Women’s History Month: At ZAGO Manufacturing, women flourish all year long

At ZAGO Manufacturing Co. Inc. in Newark, women aren’t just celebrated during Women’s History Month in March, they are celebrated all year long.

And they should be. ZAGO, a manufacturer of sustainable sealing fasteners, is a woman-owned company, co-founded in 1993 by married couple Gail Friedberg Rottenstrich, an attorney who today is CEO, and Harvey Rottenstrich, an electrical engineer who is president and lead engineer. ZAGO employs 35 women and men hailing from different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities. Out of eight management-level positions, women occupy six.

ZAGO is a great company for women and men to work and flourish, and that’s exactly what the co-founders envisioned.

“There are many qualified women in manufacturing and in other industries who can excel in this sector — but, they have to see themselves in these positions,” Friedberg Rottenstrich said.

She was recently named to ROI-NJ’s ROI Influencers: Women in Business 2023 list.

ZAGO shared some of its employees stories in honor of Women’s History Month:

  • Sonia Letona, quality control manager, Guatemala: Letona moved to America 15 years ago and landed her first job at ZAGO working the assembly line. Letona, who is married and a mom, excelled at ZAGO and leads a seven-member team. When asked about how she rose to her position, she said: “I love learning. I ask lots of questions, and I care about helping our customers.”
  • Aly Damacela, contract reviewer/buyer, Ecuador: Damacela joined ZAGO 10 years ago, and since then, earned her Bachelor of Science in marketing from Kean University and became a mom. “At ZAGO, I can be a mother and grow my career. ZAGO even paid my college tuition.”
  • Viviana Alvarez, purchasing and expediting, Colombia: Alvarez’s ZAGO career began in 2018 in shipping before working her way up to purchasing and expediting. Alvarez appreciates the family feel ZAGO provides. “I love working at ZAGO. We’re more than colleagues, we’re family.”
  • Stephanie Carhuavilca, machine programmer, Honduras: Carhuavilca joined ZAGO in 2021, ready to learn. She quickly progressed from manual machine operator to setup/programmer. Carhuavilca is completing an apprenticeship and will earn 12 college credits towards her associate degree.
  • Jackie Luciano, vice president, Newark: Luciano joined ZAGO 15 years ago as a part-time bookkeeper while raising two young children, and advanced to executive leadership after earning her Rutgers MBA in Finance. “ZAGO is a great place for women and men to work and flourish, and that’s exactly what the co-founders envisioned.”