René Street is a challenger. That’s how the DISC profile describes her leadership style. And if you spend any amount of time with René, you will find yourself saying “the DISC was right about her!”
As the Executive Director of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) for the past ten years, René has been challenging women to grow personally and professionally in achieving their goals as Women in Business. In ABWA, she collaborates with the Association’s leaders and members to develop women as leaders and business owners. René’s vision is for women to find their voice, honor each other’s dignity and support each other in becoming their best selves.
Most emblematic of the ABWA evolution under René’s leadership was the Best Practices in League Management, by creating a culture for members to learn, rehearse, and master skills that are valued in business today ensuring that women achieve parity (equal pay and opportunities) in the workplace.
During her tenure at ABWA, René has forged partnerships between ABWA and both the University of Kansas Graduate School of Business and Park University. Thousands of women who have attended these courses offered at ABWA’s annual conference events have credited KU and Park University for their success and for many “aha” moments that have changed their lives.
Rene’ has also worked with the U.S. State Department in providing support to women’s organizations abroad as a means of improving the conditions for working women across the world and has hosted visiting dignitaries in ABWA's national headquarters in cooperation with the Kansas City Global Ties. She has served on several boards including the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. She is currently serving on the KU School of Management Board of Advisors and on the board for Global Ties Kansas City.
“A less than predictable career path” would be a fair description of René’s work life which has included the performing arts, health care management in diabetes, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and an unfulfilled wish to train members of the Cleveland Browns football team. As an exercise physiologist, she trained the first woman firefighter to pass the physical and get HIRED by the Cleveland Heights Fire Department.
René resides in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband, Mike Sokoloff, son Christopher and sheepdog Freddy. Aside from her work in ABWA, Rene loves skiing with her family in the Rockies.
The Mission of the American Business Women's Association is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.