What is VIVA?
VIVA is a women-owned strategy consulting firm specializing in large-scale collective impact projects that improve the lives of children, families and communities. We provide innovative, results-focused strategy, powerful coalition building and smart communications services to public, non-profit and philanthropic organizations.
In a time when technology and society are changing at breakneck speeds, organizations must adapt quickly, respond to challenges boldly and pursue opportunities with economy and ingenuity. That is where we come in. VIVA lends a powerfully fresh perspective to strategic conversations. We think big without losing the details; we focus on impact and effectiveness without abandoning efficiency; we adapt to the circumstances at hand without compromising standards.
Christina is a skilled strategist and facilitator inspired by a core belief that human suffering is not inevitable, acceptable or just. Christina’s experience as a teacher, school counselor, and a program and evaluation director of an early childhood funder provided an excellent foundation for her later career as a strategic consultant. For the past ten years Christina has consulted with public agencies and nonprofit organizations on strategic ways to increase their impact. Christina’s current portfolio is primarily focused on California’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and Birth-Through-Third initiatives. Christina has a School Counseling Credential, a Master of Arts degree in Education from CSU Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Bachelor of Science degree 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.
Nicole brings 20 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. Her strong leadership and communications skills, paired with her commitment to quality, have been essential for designing and implementing a diverse array of large-scale, high impact projects and initiatives. 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 a Master of Arts degree in Education, with a focus on Group Dynamics & Leadership in Multi-Sector Partnerships and a Ph.D. in Education with a focus on Leadership in Community Collaboratives for Children 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. Having super speed would be great and I would definitely like her bracelets, Lasso of Truth and the Tiara of Telepathy.
Phone: (650) 517-6232
Kat is a dynamic communications leader successful in setting strategy and driving high-profile programs with enthusiasm and a focus on net results. With 15 years of experience in strategic communications and media, Kat most enjoys working collectively with diverse constituencies towards a common goal. Kat oversees VIVA’s social marketing work and the integration of communications with VIVA’s large-scale strategy projects. Prior to joining VIVA, she led statewide and global initiatives promoting California’s $100 billion tourism industry, and managed crisis communications for a $550 million non-profit international relief and development agency. Kat’s career began in broadcast news in Fresno and ultimately Boston, where she was responsible for daily news content and special live coverage for CBS Radio Boston. Kat has a Bachelor of Arts degree in German Literature from the University of California at San Diego.
Hidden Talent: I can whistle really loud with my fingers.
Favorite Word: Courage. It comes from “coeur,” French for “heart.”
I’m Inspired By: Acts of everyday kindness.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: To fly!
Phone: (650) 525-4306
Edwin is currently serving as the project manager for Fresno’s Birth-Through-Third Grade project and brings over 25 years of experience as an organizational development consultant and strategic planner within the public, non-profit and philanthropic sectors. He has a strong background in the education arena, having worked closely with the Superintendent of a large urban school district on the planning and implementation of an education reform plan. He also was the project manager for the planning and evaluation of multi-agency, multi-school district collaboration to implement the Federal Safe Schools-Healthy Students initiative. More recently, Edwin has worked as the Program and Evaluation Officer for First 5 Sonoma County and Director of Learning and Engagement with the county’s community action agency. He has a Bachelor or Arts degree in Organizational Development with a focus on Education Reform from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Edwin is bilingual English-Spanish.
Hidden Talent: Able to name the starting lineup, coaches, manager and announcers of the 1961 New York Yankees.
Favorite Word: Fuhgeddaboutit.
I’m Inspired By: Anyone who extends a kindness or support to others without any expectation of reward or even thanks.
Super Power I’d Like To Have: To be able to jam any cell phone or mobile device in my surroundings at will.
Phone: (650) 525-4301
Jamie Oppenheim is a gifted storyteller and effective communicator. She has spent nearly a decade working in journalism and has produced compelling print and multimedia content for a variety of platforms including websites, magazines and newspapers. She’s also adept in writing and developing strategy for social media. Prior to working at VIVA, Jamie worked as a web producer at KTVU TV in Oakland, where she wrote news stories for the station’s website and created and curated other multimedia content, such as video and slideshows. She has a strong background in education, having worked as an education reporter in California for several years, covering everything from early childhood to higher education. Jamie received a Master of Science degree in Digital Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City and has a Bachelors degree in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Davis.
Hidden Talent: I’m double jointed.
Favorite Word: Yowzah!
I’m Inspired By: Positive thinking and selflessness.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: Shape-shifting or super-intelligence.
Phone: (650) 525-4305
Karina is a passionate team player with a strong commitment to research and evidence-based practices. Karina has always had an interest in the effectiveness of early childhood interventions. Prior to joining VIVA, she had worked as an assistant teacher at a preschool program and later as an early interventionist providing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy to Autistic children ages 3-8. She currently supports a number of VIVA’s multi-partner projects. Karina was instrumental in compiling and communicating the results from the Kindergarten Student Entrance Profile in Fresno County. Current projects include the San Francisco Bay Area Region Early Learning Race to the Top efforts as well as Fresno County’s Birth-Through-Third Grade initiative. Karina has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and is bilingual English-Spanish.
Hidden Talent: When I find it, I will let you know!
Favorite Word: Onomatopoeia.
I’m Inspired By: My family.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: The ability to take pictures and record video with my eyes. Basically, I want to take the Google Glass and do away with the glasses part. I would also like to be able to send these “mind images and videos” to others.
Phone: (650) 525-4303
Peggy Chang is a Bay Area native with a long-standing desire to improve children’s health and educational outcomes. She is known for her dedication, organization and effective communication as well as for her wonderful team spirit. Prior to joining VIVA, Peggy has provided behavioral therapy to young children with autism and managed the insurance team at a busy physical therapy office. She spent time at a local non-profit where she aided in the creation and management of a volunteer program, developed training and marketing materials, supported high-level fundraising events, and was involved in the non-profit’s youth program. Peggy has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and French from the University of California at Davis.
Hidden Talent: Being super efficient and fast at airport security.
Favorite Word: Pantoufle (it means slipper in French and is fun to say).
I’m Inspired By: People who love and are passionate about what they do.
Super Power I’d Like to Have: Teleportation or the ability to tell when someone is lying.