DEARBORN, MI – The Arab American Women’s Business Council (AAWBC), founded in 2007 as a 501c3 nonprofit professional organization, elected Renée Ahee as its first chief executive officer, effective March 15, 2015. Ahee is a co-founder of the organization, whose mission is to bring together Arab American business women of diverse disciplines and industries and to provide opportunities for them to grow professionally and to grow their business through leadership, education, scholarship, internship and cultural programs. She has been a member of the board of directors since its inception.
Ahee served as executive director of the National Arab American Medical Association from 2009 to 2015. She is also owner and president of Ahee Communications, Inc. a public relations and marketing communications firm, which she established in 1999.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marygrove College, Detroit, and a master of finance degree from Walsh College, Troy. Ahee is president of the board of Metro Solutions and treasurer of the National American Arab Nurses Association. She currently co-chairs the Diversity Summit of the Public Relations Society of America Detroit Chapter and was recognized at one of the Top 10 Michigan Women – Diversity Champion by the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter in 2009. She is a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit program.
AAWBC addresses the needs of Arab American women professionals and business owners as well as young Arab American women seeking professional or business careers in Michigan and across the country.
Board president Rose Khalifa said, “The AAWBC has grown significantly in terms of programs and services over the last couple years. In response, the board of directors decided that a permanent CEO would help the organization continue to focus on the needs of our members and the community.”
Ahee said, “The AAWBC was founded to help and support Arab American women to overcome barriers in their careers or business pursuits. Many women who want a career or to own a business are discouraged by even their families based on stereotypical or cultural expectations of women. Sharing what we’ve learned from being in business and providing resources has been among our goals. I’m honored and delighted to lead this effort.”
The grassroots effort to form the AAWBC represents a cross-section of Arab American women in many professions and businesses, including nursing, marketing and public relations, public affairs, engineering, law, academia, sales and financial planning. AAWBC provides scholarships each year to encourage Arab American women to pursue higher education as a path to business and professional success. The organization is recruiting members as well as sponsoring companies who see opportunities in the Arab American women’s market.