Lewis was born in 1934, educated at Skidmore College, University of Pennsylvania and Case Western Reserve University. She is mother of a daughter and two sons and grandmother of two girls and three boys.
Early in her career she headed public relations, sales and marketing for the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, now the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. As part of the annual Cleveland Arts Prize, she received the 2007 Martha Joseph Prize for Distinguished Service to the Arts. In 1996, and again in 2004, she was the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the International Association of Professional Art Advisors. In 1998 she was honored by the New Museum for her "significant contribution in bringing the visual arts and creative experience to the work environment." In 2009 she was honored by ArtTable in New York for her contributions to the arts.
Toby's interest in the arts challenges how we look and perceive our world. In 2007 she completed a book on the Progressive art collection entitled, ART WORKS. In 2006 she began The Toby Fund, a private foundation, to foster creativity in the arts, education, health, environment and the development of progressive institutions. Recognizing her significant work, The Cleveland Institute of Art bestowed upon her and Honorary Degree, Doctor of Arts, in 2012.
For more than twenty years Lewis amassed a collection of art works by emerging artists for the Progressive Corporation, the nation's third largest auto insurer. This collection includes more than 6,000 works and has been rated as one of the country's top collections by Art and Auction magazine.