The Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council Needs YOU! (Women and Men welcome!)


The Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council was founded in 2016 to provide support and guidance in driving programmatic direction, raising funds and increasing the visibility of lower-income women entrepreneurs as they strive to create better futures for themselves and their families.

In its pilot year, under the leadership of Chair Charmaine Detweiler, the Council provided leadership
to drive sponsorship and sales for Renaissance’s annual event, and raised $65,000. This year, our goal is to double our impact as the Council continues to grows.

The Council is currently accepting new members. Membership levels are: $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000. They can be personal, corporate or matching gifts made on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

And men, don’t be afraid to join us! We recently welcomed our first male Council member Bruce Burtch. Bruce is
aptly nicknamed the “Father of Cause Marketing” for his pioneering work in aligning corporate dollars and values with the work of nonprofit organizations.

Urban Fire 1 Graduation at the Oakland Housing Authority.
Graduation at the Oakland Housing Authority.
Jennifer Clifford Art and Design at Renaissance Makers Pop Up
Jennifer Clifford Art and Design at Renaissance Makers Pop Up
Urban Fire 1 Graduation at the Oakland Housing Authority.
Graduation at the Oakland Housing Authority.







Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council Members:

Bruce Burtch, CEO, Bruce W. Burtch, Inc. (retired)
Charmaine Detweiler, Chief Financial Officer, New Resource Bank (retired)
Alison Davis, Fifth Era (Renaissance Board Member)
Evelyn Dilsaver, Independent Board Director
Margot Fraser, Founder of Birkenstock USA (retired)
Nancy Green, Athleta
JoAnne Lauer, Blockchain Capital
Cheryl Lucanegro, SoundHound
Barbara Morrison, TMC Financing
Dani Nolan, Ernst & Young
Helen Russell, Equator Coffee
Nancy Sheppard, Women2Boards
Laura Thompson, Thompson Concepts Groups (Renaissance Board Member)
Marion Weinreb, Marion Weinreb & Associates

For more information, please contact Wendy Guzman, Director of Development and Evaluation, at or call 415-348-6207.

Women’s History Month: Renaissance Honors Trailblazing Women in Business

Sharon Miller (bottom left) at her first high school International Women’s History Day Celebration.

All of us at Renaissance are thrilled to invite you in to join us in celebrating our trailblazing women entrepreneurs. This year’s Women’s History Month is especially exciting as The National Women’s History Project declared “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business” as its annual theme.

I am proud that supporting women to achieve their true potentials, create wealth and establish economic self sufficiency through small business ownership is what we do at Renaissance not only during Women’s History month, but year-round.  Our training classes, access to capital, markets and networks, and ongoing support bring women together in very powerful and empowering ways to achieve entrepreneurial success.

As you may know, while the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has grown from  5,417,034 in 1997 to an estimated 9,087,200 in 2014, an impressive 67.8% increase, there is still much more that needs to be done. According to the Kauffman Foundation, regardless of race, women are half as likely as men to own businesses with 2 or more employees. The persistent gender business gap continues, with women starting businesses that are significantly smaller and less profitable than our male counterparts.

Our featured event for Women’s History month 2017 will be our Renaissance Women’s Network held on International Women’s History Day, March 8th from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at our SoMa location. This  inspiring event will feature a panel of international trailblazing women entrepreneurs: Maria de Davila from El Salvador, owner of Artesana Sausages; Maritza Hurtado from Colombia, owner of Señora Maritza Catering; and Kofo Domingo from Nigeria, owner of MKD & Associates. We hope you can come, but if not, please join us for our upcoming Renaissance Women’s Network events – held on the second Wednesday of every month with  each featuring a panel of dynamic, inspiring women entrepreneurs.

As we shine the spotlight on women this month, we know that this celebration is symbolic of the larger struggle for inclusion and equity. 76% of Renaissance’s clients are women. While our numbers show that women typically seek out business support more than men, we know that women are not the only ones who need help navigating the challenges and opportunities of business ownership.

Renaissance’s doors are open to all who are seeking business assistance, and we make extra effort to reach out to those who face barriers to opportunity. We know that by lifting only one segment of the population we would not achieve our vision to create economic opportunity and access for all.  We invite everyone who wants to be part of that vision to join us.

This Women’s History Month, as we honor the contributions women make and have made to society, I especially want to honor all the women and men who are fighting the good fight to ensure that we can uphold women’s rights, human rights and access to the economic and social opportunities that will create a better future for us all.

  • By Sharon Miller, Renaissance CEO