Compass Featured Member
Renee was born in Sioux City, IA. After her father died, she moved to Minneapolis with her mom & sister, Harriet, where they had a lot of family. Renee grew up on the “Old North Side” and graduated from North High School. She attended the University of Minnesota and spent many years in apparel sales while her daughter was young. Later on, while working with her father- in- law in his jewelry business, she realized her interest in jewelry and studied to get a degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
In 1960 Renee’s cousin introduced her to Jim Gainsley, and they became engaged six months to the day after their first date, and married six months after that – to the day! They have one daughter, Joan – who is the love of her life.
Shortly after Jim & Renee were married, he and his business partner founded a company called Renco Corporation, which designed and manufactured electronics for agriculture. The business allowed them to travel both domestically and internationally. Some of her favorite destinations are Paris, London and Copenhagen. They loved to take cruises and were able to experience many different countries, islands and interesting destinations via ship.
In addition to travel, Renee enjoys reading (mysteries and biographies are her favorite), movies, spending time with friends & family and of course doing volunteer work for various organizations.
Renee joined Brandeis in the late 90’s and was very involved right away. She held many offices and was thrilled to travel to Waltham, MA to attend the Brandeis National Convention several times. She was president of the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of Brandeis when it was decided that the group leave Brandeis National and form their own local organization so the funds raised locally could be put to use in this community.
What should we call this new organization we were forming? A group of ladies gathered to tackle the task. Arlene Davis came up with ‘Branching Out’ and Millie Segal offered ‘New Directions’ – and there we had it… “Branching Out in New Directions”. With Jim’s help in writing the by-laws, and lots of input from the group – B.O.N.D. was created in 2008. Renee had the unique honor to be the last president of Brandeis, and the first President of B.O.N.D.
Renee feels it has been a great pleasure to be involved with such a terrific organization of motivated women who generously offer their time, ideas and financial support to give back to our community and serve the generations to come.