While the Square Roots Collective name is relatively new, its genesis was over 25 years ago when Dot and Mike Bontrager moved to the Kennett Square area to launch Chatham Financial, a financial derivatives advisory and technology company. Our goal was to build a different kind of finance company that put the trust of its clients and employees ahead of profit. We never imagined Chatham would grow to our current size of over 700 employees in 7 offices on 4 continents working with some of the largest companies around the world. We believe Chatham’s success was driven by our dedication to creating a culture that encourages our clients and employees to thrive. This culture in turn has created the ability to attract truly amazing people who are aligned in purpose and values.
When Mike started Chatham we moved to Southern Chester County to be near family but along the way, fell in love with the people, diversity, beauty, history and – perhaps because of the area’s rich Quaker heritage – the strong community spirit to love and care for everyone, regardless of background. Mike grew up the son of a Mennonite minister and Dot the daughter of a Mennonite dairy farmer and from an early age were both taught that faith needs to be demonstrated in all relationships. And it continues to be our faith today that inspires, grounds and motivates us. We so appreciate our rich heritage, which emphasized loving God, caring and striving for peace with others, and bettering the local community.
We raised our four daughters in the Borough, each graduating from Kennett High School. Our son-in-law is also a Kennett grad and is the first in his Mexican immigrant family to graduate from high school or college. He and our daughter (with our handsome grandson!) are pursuing real estate careers in Washington, DC. After college our second daughter spent several years in the Dominican Republic working for an education non-profit and is now using her Spanish fluency at her position at Kennett High School, working with students who have limited proficiency in English. Our third daughter recently got married and moved to Kentucky where she and her husband are working in broadcast journalism. Our fourth daughter recently graduated from college and is pursuing a career in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.