Meet Janet Garraty, Director of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, and new member of Impact100 South Jersey this year. Janet first heard about Impact100 from Kyle Ruffin, whom she’s known for several years. And she knew she wanted to become a member even before she attended a virtual member cultivation information session last fall.
What intrigued Janet the most about Impact100? “I enjoy collaborating with women of high leadership quality who know how to make a difference in our world, whether through volunteering or working. And networking with other members is important to my role as Chamber Director, enhancing our ability to positively influence the economic, civic and cultural wellbeing of our community.”
Since graduating from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) with a bachelor’s degree in Law and Justice, Janet has enjoyed many opportunities to develop her leadership skills. While helping to open the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, she became well-versed in state gaming commission regulations while learning how to manage chaos in a fast-paced, rapidly growing environment. Later, during her time as an investigator with the New Jersey State Insurance Fraud Division, Janet developed the critical thinking skills necessary to solve cases, discerning how to ask the right questions and listening to what is said, as well as what is left unsaid.
Those skills positioned Janet to pursue opportunities in media and publishing, including a reporter job for a weekly publication called The Current Newspaper. While working as a reporter covering local planning and school boards, Janet learned how local governments work and how important ordinary citizen and parent involvement is to the wellbeing of the community.
She went on to launch her own print magazine and later transformed it into a digital publication called Go Jane News. “My time in public relations taught me the importance of brand communication – how to gather information and develop a story.”
When asked how the COVID pandemic has affected her in her new role as Gloucester County Chamber director, Janet responded, “The past year has certainly been very challenging for us. The Board wants to develop, maintain and grow a greater sense of community in the county. We are all active volunteers and are anxious to get back out there, face-to-face with our constituents, to make that a reality.”
A common thread throughout Janet’s adult life is enjoying working with other women, and she feels very fortunate for the opportunities she’s had to do so. “As a new member of Impact100 SJ, I’m truly looking forward to getting involved with some committee work, and further expanding my sphere of influence to improve the lives of others in our southern New Jersey community.”
Janet and her husband Chris have been married for 33 years and have 2 adult children. Over the years, they have enjoyed many laughs and raising a family together. “Spending time with my family is very important to me, and will be my greatest legacy.”