Friday, April 19, 2024

SCCC Celebrates Women’s History Month with Guest Speaker

Ruth Perretti, Marketing Consultant, will be keynote speaker at Mar. 21st SCCC event

PRESS RELEASE: SCCC, Newton (February 19, 2024) – In recognition of Women’s History Month, Sussex County Community College’s Foundation will hold its annual “100 Women Project” Event. This event will be held on Wednesday, March 21, and feature Marketing Consultant Ruth Perretti as the keynote speaker.

Ruth will explore the topic of CHANGING CAREERS: the Risks, the Challenges, and the Joys. As a fashion designer, creative director, marketing consultant, restauranteur, farmer, and founding miller of Marksboro Mills, Ruth has experienced it all.

After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., Ruth started her fashion, design, and marketing career in the early 80s. For more than 23 years, she worked for Ralph Lauren, first as Creative Director of Men’s Design and then as Senior Vice President of Women’s Design. She also had her own branding and creative consultancy with clients that included Newman’s Own, Timberland, and Spike Lee.

Ruth’s involvement in agriculture began when she and her future husband, Eric Kaplan, opened a restaurant in Montclair, “Ruthie’s BBQ and Pizza.” Over the years, Ruthie’s became the “go-to” place for family gatherings and weekend music. Ruth’s family had owned a farm in Marksboro, NJ, that had been a summer and holiday retreat. 

In 2016, Ruth left her work in design and committed full-time to running the restaurant. What first started with organic produce for the restaurant evolved into full-on organic grain growing. Ruthie’s served pizza made from her organic flour. This led to the creation of Marksboro Mills in order to provide an infrastructure for milling her grain and providing a mill for other grain growers in the region.

In August 2023, Ruthie and Eric sold their restaurant after 17 years in business and are now full-time residents in Marlboro. She is excited about the future evolution of the Marksboro Mills as an example of how rural communities can build their own “grain shed.” She believes the Mill can be a tool for restoring the land and rural communities.

The mission of the 100 Women Project is to raise funds for scholarships for non-traditional women students attending SCCC. Many of these women had an interruption in their studies for various reasons, such as raising a family, serving in the military, having a career change, or hardship. 

The 100 Women Project brings together women for networking and important topics. The project seeks to grow its membership to help more women in Sussex County gain new skills through education.

The event will be held on Wednesday, March 21, at 9 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Sussex County Community College, One College Hill Road, Newton, NJ.

To register for the event visit sussex.edu/100womenproject, email foundation@sussex.edu, or call 973-300-2332 by March 14.