CaringBridge CEO Liwanag Ojala on why most businesses would salivate over the stats of her global social network

Real Leaders with Roshini
May 17, 2019 - 3:37 pm

In Episode #13 of Real Leaders with Roshini, CaringBridge CEO Liwanag Ojala gracefully brags about the crazy stats of the world's first and most widely-used global non-profit social network. With someone creating a new CaringBridge site every eight minutes and 115,000 distinct donors in 2018, most businesses would salivate for these engagement numbers. Liwanag brings her past as a digital executive and CEO of Simon Delivers, among other big roles, to this job where healthcare, technology, and non-profit culture intersect. She stresses the importance of relationships and credits how sharing a "take a pause" conversation with Lars Leafblad, of Ballinger Leafblad, years ago led to him reaching out to her about CEO succession planning for CaringBridge when she was first considered for the COO position in 2014. 

A loyal sister, mother, and wife, Liwanag says she's blessed with terrific mentors who "hold up a mirror" to her during important decision-making periods. She applauds her husband as a "huge luxury" in her life because he has stayed home with the kids for the past ten years. When asked if the decision over who you marry is the most important one in life, she says, "surrounding yourself with people who enhance you," is a must. Liwanag teaches her children to "understand gratitude in a deep way" and gently instills that not everyone is as blessed to live the way they do at their age.

When it comes to the unwind, Liwanag loves a good rose because, "it's a happy drink," and calls herself, "a girl from Jersey who was fortunate enough to grow up in Minnesota."  So what does the future bring for CaringBridge? Liwanag shares a sneak peek by saying, "Her team is working on creating capabilities where the visitor community can activate the goodness in them" and anticipate just what their loved one needs based on the ability to "ask for help guilt-free and the community will know." 

Real Leaders with Roshini is available on the app, iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher

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