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November 30, 2018
Authentic: Doug Doerfler & Anne Ashbrook
When Doug Doerfler began working at Genesis Healthcare in 2008, he knew he wanted to move to Kennett Square. “It felt like home, where I was meant to be,” he says. “But there was a missing piece.” He met his wife Anne Ashbrook at a blood drive, and once the couple took up residence on Union Street the whole town began to feel more complete.
Their approach to supporting and engaging in the community they love is simple: “We try to attend everything!” They love the special events, businesses, and restaurants, “But what makes them amazing,” says Anne, “is the people. They’re family.”
For Doug, giving back to “this awesome town” meant running for the Borough Council (Anne was his unofficial but tenacious campaign manager) and serving on numerous boards, commissions, and task forces. These include the Chamber of Commerce’s newest task force, which is considering holistic solutions to challenges in the mushroom industry.
Both Anne and Doug are passionate about maintaining the vibrant multi-culturalism and small-town feel as Kennett Square develops. “We think of history as the 1700s,” Doug says, “but we’re also going to be someone’s history. In England, the grand buildings we admire are churches, libraries, government buildings. When they were built, they stood out because they were new, big, and exciting. It’s OK for us to think like that. What will people say about our new library 200 years from now?” Building relationships, they say, is the key as people listen respectfully to one another’s different points of view.
Anne and Doug feel a deep sense of connection here. The couple enjoys traveling widely, but when a vacation is over, Anne says, “I feel like I haven’t lost anything. I get to go home to Kennett Square.”