Fastener News Desk is excited about our new interview series with Women in the Fastener Industry (WIFI) @FastenerWomen, to join in the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the organization. Women in the Fastener Industry provides opportunities for women in the fastener industry at all levels of experience. They work together to unite, educate, mentor and encourage one another, for the express purpose of advancing women in the fastener industry.

We wanted to know who inspired these dynamic women to reach for the stars in their careers.

First up is the infamous ‘Rosa the Riveter” Ms. Rosa E. Hearn

Fastener News Desk:

Who inspires you to reach for the stars in your career Rosa? It can be anyone a family member, a teacher,  a co-worker, anyone you choose. You are not limited to choose one. We think it’s important to recognize the people that lift us up to see our own greatness. 


Rosa E. Hearn:

My mother was one of nine children,  and being the oldest had a huge impact on the way her life unfolded. In her early years, before the age of nine, my grandmother took my mother out of school permanently to work full -time to help pay the mortgage for the house. Her father had left the family to be with another woman, and her mother was a dressmaker who didn’t make enough to support a family of ten.  So my mother became one of those children you see at the border selling candy to strangers in Mexico. 

By 15, she met a man that would sweep her off her feet and decided to marry him.  Unfortunately, the marriage did not turn out as she had hoped.  She has many memories from that marriage, but they are not happy ones. Memories of hot water spilling over her from his rage, and stitches in the back of her head after a bad fall.  She felt trapped in the marriage after giving birth to three children, but finally left him and moved in with one of her sisters to escape and save the children.

One day an ex-coworker called to let her know there was a work visa available to her if she wanted to come to the United States.  But there was a problem, she didn’t speak English and the visa only extended to her and not her children.  So she spoke to her oldest child about the opportunity and at the sweet age of 7, the little girl said, “It’s okay mommy, I know you love us and you’ll be back.”  It was probably the most painful experience of my mother’s life. 

Years past and she sent what she could to help support her three children in Mexico. She lived in her car, stayed at friends’ houses and slept on park benches.  She was homeless and living on faith, until the day she met my father.  She eventually married him, and together they built a home, brought the children to the United States, welcomed my brother and myself to their amazing family and built a solid foundation for us to thrive upon.  

So you ask me, who inspires me?  My answer is easy, my mother is the one that inspires me.  If she was able to come to this country heartbroken, with no money, no education, and not able to speak the language to communicate with anyone; then there is no excuse I can ever give to not succeed.  My strength, my tenacity and my ability to never give up, all stems from my mother’s ability to push thru the impossible, thrive and come out on the other side stronger than ever.  I am grateful every day for being part of this great family and industry. 

To my mother who I love deeply, Thank You for everything you have done for me and given to me.  I promise to always make you proud. 


About Rosa:

Rosa E. Hearn | Brighton Best International | Product Manager

Rosa E. Hearn also known as Rosa the Riveter is the Product Manager for the Proferred Rivet line at Brighton-Best International. She is also involved in Global Marketing and the development of the Latin market for the Ironclad Performance Wear division.   Rosa is also the current Chairwoman of Women in the Fastener Industry and is Vice Chairman for the Fastener Industry Coalition.

Ms. Hearn has been named 2018 Woman of the Year in the Business Category by Senator Josh Newman and the California State Legislature.  Rosa is also the 2016 Innovative Importer of the year, courtesy of Women in International Trade-LA and the California State Assembly board. 

Rosa is a Certified Fastener Specialist from the Fastener Training Institute and holds a degree from El Dorado College in accounting and received her certification in exporting by the Trade X University from the Port of Long Beach.  Ms. Hearn comes to BBI with 25+ years of previous sales and management experience in distribution, manufacturing and secondary processing.

During her years at BBI, Ms. Hearn has been on the board of directors of the Pacific-Western Fastener Association and a guest instructor at the Fastener Training Institute.  Rosa is also on the advisory committee for Rancho Santiago Center for International Trade Development for the Global Trade & Logistics—Orange County, where she teaches and speaks to High School and College Students about the fastener market.  Ms. Hearn also provides externships to teachers and counselors providing a business view on importing, exporting and global trade.

Rosa is a mother to her 6 year old son Jake, a wife to James Hearn of 21 years and is fluent in Spanish. She is also Vice Chairman of the School Site Council at her son’s school academy in Southern California.

Thank You Rosa!

Get the Spring issue of the award winning Link Magazine! Features: Women in The Fastener Industry Celebrating 10 Years! Learn more about their history, scholarships & future plans. 




Fastener Women, News