3 min read

Celebrating 10 incredible years with Communications Director, Laura Bowen

Headshot of Laura Bowen

This week, we are celebrating Laura Bowen's 10-year VIVA-versary, our fabulous Communications Director. If you have worked with Laura, you know she is a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and creative thought partner. Her ability to listen deeply and then guide clients shapes VIVA’s communications work, which is customized to meet the desired outcomes of each project. 

It would be impossible to capture Laura’s enormous impact over the last decade in its entirety, but we are going to try. 


Laura’s top 10 most impactful projects of the last 10 years:

  1. Bay Area Quality Early Learning Partnership: Regional QRIS Approach
    VIVA transformed the achievements and vision of the Bay Area Quality Early Learning Partnership into dynamic tools shaping California's early learning system. Through engaging interviews and thorough research, Laura led the development of insightful briefs and a comprehensive report that are now guiding state-level policy discussions. This impactful work is making a real difference! Keep reading to see what we mean!

  2. F5 Santa Barbara Home Visiting (coming soon!)
    To change the culture around home visiting in Santa Barbara County from the perspectives of both families and home visitors, Laura led a community engagement and resource development process. The project took some twists and turns, but through working together, Laura and the First 5 Santa Barbara team identified an engaging path forward. The result? A beautifully branded website with an interactive resource library and program directory. 

  3. CA Family Voices, Heising-Simons Foundation
    It’s true that Laura can make anything sound good, but one way she does that is by giving people a platform to tell their own stories. These family voices videos will move you, and if you want to capture your community, you will want Laura on your side. 

    Read more about California Family Voices

  4. Presenting at a BUILD Conference: Don’t Shoot the Messengers
    Don’t shoot the messengers, make them effective. Creating effective messengers is part of creating sustainable communications, and Laura shared her expertise in a workshop at the BUILD conference in 2019. After years of bringing her community-centered communications to clients, she got to share it with so many others.  

  5. First 5 Sonoma County Read Talk Play
    A lot of people wish that parenting came with a handbook. Partnering with First 5 Sonoma for their Read, Talk, Play campaign, Laura helped create that handbook by partnering with First 5 Sonoma County to create a marketing plan and brand strategy, overhaul their website and social media platform, and execute a community outreach and media relations plan. Through community partnerships and grassroots social content, this client saw their social media audience grow by 1900%. That’s because Laura did what she does best: make complicated ideas feel approachable!

    Read even more about this campaign, from the brand and marketing strategy planning process to the community outreach and media relations.

  6. LA COVID Website, childcareheroes.org
    Laura led the development of childcareheroes.org, a vital resource created by VIVA to support child care providers and families in Los Angeles County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her leadership, the project successfully distilled complex health and safety guidance into accessible, plain-language information, reaching over 1 million users and significantly enhancing community safety through robust digital campaigns and targeted outreach.

  7. DC Office of the State Superintendent Pay Equity Fund Communications
    The DC Office of the State Superintendent launched a groundbreaking initiative for pay equity for early educators. To ensure that all early educators knew about this opportunity and that DC leadership understood the groundbreaking impact, Laura led the development of community engagement and a campaign featuring DC officials. The result was a clear, beautiful message from Superintendent Christina Grant. 

  8. First 5 San Mateo County: Website Redesign
    In a county like San Mateo, where there are so many diverse families and so many incredible resources, First 5 San Mateo County wanted a quick, clear, and beautiful way to share all the resources families have at their fingertips when it comes to quality early care and education, children’s health, and family strength. Laura led a comprehensive website redesign process in 2020 that included a complete rebrand process, redesign of the information architecture, and construction of a brand new site. Since then, a San Mateo County Supervisor shared that the First 5 San Mateo County site is the best public agency website in the county. We can’t help but agree.

  9. San Francisco Department of Early Childhood Communications
    The San Francisco Department of Early Childhood is a completely one-of-a-kind agency that is changing what it means for cities to support families. Bringing more families into their fold changes lives. That is a big deal. Nevertheless, when it came time to choose a partner for this work, DEC Senior Policy and Communications Officer, Jonathan Rubinsky says it all:

    "During my nearly ten extraordinary years partnering on early childhood communications with Laura, her passion, creativity, and drive have inspired our organization's growth and me personally. Her hard work and ideas have shaped and enriched the early childhood brand in San Francisco. I couldn't be more thankful for everything she has done. Here's to many more years of building the brand together!"

  10. If it seems like the last ten years have been packed, you’re right. On top of all of the incredible work Laura has been able to do as a consultant and thought partner, during her ten years at VIVA, she has celebrated so many milestones. From becoming a mother three times over to mentoring and growing new members of the VIVA team over the years, Laura has done so much to magnify her own expertise and community-mindedness in others. 

There is no way to capture on paper what Laura has done for her clients or for the VIVA team, but take a look at some of these incredible projects just to get a taste. We are so lucky to have her on our team. 

Cheers to many more years!