Our Staff

Administration/Nature Center Staff
Jeanne Gural, Executive Director
In 2009, Cedar Run welcomed its current executive director, Jeanne Gural. Ms. Gural comes to Cedar Run from The Nature Conservancy where she served as the Director of Preserves. Ms. Gural also served as the Ecological Restoration Program Manager for Rutgers University, where she also attended graduate courses in Wildlife Ecology. During her time with the Claremont Colleges, Jeanne worked on wildlife and habitat focused projects in biologically diverse areas such as Venezuela, Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama.  Jeanne is a New Jersey native, like many of the wildlife we see, having grown up in Palmyra where she and her four brothers all attended high school. 

John Dixon, Donor Relations Manager
John joined the Cedar Run team as Donor Relations Manager in February 2016. He comes to Cedar Run with a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector, having led organizations focused on economic development, emerging technologies and entrepreneurship and EMS 911 prehospital ambulance service. A six-year veteran of the US Army, having served as a combat medic and behavioral science specialist, John earned a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from West Chester University and a Master of Public Administration (with a specialization in non-profit and local government) from Widener University.  John is a resident of Woodbury, NJ and enjoys coaching his daughter’s soccer team, biking, and his three male Tabby cats.  

Kathy Cantafio, Office Manager/Bookkeeping
Kathy has been working at Cedar Run since the Fall of 2009. Kathy has many duties at the Refuge and definitely holds the place together. Even though she is very busy she never minds spending time chatting with our many visitors. A North Jersey native, she now resides in Chatsworth with her husband Louis.  In her spare time, Kathy loves entertaining her friends (she's a great cook!), gardening, hiking, and birding.

Jennifer Van Istendal, Executive Assistant
Jen first started at Cedar Run volunteering in the rehab hospital in March 2015 and started training with the education team in November of 2015. She recently joined the Nature Center staff while still volunteering in the rehab hospital and continuing her training with the education crew. Jen is a Pine Barrens native, born and raised in Shamong, and received her B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy from the University of South Florida. Currently, Jen is studying for her M.S. in Conservation Biology with Green Mountain College and hopes to continue working in the conservation field where she can help protect endangered and native species and preserve wildlife and their habitats. In her free time, Jen loves kayaking, hiking, nature photography, gardening, and playing with her 3 crazy dogs.

Wildlife Rehabilitation:
Lori Swanson, Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation
Lori began volunteering at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in 2007 and quickly became seasonal staff and an apprentice in the Wildlife Hospital.  In the winter of 2011 Lori became the Assistant Manager of the hospital and subsequently became the Director of Wildlife Rehabilitation in December 2012.  Lori has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, and for nine years worked in human genetic testing laboratories before becoming a full-time member of the Cedar Run staff.  She has completed internships at the Pinelands Institute of Rutger’s University and at the Philadelphia Zoo under their Education program working with a variety of reptiles.  Lori also spent two months in South Africa in 2011 volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic near Durban.  

Mike O'MalleyAssistant Director of Rehabilitation and Volunteer Coordinator
Mike started at Cedar Run as an intern in our Wildlife Hospital in 2011, and accepted a staff position in the Wildlife Hospital upon the completion of his internship. Mike became the Assistant Director of the Wildlife Hospital in the summer of 2015. Mike has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He completed his state wildlife rehabilitation apprenticeship at Cedar Run and is a NJ State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.  In his free time, Mike enjoys training and handling our resident raptors for education programs. When not at Cedar Run, Mike can be found hiking, camping, and enjoying the outdoors!

Ed Powrie, Wildlife Technician
Ed is a dedicated staff member who has been caring for our Resident Wildlife for more than 25 years. He is a movie buff, sci-fi enthusiast, and avid reader in his spare time.

Denise Peters, Director of Education
Denise has a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Pennsylvania State University. She has worked in Environmental Education for more than a decade and has a passion for teaching and getting kids into the outdoors with hands-on learning.  She is certified through NAI and active in numerous conservation organizations. Denise is a Pennsylvania native, but has also taught Environmental Education in New Mexico and Ohio before returning to the area to be closer to  family.  When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, birding, gardening, cooking, running and hiking.

Erin Kiefer, Senior Educator
Erin started as a summer camp intern at Cedar Run in May 2009 and quickly became a full-time staff member in our Education Department. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Stockton College and grew up near the shore in Ocean County. Before starting at Cedar Run, Erin worked as an outreach intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR. She still volunteers there whenever she can. When not at Cedar Run, Erin enjoys hiking, crafting, photography, and rock climbing. In January 2015, Erin won the "Outstanding Environmental Educator" award from ANJEE (Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education).

Cheryl Fisher, Educator and Wildlife Assistant
Cheryl has worked in formal education for 10 years, and informal education for 14 years.  A graduate of both Camden County College with Associate’s Degrees in Environmental Science and Biology, she also received her B.S. in Biology with honors from Rowan University. Cheryl has been an enthusiastic and active member of our organization since 2011 when she began as an intern for our Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital. An avid birder, hiker, and outdoorswoman, it was only natural for her to join our education team as well. Within a few months, she was leading tours and programs, sharing her stories with students and adults alike. Even on her days off, you may find her strolling through the trails with her majestic friend, Genesis (our resident female red-tail), educating visitors at Cedar Run.

Lee Yeash, Educator
Lee is a jack of all trades, but started with us as a volunteer in the Wildlife Hospital in 2011 to utilize her nursing skills.  She then volunteered with Education Department working on our education "Bird Team” in 2011, and later as a part-time educator in 2013, because she enjoys sharing her knowledge of the environment, conservation and wildlife with all kinds of people.  A mother of 4, an avid baker and knitter, Lee also enjoys the outdoors and hiking in the Pinelands with her black lab whenever possible.

Karen Hilyard, Educator and Nature Center Staff
Karen has been involved with Cedar Run since spring of 2012 when she first volunteered at the Rehab. Hospital. Since then she has worked with the education staff and at the nature center. She continues to volunteer at the rehab during the spring/summer busy season. In her spare time Karen volunteers with a parrot rescue where she works to socialize parrots that are in need of a permanent home as well as helps to screen potential adopters and prepare them for living with a rescued bird. Karen graduated from Rutgers University with a Business Management degree in 2005. 

Jayne Selwa, Educator
Jayne has been an educator in both formal and informal settings since 1986. She earned her B.S. in Ecosystem Ecology from UCONN and her teaching credential and Masters in Education from the University of California in Santa Barbara. Jayne began volunteering in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital shortly after moving back to New Jersey in 2007, and quickly began working for the Education Department as well. She leads our monthly Night Hike series, as well as other educational programs for children and adults. In addition to her work at Cedar Run, she is also a high school science and math teacher and curriculum designer. An avid birdwatcher and naturalist, she enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, arts and crafts, and playing the fiddle.

Amy RibinskyEducator, Summer Camp Staff, and Nature Center Staff
Amy is a student at Rowan University and has been with Cedar Run since 2012. She maintains one of the head counselor positions at summer camp, volunteers at the hospital during baby season, and jumps in wherever else help is needed for programs and festivals. Amy has lived in Medford her whole life and practically grew up in the woods behind her house. Her favorite places at Cedar Run are the Jersey Devil house and, of course, the swamp, where she loves taking her campers to explore and get muddy.

Sam DonnellyEducator and Summer Camp Staff
Sam started as a volunteer for our summer camp in 2012 and became a staff counselor the following year. Since then she has been promoted to head counselor, learned to handle animals, currently works in the rehab, nature center, and goes to programs and festivals year round. When she is not at the refuge, Sam is a student at Rutgers University and volunteers as an EMT for Medford EMS. 

Veronica Williamson
, Educator and Nature Center Staff
Veronica is our "Bug Lady" and teaches children in our summer camp and homeschool programs. When she is not teaching or working the front desk at the Nature Center, Veronica is working towards her Master's Degree in Entomology at Rutgers University. Having lived in Burlington County all her life, Veronica has come to love the surrounding Pinelands and the creatures that live there. In her free time she enjoys creating miniature scale dollhouses, collecting insects, touring historical mansions, hiking and riding her bike.

Kristen Volpi, Educator
Kristen started as educator at Cedar Run in February 2015. She has B.S. in Captive Wildlife Care and Education and a B.A. in Art and the Environment from Unity College in Unity, Maine.  Kristen had previously interned at Topeka Zoo in Kansas, where she worked with everything from lions, tigers, and elephants all the way down to goats and a spunky llama. Kristen is a member of the AAZK where she has published a paper on animal training. Kristen is a New Jersey native, in her free time she enjoys herping, collecting bones and artifacts, and taking care of her critters.

Fred Betts, Educator
Fred is Network Engineer, outdoor enthusiast and a licensed falconer. He started in Wildlife Hospital as a volunteer in 2013 and has since become part of the Education team. His passion for birds of prey, since childhood, has driven him to become and active part of New Jersey raptor conservation efforts. Fred can be found at the Refuge every Sunday morning and is always willing to introduce visitors to his feathered friends.

Katie CorrisEducator and Summer Camp Staff
Katie began as a rehab volunteer in the spring of 2014 and has been in love with Cedar Run ever since. On top of her rehab hours she volunteers with the education team, working with many of our resident raptors and reptiles, giving tours, and attending festivals. This past summer she became a staff member, working with the kids summer camp program. When she's not at the refuge, Katie is working towards her Wildlife and Conservation degree at Delaware Valley University, in hopes to continue a similar career path in the near future. Her favorite things to do at Cedar Run include swamp days during camp, hiking our many beautiful trails, feeding babies in the hospital, and assisting with enrichment for our resident wildlife.

Pat Gurgul, Educator
Pat has been teaching environmental and nature education programs in South Jersey for the last 15 years. She is a certified teacher and has a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences. Pat had visited and studied conservation efforts in Kenya, Baja, Thailand, Borneo, Ecuador, and the Amazon. As a resident of the Pinelands, Pat would like everyone to see the beauty and uniqueness of this area. She can be found on the ski slopes in the winter and at the shore in the summer when she is not a Cedar Run.

Vacant -- Buildings and Grounds

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Wildlife Rescue
Wildlife Hospital:

4 Sawmill Road | Medford, NJ 08055
Ph: (856) 983 3329

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