women’s leadership council

For over 30 years, Renaissance has helped 27,000+ entrepreneurs, 76% of which are women, by providing critical business training, guidance and support.  On average, Renaissance’s women business owners create jobs for 2-3 people in their neighborhoods, increase their income by an average of 20% each year, and buy products and services locally.

Success Stories

April Spears, Auntie April’s Chicken and Waffles

April Spears grew up in public housing in San Francisco, and was passionate about cooking.  She dreamed of being self-sufficient and owning a restaurant in her community.

April turned to Renaissance and began taking classes to help her build her award-winning Auntie April’s Chicken and Waffles Soul Food Restaurant.

April now employs over 10 Bayview residents and is building her brand.



Cristina Rosario, ACI Construction

Cristina is a Latina single mom with 3 children. She worked at a local construction company where she helped with administration, compliance, marketing, purchasing and client services.

She started Renaissance’s Simple Steps/Paso a Paso classes, where she learned critical business skills.  Cristina is financially self-sufficient, has been winning larger commercial projects and employs four local residents.

“I learned to be confident from Renaissance, especially as a woman. I like being a role model for other women in construction and to my children.”


Council Members

Individual 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
Nancy Green, Athleta
Deborah Harrison, Accenture
JoAnne Lauer, Blockchain Capital
Cheryl Lucanegro, SoundHound
Barbara Morrison, TMC Financing
Dani Nolan, EY
Theresa Noriega-Lum, BlackRock

Stacey Paynter, Strategic Connections, LLC
Helen Russell, Equator Coffee
Nancy Sheppard, Women2Boards
Laura Thompson, Thompson Concepts Groups (Renaissance Board Member)
Marion Weinreb, Marion Weinreb & Associates
Mimi Willard, CO$T

Corporate Members


Council Member Annual Giving Levels

$1,000 – $10,000 and above

Get Involved

Contact Laura Giacomini, Director of Development for more information at: (415) 348-6207 | lgiacomini@rencenter.org.