Renée Kortum Gardner, Gardner/Mills Group, LLC

Renée Gardner specializes in planning and directing events, from seminars and conferences to major benefits and premieres, and developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to raise funds and build new and substantial financial support for a diverse array of public institutions and non-profit organizations. As Director of External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in the 1980s, she directed all fundraising, special events, and public relations efforts, managing numerous events from intimate dinners to receptions for 5,000 guests. Prior to the Smithsonian, she served as Director of Special Events for Washington Inc. She also held the positions of Director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial; Vice President of Italian Aircraft Corporation, a European aviation firm; and, Assistant to the Italian Ambassador of the European Community.

Renee also served as President of The Bancroft Group, Inc. (BGI), a Washington-based company that specialized in museum fundraising and event planning, exhibition design and retail store design and merchandising.??Ms. Gardner earned an M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University and lived in Italy and France for many years. She serves on the Board of Directors of Friends of Florence, The Women’s Committee of The Washington Opera, and the Development Committee of The Field School. Ms. Gardner resides in Washington, DC with her husband and son.