Q&A: Doug Doerfler
By J. Chambless
Doug Doerfler is in the middle of his
term as the president of the Southern Chester County Chamber of
Commerce's Board of Directors. Kennett Square Life caught up
with Doerfler to talk about the chamber's efforts to support a very
diverse business community, as well as the organization's goals for
2018. Doerfler also serves the community as a member of Kennett
Square Borough Council, and we talk to him about some of the
borough's accomplishments in recent years. We also discover what the
affable Kennett Square resident has in common with Shakespeare and
Q: You're the chair the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2018. How did you first get involved with the chamber?
A: I was fortunate to be asked to represent Genesis HealthCare on the Chamber Board of Directors in 2014. Up to that point, most of my community involvement was participation on governmental boards and commissions, so it was a great opportunity to represent one of the largest employers in the area with supporting the business community. Upon joining the chamber Board, I served on the Community and Governmental Relations Committee, having chaired it in 2017 prior to moving into my Board Chair role.
What are some of the goals for the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce this year?
There is one that I’m very excited to share, and that is our updated website, www.scccc.com. As we move through 2018, our objectives will be to build on the successes form 2017 and remain relatively simple and focused:
1. We are going to grow our Chamber membership, by both retaining current members and welcoming new members. Each board member has committed to share responsibility in meeting this goal by reaching out to new members, renewing members, and potential members, creating touchpoints that will strengthen relationship-building and create opportunities for value-driven growth.
2. We will continue to build on being a member-centric organization: We incorporated a member-centric approach more than a year ago at the Chamber’s annual retreat, and have continued to shift our thinking to listen more, ask more questions, and anticipate the needs of our members.
3. And we are going to continue to enhance our image, visibility and presence by proactively communicating what sets the Southern Chester County Chamber apart. Specifically, we are going to utilize our new website to drive our reach to our membership, our community and the public.
What are some of the benefits of belonging to the chamber?
As the leading member business organization in the region, we provide value to our members in many ways—advocacy, networking, education and building a stronger community, to name a few. The Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce proudly supports its members when it says “Your Success Is Our Business.”
Membership brings credibility to your business. It increases your visibility in the community, creates networking opportunities, gains a voice in government, and helps members make quality business contacts and acquire customer/client referrals. You can follow Chamber news through business newsletters, gain exposure through events and programs, take advantage of our promotional and PR opportunities geared toward your success, and you have access to member-to-member services and discounts.
Connect with us and we’ll help you reach your goals. Upcoming events include the Scholarship Golf Tournament and Dinner on Monday Aug. 6 at the Kennett Square Golf and Country Club; Women in Business Breakfast and quarterly “WIB Gives Back” Community Service on Wednesday, Sept. 5. The location of this event will be announced.
You also serve on Kennett Square Borough Council. What are some of the accomplishments that the town has made while you've been on borough council, and what are some of the objectives that borough council will be working on in the near future?
Serving the people of Kennett Square has been very fulfilling for me for the 2 ½ years I have been on council. We have an exceptional borough manager and staff that help Kennett operate smoothly and efficiently. I think the current council has done a great job keeping the community informed of goings-on as well as actively soliciting ideas and feedback from residents to help us make decisions that are more informed. One of the most important decisions we made was the selection of a new Chief of Police following the retirement of Chief Ed Zunino. After an extensive search that garnered applicants from across the country and included numerous rounds of interviews, we felt the best decision was to promote from within and we chose Bill Holdsworth to lead the force. We couldn’t be happier with our decision. We participated in an economic development study with Kennett Township and various stakeholders, the Cannery Row project has helped continue the development in the southwest section of the Borough, The creation of the Advisory Commission of Latino Affairs has supported the Latino voice in town, and we are looking forward to a beautiful new Library on State Street. I think one of the priorities for this council in the near future will be to maintain a good working relationship with our friends at Kennett Township and work together to implement the priority actions identified in the economic development study. We have hired an economic development director, and we must keep our focus on smart development not just by increasing the tax base, but also by providing affordable housing, creating jobs in town, and looking for ways to maintain a positive mix of development that represents our very diverse community.
What are some of your favorite spots in Kennett Square?
Where to start? Depending on the time of day and what I’m in the mood for, I practically never have to leave town to have an enjoyable experience! Each restaurant in town has its merits, and sitting outside at LaVerona or Victory in the summer is always a great time where I get to meet so many friends and Borough residents. The Market at Liberty place has such a variety of offerings so it is a great place to go when I don’t want to cook or I’m indecisive. The Creamery has been a nice addition to Birch Street and is such a great family gathering spot. I enjoy the outdoor fun at Anson B. Nixon Park, and the summer concert series is definitely a favorite. I have to tell you though, on Friday nights during the fall we love to sit on our patio and listen to Leon Spencer announce the home football games at Kennett High School. Just sit outside, listen, and take in small town America.
If you could invite any three guests, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would it be?
That’s a much different question than it was 20 years ago! The internet and social media enable me to know so much more about and hear from potential living guests, as we can practically invite them over any time we want (or be continually reminded why we DON’T want them to be our guests).
That being said, I would really like to hang out with John Oliver from HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” so one of my guests is still alive. I’m sure his name is chosen a lot for this question, but I would definitely enjoyeth a dinner with Shakespeare. A little piece of trivia: Coincidentally, John Oliver, Shakespeare and I all have the same birthday, so that would be a great icebreaker. My sentimental pick—and I would jump at the chance—is to have a dinner conversation with my brother Andy, who passed away from leukemia in 1984. I would love to hear his voice again and reminisce about the 11 years we shared together.
What food is always in your refrigerator?
I am a condiment junkie, so name a sauce, spread, dip, dressing, marinade or any other flavoring accessory, it's in there.