Borough. First as a member of the initial Downtown Committee, then as a member of the Main Street Program. That program initiated a committee to organize a Business Improvement District which she helped to create, and then was selected as a board member. After two years on the BID, Holly was elected to Borough Council where she served for 8 years, as president for four years. During that time she helped oversee the construction of the new Chestnut Street garage, the development of a Retail overlay district, and worked on ordinances that helped the economic development of the Downtown. She has most recently served as Vice Chair of the West Chester comprehensive plan committee, President of the BID, and member of the committee that restored and returned the historic fountain to Marshall Square Park.
Allen Burke has loved living in the Borough of West Chester since 1997. He serves on the Borough Planning Commission. He also serves as Chairman of WCDF’s Preservation Awards Committee. On two different occasions Allen and his wife have been co-chairs of the Chester County Antiques Show which is the largest fundraiser for the Chester County Historical Society. He retired from QVC where he worked for 14 years. He currently works as a consultant in the cosmetics industry.
Lance Nelson, chair of the Firm’s family law practice, has over 25 years of experience representing clients in family law matters such as divorce, marital agreements, adoption, custody and support, and counseling his business clients on a variety of legal issues such as contract disputes, construction issues, corporate control issues and other aspects of day-to-day business disputes.
Lance has an AV Preeminent Rating in Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the highest legal ability and ethical standards rating. He has been consistently selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list since 2010 and the Main Line Today Top Lawyers list in the field of Family Law since 2009.
Active in the community, Lance has been a Board Member of the West Chester Business Improvement District since 2001, the West Chester Downtown Foundation since 2003, and the West Chester Public Library since 2011—presiding as Chairman to all three organizations during his tenure. An avid sports fan, Lance also coaches various basketball teams, including St. Agnes CYO.
Since joining MacElree Harvey in 1992, Lance was named a shareholder in 1998, and served as the Managing Partner from 2001 to 2011.
Lance's memberships include the Chester County Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, Task Force on Balance and Quality of Life, Delaware State Bar Association, Doris Jonas Freed Family Law Inn of Court. Lance is a frequent lecturer on litigation-related topics.
Ray H. Ott is a Certified Planner with 40 years of experience in the fields of community / town planning, land planning, recreation planning and historic preservation. With a graduate and undergraduate background in economics at Penn State University, he
also has an expertise in fiscal impact analysis and community revitalization. An active member of the historic preservation community, he has spoken at state preservation conferences on topics ranging from the historic resource survey of Pennsylvania’s state parks, to downtown revitalization. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Planning Association, Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. In his hometown, West Chester Borough, he served on the Planning Commission, the Historic Review Board, and Borough Council, where he also served a term as President. Ray was a founding member of both the borough’s Main Street Manager Program (1988) and Business Improvement District Authority (2001). His education at the Pennsylvania State University includes the Master of Arts Program in Economics (1976-77), Bachelor of Arts in Economics (1973) and Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies (1973). Ray is also an avid cyclist and sailor, and recently received his captain’s license from the US Coast Guard.
Tracy has worked in the Property/Casualty Insurance field for over twenty years and has worked at Arthur Hall Insurance in downtown West Chester for the last thirteen years. She has lived in either the Borough of West Chester or in neighboring East Bradford Township ever since attending West Chester University. She has always volunteered her time to various organizations and events and since 2006 she has served as the Chairperson for the Up On the Roof event which benefits West Chester Downtown. In 2014 she completed a two-year term as President of the Board of the West Chester Downtown Foundation.
Roy became a resident of West Chester in 1998 and has been actively involved in the Borough by serving on the first Historic & Architectural Review Board, the Planning Commission, the Zoning Hearing Board and the West Chester Business Improvement District Board. He is now actively involved on the board of the Uptown! Entertainment Alliance. His passion for, and involvement in, historic preservation is indicated by his long association with Preservation Pennsylvania, Preservation Action and its Foundation, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, all of which led to his being named by WCDF as the first West Chester Preservationist of the Year in 2013. A chemical engineering graduate from LSU, he retired in 1992 after 30 years with DuPont.
Debra is a Chester County native born in Coatesville, reared in West Grove, and living in West Chester for the last 40+ years. She has been involved in mortgage lending and real estate sales for the last 13 years, most recently as a Realtor with RE/MAX Direct in West Chester. She currently lives in East Bradford Town...ship with her husband Rob Sparre. Debra graduated from West Chester University and Johns Hopkins University, holding a Master’s degree in Sociology and Social Research. Prior to her current career, she owned a small business called The Gift Basket, Inc., for 15 years, with the Dilworthtown Inn and QVC her biggest clients. Debra is an active member and past Board Member of the Rotary Club of West Chester, and also serves as a Board Member of the Hickman Home for Senior Living. She has been a regular sponsor of the West Chester Preservation Awards.
Mark Thompson is a partner at Lamb McErlane PC and is a member of the Firm’s Municipal Law Group. He concentrates his practice on municipal, land use, environmental law and property tax assessment matters. With his experience in the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board and on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Mark also counsels clients in the areas of solid waste, water, sewage and environmental litigation. Mark also handles a wide variety of municipal, land use, property tax, administrative and environmental law matters and advises townships, boroughs, school districts and municipal authorities, as well as corporations and individuals.
Kathy is a Certified Public Accountant in West Chester. With over twenty-five years in the practice of public accounting, her expertise includes extensive work with clients in manufacturing, construction, real estate, technology, professional services and not-for-profit entities. She works with business owners and executive directors to develop and support accounting and financial needs. As a long-term West Chester resident, Kathy is actively involved in business and community events and the support of local non-profits. She is an active member of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce and served as Secretary to the West Chester Business Improvement District and on the March of Dimes Chester County Women of Achievement committee.
Chair, Business Improvement District
Sandra Riper is a Graduate Gemologist and has been in the Jewelry business her entire life; it is a passion for beautiful jewelry and a desire to help people make special memories with every purchase that has made over thirty years fly by. Considered by many as Chester County's most trusted jeweler, service is her number one priority, while keeping appraisals up-to-date and jewelry in good repair. Re-imagining or re-designing family jewelry by creating a custom design just for you is what Sandy loves to do. No job is too small, as sentiment counts for a lot! The selection of jewelry offered at Sunset Hill is unique; ranging from antique and vintage along with the most beautiful contemporary and classic designs of today. We have made special effort to look for and make available fine quality jewelry made in the USA. The custom design work and repairs are all done by our team of goldsmiths who also celebrate over 30 years with us. You might say your family jeweler is a family within itself and it is the work of us all that makes our success. We don't define jewelry as precious or non-precious; it is our belief that all jewelry is precious, sentimental and should be handled with the utmost care.
Executive Director, Business Improvement District
Malcolm Johnstone has been a downtown development specialist since 1985. He joined the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) as executive director in June 2001. He previously served as manager with the Pendleton Downtown Association, the McMinnville Downtown Association--both in Oregon--and the Coeur d'Alene Downtown Association in Idaho. He also spent five years with Livable Oregon, a division of Oregon Downtown Development Association, providing technical assistance to more than 40 downtowns.
Malcolm is certified in Professional Downtown Management by the National Main Street Center. He has been a presenter at the National Main Streets Conferences and has also provided training and presentations for statewide programs around the country.
Malcolm has authored a number of articles in periodicals for the National Main Street Center, Main Line Today, and County Lines Magazine, among others. He has a number blog posts at DowntownWestChester.com as well as articles on West Chester history.
Since joining the West Chester BID, downtown West Chester has been established as a downtown destination and has seen a number of awards and recognitions including the Great American Main Street Award 2017 and Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.