Jess Gregan Class of 2020 BEQ Pride LGBTQ+ Leader Under 40
(She, Her) is 27
By 2030, the climate crisis has started to reverse as individuals and communities work to heal their imbalanced relationships with the natural world through the revolutionary practice of forest therapy.
Jess Gregan is a social-minded LGBTQ entrepreneur and nonprofit leader. She has dedicated her career to creating a more connected and compassionate world. As a pioneer in the nature therapy movement, Jess founded Philadelphia’s first forest therapy firm, Wild Philadelphia LLC. Headquartered in Center City Philadelphia, Jess’ woman and LGBTQ-owned business helps people cultivate greater self-awareness, deeper listening skills, empathy, and an understanding of our shared ecosystem. Jess views forest therapy as a mechanism of broad social change, helping repair the connection between human beings and the natural world.
Along with her entrepreneurship, Jess has proven herself an impactful nonprofit leader. She previously served as associate director of the Independence Business Alliance, Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, where she was instrumental in fostering the growth of the local LGBTQ business community. She created new programming with a focus on diversity and made thoughtful connections to grow the organization’s reach, impact and funding.
Year after year, Jess demonstrated her steadfast commitment to expanding opportunity for everyone in the LGBTQ community by facilitating win-win partnerships that generated tangible business and social impact. She currently serves as a development manager for the Philadelphia Outward Bound School (POBS) where she works hard to grow the resources that allow POBS to serve over 6,000 students per year through leadership-building wilderness expeditions. Her work with Outward Bound aligns seamlessly with her commitment to creating a more compassionate culture of triple-bottom-line leaders that care for people and the planet.
Jess’ core values — and by extension her business’ — are reciprocity, empathy, creativity, flexibility, and trust. Jess embodies each of these in everything she does. Her passion to create a more compassionate world shines through every day, in every interaction, no matter how small.
Last July while kayaking through Norway, Jess and Cecilia, her partner and best friend, were engaged. In October, she celebrated earning her official certification through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. She is currently helping to form a collective of ecopsychology leaders working to advance this field in the Philadelphia region.