Alumna Renee Lewis honored by National Association of Women Business Owners

BETHESDA, Md. – The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Greater D.C. has honored Renee Lewis, president/CEO and co-founder of the Bethesda, Md.-based consulting firm Pensare Group, as one of three finalists with its 2014 Woman of Distinction Award. Lewis received her degree in man-environment relations from Penn State in 1985. 

NAWBO’s Woman of Distinction Award recognizes women in the greater D.C. area who advance women's business in a meaningful way. Qualifying candidates are female business owners or decision-making executives responsible for business performance, or a woman whose work advances and/or enables women’s business.

"The Woman of Distinction Award acknowledges women whose actions are benefiting the members of NAWBO Greater D.C. as well as other women business owners around the Beltway and beyond,” said Jennifer Brand, president of NAWBO Greater D.C. "It’s an important way for us to show appreciation for women in our community who are doing remarkable things to advance women’s business and enabling others to do the same.”

“Renee is not only an extraordinary leader who exemplifies our chapter’s commitment to empowering women entrepreneurs, but she is also an inspiration to our Greater D.C. community,” said Mina Fies, chair of the award committee and president-elect for the chapter. 

“I am honored and thrilled to receive this award,” said Lewis, who has more than 25 years of experience building successful technical organizations and businesses. “I love to work with inspired business leaders who know they can do more with what they have but don’t have the time to invest to realize that potential. I have always leveraged my love of software engineering principles, focused on designing for efficiency and effectiveness, with getting things done through others.”

Five years ago, Lewis also co-founded the nonprofit Path Forward Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to house its nine-year old flagship program called ACTiVATE, which supports development of women entrepreneurs in technology-based businesses. Focusing on international needs for women entrepreneurs, she supported (via Meridian International) a delegation to South Africa to help local women recognize personal and community growth through entrepreneurship and helped (via Vital Voices) the Business Women Network (BWN) of the Middle East North Africa (MENA) establish an organization supporting cross commerce for women-owned business throughout that region. 

Lewis is active on a number of boards including PMI Registered Consultant Program and GW Alumnae Association. She also assists with a variety of business plan competitions, is a private investor in several women-owned businesses supporting advanced technologies and belongs to the Mountain Maryland Angel Investment Group (MMAIG) designed to draw in economic development for Garrett County through entrepreneurship.

For more information about NAWBO Greater D.C., visit

For more information about Pensare Group, visit

Last Updated July 11, 2014