ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. — Ruth Jones, owner of Foster-Stephens Inc., which produces storage solutions to preserve and protect wedding gowns and other family treasures, celebrated her 100th birthday this August.
She is the widow of founder Elmer “Bill” Jones, and was active in the company from the early 1970s until the mid-1990s. She began running the company when her husband died in 1983. The couple’s daughter, Nancy, took over day-to-day duties at Foster-Stephens in the mid-’90s.
Ruth Jones remains chairman of the board and retains an active interest in the company. She also remains active in her community through bridge, church, and book clubs.
Asked to reflect on the industry changes that she’s seen over the years, she says she has been most impressed with the automation advances and the changes that computers have brought about, both in business and at home.
She has watched Foster-Stephens transform from a company that mainly produced posters and other sorts of advertising for dry cleaners to one that now focuses on the preservation of wedding gowns and other textiles.