A self-described 'people person,' Jan Hafer looks forward to her new role as the community's liaison to Shepherdstown's many traveling friends, as she was recently named the new director of the Shepherdstown Visitor's Center.
"I was really excited," she said upon being offered the job.
"I really like talking about Shepherdstown because I love it."
A native of Shepherdstown, Hafer has lived all throughout the country over the course of her life, only to return to the place she considers home three years ago with plans to retire and become active in local service.
"I was really interested in getting more involved in Shepherdstown," she said.
Hafer grew up downtown as the daughter of a Shepherd College history professor and lived with her parents in what is now the "Trinity House," next to the Trinity Episcopal Church.
After graduating from Shepherd herself in 1974, with a degree in Education, Hafer went on to teach at the Martinsburg School of the Deaf, the West Virginia School for the Deaf in Romney and the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, before most recently teaching at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Upon retirement in August, Hafer said that by luck and chance she found an opportunity at the visitor's center that fits her perfectly.
"It was perfect timing," she said.
Hafer, who has spent the last month getting to know the center's staff and meeting with members of the business community, said she is grateful for the opportunity to serve as director and described the importance of the role the visitor's center takes in promoting the town.
She said the visitor's center provides the public everything from free water on hot days, to local maps, historical information, local restaurant menus, postcards, recreational recommendations, information on town events, lodging information, and more.
Hafer praised the entirely volunteer staff of approximately 16 people who greet visitors with friendly faces and considerable knowledge about the town.
"They are dedicated Shepherdstownians," she said.
"They take a real active role in promoting the town."
Hafer said the visitor's center has plans to add a couple of new services for travelers in the next year, including a public use computer.
The visitor's center will also expand its role in community organizing by offering support to the Christmas in Shepherdstown Committee before next year's holiday season.
The Shepherdstown Visitor's Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. More information about the Shepherdstown Visitor's Center can be found by visiting www.shepherdstownvisitorscenter.com.