Renaissance Launches the Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council

On May 26th, at the home of Board Member Alison Davis, Renaissance launched the Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council, a new initiative to support lower-income Bay Area women as they strive to achieve economic independence for themselves and their families through small business ownership.

Women gathered from throughout the Bay Area to learn about how Renaissance is expanding programs and services for women, ensuring that all English and Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs have access to Renaissance’s critical women-focused training, resources, networks and ongoing support necessary for success.

Long-time Renaissance client, Yvonne Hines, owner of Yvonne’s Southern Sweets www.yvonnessouthernsweets.com, shared her story with guests. Yvonne always had a passion for making mouthwatering Southern American style homemade sweets. For years, she treated her family and friends, but when Yvonne learned she was pregnant with her daughter and couldn’t afford child care on her salary, she started selling her signature pralines at local events. In 2005, Yvonne took the plunge, quit her low-paying job, and came to Renaissance to grow her business. Now, with critical training, resources, networks and ongoing support from Renaissance, Yvonne is operating a thriving bakery on Bayview’s Third Street Corridor.

Renaissance would like to thank the following founding members of the Council for their generosity, vision and leadership in helping women like Yvonne achieve economic mobility, including: Charmaine Detweiler, Chair; Alison Davis; Margot Fraser; Helen Russell; Marjorie Sennett; Nancy Sheppard; and Marion Weinreb.

We’ll be hosting more house parties and women-focused events. If you are interested in learning more about how you can become a part of the Renaissance Women’s Leadership Council, please contact

Director of Development and Evaluation

Wendy Guzman