The Women of Today’s Manufacturing (WOTM) ( is excited to announce a new scholarship endowment during its 2019 annual scholarship dinner and silent auction event on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at Franchesco’s Ristorante in Rockford, Illinois.

“We are partnering with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois to support one woman’s annual enrollment in the RVC-NIU Engineering program,” says Carrie Zethmayr, WOTM president. “We funded the endowment with an initial $15,000 and set a goal to reach $50,000 in raised funds by the end of 2019.”

Each year, one woman will receive $2,000 towards two classes and all applicable books for their fall and spring semesters. This new $50,000 endowment supports the WOTM’s mission to establish and advance career pathways for women in local manufacturing.

The new endowment will be named the “WOTM Ruthann Gaston Women in Engineering Scholarship Fund,” named after one of WOTM’s charter members and long-time volunteers, Ruthann Gaston. “Ruthann has volunteered withWOTM since it was founded in 2003,” said Teresa Beach-Shelow, WOTM Vice President. “In that time, she has been most involved in administering WOTM’s scholarship program. She has had an incredible impact on the community – we are grateful for her leadership.”

The event is a fundraiser for WOTM’s scholarship fund, which supports both the new endowment and existing scholarship programs. The event features a keynote presentation from Monika Black, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Leadership Catalyst for TandemSpring (, Chicago.

Those interested in donating to the WOTM Ruthann Gaston Women in Engineering Scholarship can make donations directly to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois at

Event sponsors included 2HB Human Resources & Benefits Planning Solutions, Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc., Blackhawk Bank, North American ToolRockford Ball Screw, and Wipfli.