SAWF’s Scholarship Program Continues Success with Record-Breaking Donations, Providing over $240,000 in Educational Funds

Nashville, Tenn., July 28, 2016 – The Southern Automotive Women’s Forum (SAWF) hosted its 8th annual conference in Nashville this past July, distributing $42,000 in scholarship funds to female students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM). This year marks SAWF as giving over $240,000 in scholarship donations since 2011!

Amy Moffat, SAWF President says, "our 2017 Annual Conference has been well-received by the Automotive community. I can't thank our sponsors and participants enough for the sold-out event and dynamic speakers. To have this chance to network with top professionals in the Automotive Industry and to support so many ladies through scholarship and mentorship is exactly why SAWF was established. I am looking forward to continued growth and new partnerships."

This year’s conference kicked off with a full job fair giving young women aspiring to join the automotive industry the opportunity to meet with the top professionals in automotive.

The 19 scholarship recipients include:

  • Deborah Yussuff, Georgia Southern University
  • Estefany Segura, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Taylor Winns, Clemson University
  • Treyonna Alston, South Carolina State University
  • Ashley McMullen, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Kousaalya Bakthavatchalam, Clemson University
  • Lauren Jones, Clemson University
  • Carley Horton, University of Tennessee
  • Veronica Herrera, Florida Polytechnic University
  • Naomi Florentino, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Alexandra Combs, West Virginia University
  • Bhavya Bhardwaj, Clemson University
  • Prerna Jain, Texas A&M University
  • Audra Chenoweth, North Carolina State University
  • Zoleikha Biron, Clemson University
  • Alaina McCrispin, Central Alabama Community College
  • Anna Hughes, Laureen B. Wallace Community College
  • A’sa Burcham, West Virginia State University

Automotive professionals from across the country gathered in Music City at the Hilton Garden Inn, Nashville to learn and share experiences with top industry experts. Each year, the SAWF annual conference attracts the best and the brightest in the automotive business. Speakers for this year’s conference included:

  • Jennifer Hill, Quality Strategy & Administration Manager, Nissan North America
  • Sally Williamson, Renowned Author, President/Founder of Sally Williamson & Associates
  • Cheryl Carrier, Executive Director of Ford Next Generation Learning
  • Plus, a Full Panel Discussion including Generation Z members who discussed Keying into the Future.

Sponsors for this year’s conference include:  Ford, FBTAuto, Toyota, Tenneco Clean Air North America, BMW Manufacturing Co., Calsonic Kansai North America, Inc., Nissan, Troy Olson Team, Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association, Jabil Engineered Solutions Group, Alabama Manufacturers Association, Clemson University, General Motors, Draxlmaier, Georgia Automotive Manufacturers Association, and Atlantic-Pacific Express, Inc.

To become a recognized scholarship donor, please visit! The SAWF hosts additional special events throughout the year, ranging from soirees and cocktail hours to dinners.

About SAWF: Southern Automotive Women’s Forum

The Southern Automotive Women’s Forum 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 also awarded over $200,000 in scholarship funds to young women beginning their careers in STEM and to women seeking to enhance their opportunities. 

AutoConnect 2017: Keynote Speaker Ron Kirk, Former U.S. Trade Representative

Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to Keynote AutoConnect 2017

Ambassador Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative and Dallas Mayor, will present the keynote speech at this year’s AutoConnect, the auto industry leadership event with the highest-level networking and most impactful educational sessions.

With global trade policy taking center stage in the Trump administration, it’s more important than ever to get an insider’s view on trade, jobs, the economy, and the political forces driving these issues.

To understand trade policy evolution, look no further than Ambassador Kirk:

  • As U.S. Trade Representative from 2009 to 2013, Ambassador Kirk helped broker the Trans-Pacific Partnership and successfully negotiated Congressional passage of trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and Russia's entry in the World Trade Organization. He also served on the frontlines of enforcing trade rules with China and other foreign competitors.
  • As the former Mayor of Dallas, he experienced first-hand the economic impact of NAFTA, as the city flourished under the newly signed agreement during his tenure.
  • Ambassador Kirk was the principal advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues for the White House from 2009-2013.

About AutoConnect

AutoConnect, scheduled for October 12 in Nashville, brings together the most prominent professionals in the automotive business for a day of networking and educational sessions. For more information on speakers and the program, visit

SAWF Scholarship in Memory of Lorie Shauntee-Nelson

It is with sadness that we announce that long-time member Lorie Michelle Shauntee-Nelson passed away on Friday, April 28, 2017 in Nashville, TN surrounded by family and loved ones at the age of 59.

Lorie’s passion for helping others and being a role model for women led her to be a founding board member of the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum in 2010. SAWF is a non-profit which promotes women in the automotive industry. During the first years of the organization in her many roles, she was an ambassador who used her vast network to bring women together to make the organization a success.

In SAWF’s first year, two scholarships were given. Both were due to Lorie’s commitment to the organization as she raised the money personally. These first scholarships gave SAWF credibility in its mission and visions and was the springboard to the current success of over $200,000 given away to date. As raising money for SAWF Scholarships was one of Lorie’s full time passions, it is only fitting that we create an annual Scholarship in her memory so that the future she was so focused on improving continues. 

Lorie was born in Terre Haute, Indiana to John A. and Barbara Jean Compton (both of whom preceded her in death). Lorie grew up in large loving family with four brothers John Jr. (who precedes her in death), Stanley, Michael, and Richard and two sisters Leslie King and Lynn Matthews.

Lorie was a radiant soul, she loved the Lord and enjoyed her membership at Cathedral of Praise. She loved life and loved her children and family. The void left by her passing is widespread but her presence will always be near.

Lorie leaves behind her loving husband Elder Phillip Nelson, her son Shadric Bazier, her daughter Kristal Clayton, and granddaughter Ashley Bazier; and a host of other loved ones and friends.
Members of SAWF met with Lorie's friends and family to celebrate her life last week in Nashville, TN

Lorie's family has asked that along with or in lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
Southern Women's Automotive Forum
C.O. SAWF Lorie Shauntee-Nelson Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 60128
Nashville, TN. 37206

Donations may be made online.

“Never underestimate the impact of a small group of people to change, the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." To paraphrase Margaret Meade, you could substitute Lorie’s name. Never underestimate the impact that Lorie had on positive change in the world.

All Girls Auto Know Shows Young Girls the World of STEM and Automotive

Last month, nearly 200 middle school girls got the chance to see behind the scenes into the automotive industry. It was part of the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum’s 9th All Girls Auto KnowTM event. works to promote STEM for careers in the Automotive to young girls. This SAWF outreach program invites Middle School girls to learn about the many options which exist for women in STEM and the Automotive Industry.

SAWF’s Past-President Cherie McCain took on the pilot program and developed it into a trademarked name. “We need more girls going to school in the first place,” she states, “so the best way to do that is to start out with them at an earlier age and to let them know that they have lots of choices.”

The event was held at Draxlmaier and big name companies like BMW, Michelin and Mercedes-Benz showed the girls that working on cars and pursuing a career in engineering isn’t just for boys. This event welcomed middle school girls from 8 schools in 2 counties. The day included an introduction to STEM and careers in automotive from SAWF, a tour of the new Greenville Tech Center for manufacturing innovation, a design of experiments hands-on project, and an expo of STEM and Auto representatives from education and businesses including Clemson, BMW, Michelin, Draexlmaier, Bosch and Benore Logistics.

“More boys think that this is just for boys. But I’ve thought about doing this a lot because I love cars, and just like the idea of it,” says Miller Schachner, an eighth-grade student at Dawkins Middle School.

The girls got the chance to see how car parts are made, and got the chance for a hands-on challenge in engineering. The goal is to show girls there are plenty of options for them to follow their dreams, and get the job they want.

“It’s very inspiring. It makes you push more to be where they are and learn about how they’re doing and how they’re succeeding, and what you can do to be on their level or where their accomplishments are,” says Tiraney Petty, an eighth-grade student at Fairforest Middle School.

For the next school year, SAWF plans to host All Girls Auto KnowTM in SC again, but also to expand the program into other SC regions and into Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA.

If you would like to support a future All Girls Auto KnowTM  event, please contact Cherie McCain.  

Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Elects New President

 Nashville, Tenn., February 5, 2017 – The  Southern Automotive Women’s Forum (SAWF)  elected Amy Moffatt to serve as President for  2017 during their Annual Retreat in early February.  Amy has been involved with SAWF since 2014  and shares a passion for supporting fellow  females in the Automotive industry and showing  the next generation of how rewarding a STEM education and career can be.

Amy Moffatt believes that membership and involvement in the Southern Automotive Women’s Forum is important because of what the group offers and how it can influence fellow females into STEM related education and careers. The SAWF is dedicated to educating others about the qualities and benefits that women can bring to an organization or male dominated careers.

“SAWF provides an incredible network of like-minded females who work in an industry where females are severely underrepresented. The SAWF provides support to one another and a shared sense of responsibility for improvement for the generations who follow,” Amy states. “When you see other females like yourself who have made it in automotive industry, it makes you feel more confident. By becoming a member of SAWF, I am committed to being available as a mentor to younger females and to doing my best in furthering the mission of SAWF.”

Amy Moffatt is a Senior Manager in the Operations Management Development Division of Toyota Motor North America with responsibility for the strategic deployment of Toyota Production Systems. She was previously a Manufacturing Manager at the West Virginia Powertrain facility. Prior to her career at Toyota, Amy worked as an Engineer for Monsanto, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, and as Plant Manager of TWFitting and Danahaer.

As a graduate of the University of Alabama in Electrical Engineering, Amy later earned a Master of Science in Engineering and Technology from Oklahoma State University. Aside from serving the SAWF board and her dedicated career in the Automotive Industry, Amy is a full-time mother and wife to her daughter, son and husband. In her free time, she travels with her family and is highly involved in her local community through her church and children’s schools.