Virtual Happy Hour on April 30th

Join us on April 30th at 5 pm to 6 pm Central Time for an SAWF Virtual Happy Hour. 

Connect with other women in automotive and share how you are adpating to the changes due to COVID-19 and learn how for others are adpating too. 

The meeting is taking place through Zoom. To attend you must register in advance using this link: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Help Inspire the Next Generation of Women in Automotive

December 3, 2019

Over 10 years ago, when I founded Southern Automotive Women’s Forum with a group of like minded and determined women, the “pull” was strong.  What started as a 5-minute introduction of my background at an SAC event became a “rallying cry” for a safe place to conduct professional development for women who were working in the Southeast but felt isolated and were unaware that other women were working in automotive nearby. 

In addition, there was a strong pull for women who wanted to be role models and supporters the next generation of girls in STEM.  The women already in automotive wanted to bring in the younger generation into the automotive space and share the benefits they had gained in their lives by working in this industry.  Women who had worked in t-shirt factories, pencil factories or stripped tobacco prior to working in automotive wanted to share their life-changing experiences with the next generation, whether it was an OEM, supplier or ancillary support organization.
Here we are 10 years later and, although progress has been made, the need to bring women into automotive in the Southeast as well as the need to “be what you can see” as role models for the next generation is more important than ever.  As more women enter the automotive ecosystem, the need to assure that they STAY in the industry and move up in leadership roles is crucial .  A recent USA Today article demonstrated with data, that although progress has been made, women in leadership roles in automotive are well below the average of other like industries. 
As a member of SAWF, you agree with our mission and vision.  As the founder of SAWF, I am asking you to donate to SAWF on this Giving Tuesday. 
Your donation will support:

  1. A group that has delivered significant content to allow women in the Southeast to grow as individuals and leaders in the automotive arena.
  2. All Girls Auto Know program that brings together educators, community organizations that support young women and those in the automobile industry including OEM’s, suppliers and ancillary organizations to demonstrate the excitement of a career in automotive by “doing”.
  3. Scholarships. this all volunteer organization has give out $330,000 in scholarships through the hard work of raising funds to support everything from auto mechanic certifications to PH.d’s in automotive engineering.
  4. Change. SAWF has raised the conversation in the Southeast by partnering with SAC and other partners to raise the level of awareness and bring the conversation on “why women in auto” from a taboo subject to one that is openly and often discussed.

As I end this letter I always look to one of my favorite quotes: “Never underestimate that a small group of people can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has”  Margaret Meade

Be the change you want to see. Donate today!

I appreciate your consideration of this request.


Susan Brennan                                                                                 
Founding Member of SAWF
SAWF Board Member

Mazda Toyota update: Production schedule, plant’s ripple effect on jobs

"When you work in manufacturing, you may not always get that viewpoint of you're doing something bigger than building a vehicle," said Lance Fulks, General Manager for Assembly at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, Inc.. "But being from the Huntsville area and to have the opportunity to impact 4,000 people positively, that's really motivating to me. It's a lot of fun and it's an exciting project." Read the complete story here on how Mazda Toyota is making an impact in Alabama.

Are you ready to work in a collaborative, growth-focused environment at the worlds most advanced automotive manufacturing operation? If so, we have unique opportunities to share with you at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing. VIsit

WIM Automotive South in Greenville, SC on October 29th

The Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Automotive South, a day-long conference for automotive manufacturing professionals takes place in Greenville, South Carolina on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 and will offer attendees great opportunities for education and networking. As a member of SAWF, you will be able to register at the discounted member rate of $199! Visit for more informaiton. Head to Greenville a day early to attend WiM’s new PEAK South conference on Monday, October 28!

The Southern Automotive Conference – Sept. 25 – 27


This year's conference focuses on the automotive industry’s Power of Performance. The South’s automotive power has been growing exponentially year over year. It’s time to put that performance into overdrive! SAC2019 is the place to be to connect with some of the biggest names in the industry and find out how to power up your performance.

This year’s networking opportunities start as early as breakfast and continue throughout the day. You will have time on your own in the evening to enjoy Nashville’s entire downtown area – in the performance capital of the South. You never know who you might bump into under the Nashville stars.

SAC2019 is powering up with some of the best and brightest in our industry. They’ll come prepared to speak and connect with attendees, and discuss how to improve performance across the automotive world. Click here to view the lineup.

Breakout Sessions
Breakout sessions are your opportunity to explore the topics that interest you. Polish your leadership skills and get inspired by new ideas. Click here to view the full schedule.

Music City Center

201 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203


The Southern Automotive Conference is presented jointly each year by the automotive manufacturing associations of Alabama (AAMA), Georgia (GAMA), Mississippi (MAMA) and Tennessee (TAMA). The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA), South Carolina Automotive Council (SCAC), and Southern Automotive Women's Forum (SAWF) are affiliate members of SAC.

10th Annual SAWF Conference Speakers Announced.

Nashville, TN May 29, 2019 – Southern Automotive Women’s Forum is pleased to announce its lineup of speakers for the 10th Annual SAWF Conference, Driving Forward Together, which will take place at the Hilton Franklin Cool Springs in Franklin, TN from July 25 to July 26th. SAWF’s Annual Conference brings together OEM’s, suppliers and service providers for an evening and full day of education and networking opportunities.

The conference opens Thursday evening with the President’s reception sponsored by Frost Todd Brown LLC.  Speakers on Thursday during the president’s reception includes:

Linda Miller, former Director of Manufacturing for Ford Motor Company. This automotive pioneer achieved a number of Ford Firsts culminating her career in being the first female Director of Manufacturing.

Mila Grigg, CEO of Moda Image Brand Consulting will give insight on how to and why you should build a personal brand.

Friday’s conference continues with the following speakers:

Opening the morning session is Doneen McDowell, Manufacturing Executive Director, GMNA Engine and GMCH Sites, General Motors. She will speak about making manufacturing a competitive advantage.

Our panel discussion will be about navigating the OEM and Supplier relationship. Moderator is Janette Hostettler, Vice President of Mazda Toyota with a panel of women-owned automotive suppliers including Ginger Bailey, Founder and CEO of Racemark International, Joan Benore, Vice President Administration of Benore Logistics, Linda Macht, president of Tottser-Iroquois Industries and Rosa Santana, Chief Executive Officer of Santana Group.

Our lunch keynote speaker will be Dr. Laura Lile of Lile Wellness Partners. She will address ways to healthily optimize your performance in the workplace.

The conference ends with the annual awarding of scholarships to women enrolled or who plan to enroll in a STEM related field such as science, technology, engineering or math and have an interest in the automotive/mobility industry.

For complete agenda, details on hotel and to register visit

The Southern Automotive Women’s Forum (SAWF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to the personal and professional advancement of women in the automotive industry.  SAWF achieves this mission by collaborating with industry partners to create educational, mentorship, and networking opportunities for its members.  Our members serve as strong role models for one another and for young women of all ages who are interested in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with the hope that they will apply these skills to the automotive industry of the future.  Since its inception in 2010, SAWF has awarded over $285,000 in scholarship funds to young women beginning their careers in STEM and to women seeking to enhance their opportunities.