Medford Lakes woman named Environmental Advocate of the Year
01/08/2018 08:50 AM

Jeanne Gural vividly remembers the first time she was outside enjoying nature.

She was carrying a small box filled with worms as a little girl, stopping along the way to dig holes for her squirmy friends.

Throughout her childhood, Gural always bonded with animals. She rescued and adopted dogs, and started her own dog walk and pet-sitting business after high school.

It seemed as if a career in wildlife conservation was calling to her.

“I honestly thought I was born to work outside and in nature,” Gural said.

Today, the view from Gural’s office in the Nature Center of Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge on Sawmill Road is one of peace and serenity; trees, lakes and dirt trails extend as far as the eye can see. Gural has served as executive director there for nine years.

Her work at the wildlife refuge, as well as other nonprofits in the area, earned Gural recognition as Environmental Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners of South Jersey. She will be honored at the organization’s Beyond the Glass Ceiling Awards Gala Fundraiser at The Merion in Cinnaminson on Feb. 15.

“I’m very thankful,” Gural, of Medford Lakes, said of the award. “I always tried to be a voice for wildlife and environmental education, and habitat and wildlife conservation.”

After graduating from Pitzer College in California, the Palmyra native worked on wildlife and habitat-focused projects in areas like Venezuela, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama. She also worked for the U.S. Forest Service, served as Ecological Restoration Program Manager for Rutgers University, and as director of preserves for The Nature Conservancy.

She intended to go to graduate school after her trips abroad, but her plans were put on hold after she was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma at age 42.

“One of the great ironies of my life was that my cancer was environmental in nature,” Gural said.

It took eight months of chemotherapy and another year of recovery, but Gural is now ten years cured. She still dreams of earning her doctorate in wildlife ecology someday.

But in the meantime, Gural has her hands full at the Wildlife Refuge, which cares for injured animals, houses resident wildlife, hosts birthday parties and community events and offers environmental education programs.

One of her primary goals is making science accessible for children, especially young girls.

“Natural science is around us every day. It’s a shared community resource,” Gural said. “Living and working locally can have a global impact.”

Powered By CC-Assist.NET
About | BCRCC

The Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce (BCRCC) supports a culture where members build meaningful relationships to help advance their business opportunities through high-quality educational events and high-level networking. BCRCC fosters regional economic growth by connecting more than 500 businesses and 30,000 employees with unlimited opportunity to promote a healthy business climate. The organization invests in the future by empowering young professionals with a unique mentoring program that builds essential skills and relationships.

Connect with like-minded business people & develop meaningful relationships to grow your business.
Together we will succeed in developing business opportunities to strengthen the economic prosperity of our region.

Mission & Vision

Mission Statement: The mission of the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce is to promote, education, and advocate the growth, prosperity, and success of our members.

Vision Statement: The vision of the Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce is to be the gateway to prosperity for our members throughout the region.

Core Values

I) Integrity – We will conduct all affairs with honesty and transparency.

II) Leadership – We will guide economic and civic influence with direction and purpose.

III) Diversity – We will foster and promote an inclusive business environment.

IV) Connectivity – We will be the resource for business and civic educational and networking opportunities.

V) Advocacy – We will be active, vocal and visible.

Connect with like-minded business people through networking and educational opportunities. Learn as an attendee or position yourself as expert as a presenter at one of diverse programs. From networking events to special interest groups to genre specific education, there is a connection for everyone.

Grow your business through valuable connections and advocacy. Our personal and direct referrals to those individual you want to meet.  Position yourself as an expert through our blog or speaking opportunities. Join our Speaker’s Bureau for referrals to organizations within our community. Take advantage of special member discounts through our Affinity and Member Discount Programs. Our valuable resources will connect you to government entities and opportunities.

Share your success stories with others through weekly newsletters and blog.

We invite you to join our dynamic and growing membership.