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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:

About  Us


An annual fundraiser supporting the beautification and marketing of
downtown West Chester



Recognizing individuals and projects demonstrating outstanding historic
preservation practices



Celebrating and enhancing the beauty and community of our downtown


Supporting organizations that enrich our community and provide essential services to our residents


Managing an endowment fund for arts and education on the town's history and heritage


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.

Matthew Holliday


Matt Holliday is the Executive Director of the Chester County Bar Association. Before that he served as the elected Chester County Prothonotary. Even before seeking public office Matt always believed it was important to be an active member of our Chester County community. In addition to being the longest serving President of the West Chester Downtown Foundation he serves as the Immediate Past President of the West Chester Public Library Board of Trustees, Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, the President of the Board of Trustees of the Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children, the President of the Arc of Chester County, the President of the Rotary Club of West Chester, a Past Member and Secretary of the Board of Directors for the West Chester Area Senior Center, the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors for the West Chester University Alumni Association, a Board Member of the Chester County Community Foundation, 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 Past 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.

For all of his non-profit work, Matt was selected by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce as the 2018 Citizen of the Year. He was also the recipient of the 2018 Senator Robert J. Thompson Public Service Award from the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce for his work as County Prothonotary. Finally, he received the Outstanding Young Professional in Public Administration Award from the American Society for Public Administration last year.


Holliday graduated from West Chester University in 2009 with a degree in Political Science.


Christopher Hazley


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.

Kathy Wileczek


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.

Holly Brown


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.

Deb Sparre


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.

Allen Burke


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


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.

Jeff Burke


Jeffrey P. Burke is an associate attorney working in MacElree Harvey’s Employment and Litigation practice groups. Jeff counsels businesses and individuals on employment agreements, equal employment policies, non-competition agreements, independent contracting issues, and other employment-related matters. Jeff also represents businesses and individuals in employment discrimination litigation, such as Americans with Disability Act claims, Age Discrimination in Employment Act claims, discrimination based upon sex, race or religion, sexual harassment, and hostile work environment. As an experienced litigator, Jeff also frequently handles contract, real estate leasing, construction and shareholder disputes, to name a few.

Prior to joining MacElree Harvey, Jeff worked for six years at an insurance defense litigation firm where he represented clients across multiple disciplines in State and Federal Court, including employment discrimination, personal injury, civil rights, product liability, and construction litigation. Before that, Jeff was an associate with a small-size, general practice law firm focusing on criminal defense as well as civil and domestic litigation.

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he was a recipient of the Class of 2008 Community Service Award. Prior to attending law school, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, with minors in Economics and Political Science.



Isaac Jean-Pierre


Isaac J. Jean-Pierre is a member of MacElree Harvey’s Litigation Department in its West Chester office.  As a civil litigator, Isaac concentrates his practice on commercial litigation, trust and estates litigation, and banking and finance litigation.  Isaac is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and has been admitted to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as well as the United States Tax Court.

Isaac earned his Juris Doctor from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law.  During law school, Isaac served as the Secretary of the Black Law Student’s Association.  Isaac earned his undergraduate degree with dual concentrations in business management and marketing from the Pennsylvania State University.



Tracy Sammarone


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 Smith


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.

Sandy Riper

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.


John O'Brien
Executive Director, Business Improvement District

John O’Brien joined the West Chester Business Improvement District as Executive Director in July 2020. Previously he served as the Communications Director & Senior Policy Advisor for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Appropriation Committee. John is a lifelong resident of West Chester and a two-time graduate of West Chester University, having received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2010 and his Master of Business Administration in 2016.



As the head of the Business Improvement District, John works to help grow and support the over 400 small businesses located in Downtown West Chester. The BID serves as the economic development and tourism agency for the Borough of West Chester. In his role he serves as the spokesperson and primary advocate for the business community in West Chester. John leads a team whose mission is to recruit new business to West Chester, attract more customers and to make sure the local business community has a voice with the local, state and federal governments.

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