Each year, there is something truly memorable about the NJ SWEP Gala. Whether it’s scorching temperatures and warm wine, a venue that takes one’s breath away, or a speech by the VIP that truly makes a lasting impact on all who hear it, the Gala is often the most talked about event of the year. This year, attendees at the 8th Annual New Jersey Society of Women Environmental Professionals Gala were treated to a fantastic water front view and a glimpse of New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship, the A.J. Meerwald, which was anchored several hundred meters from the party.
NJSWEP members and friends honored a very deserving and passionate environmental professional and visionary: Meghan E. Wren. Meghan dreamed of making a real difference in the Delaware Bayshore area of NJ. But she didn’t stop at dreaming and she didn’t let setbacks throw her ”off course” (pun most certainly intended). She persevered until the Bayshore Discovery Center in Bivalve, NJ and the restored Meerwald were both thriving realities. It is for this commitment to history, education, stewardship, community, and the natural environment of the Delaware Bay that NJSWEP honored her at this year’s Gala. It was our great pleasure to meet Meghan, to hear her stories and to present her with the Growing Great Women in the Garden State award. This year, the blue and orange colors of the lovely glass globe created once again by GlassRoots reflected the Gala’s theme- Sunset on the Water.
Planning for this year’s Gala took an interesting twist. In addition to finding a venue that could accommodate our attendees and fulfill our usual needs and desires, we wanted to find a place to showcase the Meerwald, the ship so lovingly restored to glory by our Growing Great Women in the Garden State awardee. Seabra’s Armory in Perth Amboy fit the bill beautifully, with a lovely view of the harbor, sunset and ship. We were so glad to be able to be on the waterfront, with the ship nearby, as we honored Meghan and all that she has accomplished.
This year’s Gala continued the tradition of not only honoring an amazing woman who has already accomplished so much but also recognizing young women with the potential to do so as well. Two impressive students were awarded NJSWEP Scholarships. Danielle Nichols of William Patterson University was presented with the Undergraduate Scholarship and Natalie Sherwood of Montclair State University received the Graduate Scholarship. NJSWEP congratulates these women and wishes them all the best as they ”set sail” into the future of their environmental careers.
Check out some great photos from the 2014 Gala here.
NJSWEP was honored to have a very special guest attend the Gala this year. Perth Amboy’s first woman mayor and the only elected Latina mayor in NJ, Wilda Diaz, joined us and spent a few moments addressing guests. She thanked us for choosing her beloved hometown for our Gala, spoke a bit of her passion for the city and the waterfront, and shared with us her dedication to preserving and restoring the city’s historical resources- a perfect fit considering our awardee’s similar commitments. We were so pleased that Mayor Diaz accepted our invitation to attend and celebrate with us.
So many people helped make this year’s Gala a success. The ”crew” included Tali MacArthur, Jeanne Mroczko, Elizabeth Limbrick, Jillian Mooney, Sharon McSweiney, Jeena Sheppard, Linda Watson and Beth Hyde.
Support from our very generous sponsors kept this year’s Gala ”afloat.” We sincerely thank:
GEI Consultants, Inc.
Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP
SWEP of Greater Philadelphia
Brinkerhoff Environmental Services, Inc.
Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Environmental
Geo-Cleanse International, Inc.
Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
O’Brien & Gere
Quest Environmental & Engineering
Wetlands and Environmental Technology, Inc.