We are tireless advocates for change, working to create maximum impact for children, families, and communities.
We are tireless advocates for change, working to create maximum impact for children, families, and communities.
Nicole co-founded VIVA with Christina, based on a shared commitment to leveraging the power of strategic thinking and communications for positive social impact. Nicole brings more than 25 years of experience in the public, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors, including facilitating strategic planning processes and organizational change, and providing strategic communications consultation and execution. Nicole is known for being a visionary and strategic thinker, with an ability to grasp the complexities of multi-sector partnerships and to expertly facilitate diverse groups towards their shared vision. She has led the design and launch of numerous local and regional partnerships focused on improving the health and education of children and families. She has a Ph.D. in Education with a focus on Leadership in Community Collaboratives for Children and a Master of Arts degree in Education, with a focus on Group Dynamics & Leadership in Multi-Sector Partnerships, both from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Hidden Talent: I can milk a cow.
Favorite Word: Love.
I’m Inspired By: Leaders who consistently stand up for doing what is right no matter what.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: All of Wonder Woman’s super powers.
Christina co-founded VIVA with Nicole, based on a shared commitment to leveraging the power of strategic thinking and communications for positive social impact. Christina is a skilled strategist and facilitator inspired by a core belief that human suffering is not inevitable, acceptable or just. She has worked in different settings throughout the last 25 years, including as a teacher, school counselor, non-profit organization manager, and a program and evaluation director at First 5 Santa Barbara County—all with the common goal of social good. Work in the field served as a foundation for her consulting work, which focuses on large-scale community change efforts. This includes multi-sector partnership development, complex strategic planning, government innovation, and being a trusted mediator of industry leaders in the development of public policy. Christina is regularly invited to present and facilitate at state and national conferences focused on social good and community building. Christina has a Master of Arts in Education from CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Hidden Talent: The Chicken Dance.
Favorite Word: Obstreperous.
I’m Inspired By: My Mom.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: Healing.
Laura is a dynamic communicator who believes that powerful communications are an essential ingredient for any initiative to create change for children and families. Laura directs VIVA’s communications work, leading communications strategy development and overseeing creative execution and campaign management. Her expertise includes communications planning, brand strategy, digital strategy, and messaging for collective impact initiatives and policy and advocacy efforts. Previously, she managed marketing and communications for a national healthcare association and worked in client services at a leading branding agency. Laura is a former teacher and Teach For America corps member. She has a Master of Arts in Global Communications from the American University of Paris and a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from Lafayette College.
Hidden Talent: I have an internal GPS.
Favorite Word: Antidisestablishmentarianism.
I’m Inspired By: Selflessness.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: The ability to speak any language fluently.
Christine has spent her career making an impact across sectors. She has consulted for and worked with clients spanning the social, private, and public sectors, as well as double bottom-line companies. Past work includes impact measurement and reporting, technology implementation for social good, inter-sector and cross-sector partnership development and strengthening, and proposing and helping implement cultural and operational improvements for more effective cross-functional communication and collaboration. She has also developed and co-led an Executive Education workshop on Corporate Philanthropy at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, in partnership with the Center for Social Sector Leadership. She is skilled at process development and implementation, quantitative analysis and revenue and market size growth forecasting, impact measurement, and data gathering through surveys, interviews, and focus groups to guide recommendations and inform decision making. Christine earned her Bachelor of Science in Business from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, and her MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Hidden Talent: Learning the Japanese word for various sushi-related terms.
Favorite Word: Gemütlichkeit – A German word that encapsulates the feeling of coziness; it’s the whole experience and feeling that you have of being physically warm, but also metaphorically feeling warm inside your heart.
I’m Inspired By: People who follow their passions.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: Flying…or teletransport!
Iris is passionate about social justice, equity, and supporting communities to create meaningful and long-lasting social change. Iris brings extensive experience in systems-thinking, project management, qualitative research, trauma-informed care, and program development to her work. At VIVA, Iris has led several qualitative research projects which have included a community needs assessment, stakeholder interviews, environmental scans, and survey development. She also provides expertise in meeting facilitation, systems-building, capacity building, and planning for large-scale, multi-partner initiatives. Prior to joining VIVA, Iris developed and managed several programs in the nonprofit sector serving communities of color and those impacted by trauma. She also provided program evaluation support for a mobile education technology startup. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Sociology and Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Hidden Talent: I can get lost literally anywhere.
Favorite Word: Soliloquy.
I’m Inspired By: Those who are willing to sacrifice everything they have to ensure that the next generation has better opportunities and an improved quality of life.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: The ability to speak any language (including being able to communicate with my dog).
Katy is passionate about empowering social sector actors to maximize impact in their communities. She brings expertise in nonprofit program management and organizational capacity building and has experience working with newcomer refugee and immigrant communities in the youth development and sport for development sectors. She has also conducted rigorous research and data analysis related to refugee resettlement, public health, and immigration policy. As a former soccer coach and graduate student instructor, Katy enjoys dynamic facilitation and cross-cultural team building. She has a Master of Development Practice from the University of California Berkeley and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Villanova University.
Hidden Talent: Speed walking.
Favorite Word: Amani (which means “peace” in Swahili and “power” in Luganda, slightly different spelling in Luganda).
I’m Inspired By: Human connections.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: Flying.
Elizabeth is passionate about developing tools and resources that help children, families, and those who support them succeed in school, at home, work, and in their communities. She has extensive experience in public relations and communications in support of community health and social services. At VIVA, Elizabeth provides communication and marketing expertise, developing strategic messages, compelling stories, and engaging multimedia content to meet a diverse range of client needs. Elizabeth has a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Fresno Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Chicano Latin American Studies from California State University of Fresno.
Hidden Talent: Backyard farming.
Favorite Word: Albahaca – The Spanish word for basil.
I’m Inspired By: People who stand for what is right regardless of the implications.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: Teleportation.
Amber has two big passions in life: helping others and graphic design. At VIVA she is able to combine her passions to help clients creatively solve problems, clearly articulate solutions, and raise awareness for their causes. Amber brings her style and flare to VIVA’s communication initiatives, including creating brand identities; designing print and digital collateral; creating websites; and implementing traditional and social media campaigns. Previously, Amber lent her design talents to non-profit, technology, and healthcare organizations. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Chapman University in Southern California with a minor in Advertising.
Hidden Talent: Can name all 50 states in alphabetical order.
Favorite Word: Yes.
I’m Inspired By: Altruistic people.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: Creation (creating anything out of nothing).
Bay Area native Santiago arrived at VIVA with captivating stories of his on-the-ground experience at a variety of local non-profit organizations. This work is what instilled in him the passion to make change on a systemic level, and armed him with the tools to do so. Santiago is particularly passionate about giving back to his community and communities that look like his. Santiago’s professional passions are research, report writing, communications strategy, program coordination, and project management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Certificate in Latino Studies from Princeton University.
Hidden Talent: I am ambidextrous
Favorite Word: Chuchulucos (Mexican colloquialism for “junk food”)
I’m Inspired By: My mother, who taught me the value of advocating for others and always standing by what is right
Super Power I’d Like To Have: Photographic memory
Erica is passionate about creating social impact through data analytics and entrepreneurial thinking. Prior to VIVA, Erica co-founded her own business, Mission Collaborative, focused on helping adults change careers through collaborative workshops and programs. Erica’s past professional experience includes serving as a Program Analyst for the government of the District of Columbia, where she focused on supporting and growing the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and as an Analyst for NERA Economic Consulting, where she focused on securities litigation analyses. Erica is a current MBA student at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and is focusing her studies on data analytics and market research. Erica earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics and Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Hidden Talent: I’m a board game master.
Favorite Word: Adventure.
I’m Inspired By: People who advocate and push for the changes they want to see in the world.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: Time Traveler.
Monica is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner dedicated to uplifting communities to achieve systems-level change. With experience spanning across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors around the Bay Area, she works to maximize interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to social impact initiatives. Monica is a Master of Social Welfare candidate at UC Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies at the University of San Francisco with a minor in Public Service and Community Engagement.
Hidden Talent: Napping anywhere.
Favorite Word: Ponder.
I’m Inspired By: People who challenge the status quo.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: Speed reading.