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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Announces Recipients of Inaugural Lynne Mohr Scholarship for Skilled Trade Students

January 4, 2022

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Announces Recipients of Inaugural Lynne Mohr Scholarship for Skilled Trade Students

Funds to help students pursuing careers in manufacturing

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation is proud to announce the first recipients of the Lynne Mohr Scholarship for Skilled Trades Students, which was established to provide financial assistance to students pursuing careers in manufacturing.

In its inaugural year, the scholarship is named in honor of former Brite-O-Matic Manufacturing, Inc. President Lynne Mohr, whose dedication to the manufacturing industry were widely known through her philanthropy and service on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Mohr worked at Brite-O-Matic, the specialty car wash systems manufacturer founded by her father William Gasser, from age 14 through her retirement in 2018. The endowment for the scholarship was funded through the IMA Education Foundation and a weeks-long cross-country fundraising bike ride completed by Mohr’s cousin George Maurer, a Minneapolis adventure bicyclist.

An award of up to $1,000 was available to Illinois residents currently enrolled in an Illinois institution of higher education and studying in a skilled trade related field. Due to a strong applicant pool, three recipients were picked this year. They are:

  • David Mufata Ikeise, Heartland Community College, Bloomington, IL: Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, David is a U.S. citizen studying Industrial Technology with a focus on electric vehicles.
  • Brenda Lang, Heartland Community College, Bloomington, IL: Brenda is currently serving as an apprentice seeking to earn a certificate in Industrial Technology for Rivian, the electric vehicle company based in Normal, Illinois. Brenda plans to become a certified Tool and Die Maintenance Technician for Rivian.
  • Thomas Miller, Heartland Community College, Bloomington, IL: Thomas is studying Welding, Renewable Energy, Facility Maintenance and Robotics. Thomas discovered a passion for working with his hands at a young age while working alongside his dad.

“These students have demonstrated a passion for manufacturing and are excited at the prospect of working in a growing, cutting-edge industry. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the IMA Education Foundation are proud to help them work toward their goals as we seek to build a strong and skilled workforce,” said Sarah Hartwick, Vice President of Education and Workforce Development and Executive Director of the IMA Education Foundation. “Lynne Mohr’s legacy of advocacy and philanthropy will be carried on though this scholarship for years to come.”

About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities.  For more information, please visit