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LRIW names scholarship in memory of former leader Connie Sumara


The League of Railway Industry Women's (LRIW) board recently voted to name an annual scholarship in memory of former LRIW President Connie Sumara, who died March 2.

This year, the league plans to award three $3,000 scholarships to the dependent children of LRIW members and members themselves, and one will become the Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship.

A LRIW founder and its longest-serving president, Sumara worked for Chicago Freight Car Leasing Co. (CFCL) for 26 years, beginning her career as office manager and ultimately working her way up to vice president and director of customer support, LRIW officials said in a press release. She retired in November 2012. The league thanks CFCL for helping to make the Connie Sumara Memorial Scholarship possible, LRIW officials said.

"Connie led by example as she sought opportunities to keep our industry progressing forward, and this was extremely evident in her work to develop and grow the LRIW," said Fred Sasser, chief executive officer of Sasser Family Holdings, CFCL's parent company. "This scholarship mirrors that dedication to progress and growth through the opportunity it provides for the recipients, who themselves have set out to lead by example. We can’t think of a better way to honor Connie than through a scholarship that recognizes others with her ambition."

Sumara made significant contributions to the launch and growth of the LRIW, and was an active board participant even in retirement, said LRIW President Susan Robertson.

"We wanted her legacy to live on and thought the scholarship to an LRIW member seeking higher education and training or a college student would be a great way to accomplish that," she said.

Applications for LRIW's 2014/15 LRIW scholarships are due July 1. To learn more about the annual scholarship program, click here.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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