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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.

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Christina Bath Collosi, Managing PartnerNicole O. Tanner, Managing PartnerEdwin Ferran, ConsultantSaeed Mirfattah, ConsultantKarina Rivera, Associate ConsultantKatie Sylvester, Associate ConsultantJustine Hufford, Project AssociateVanessa Hernandez, Associate ConsultantSabina Tarnowka, Associate ConsultantLaura Bowen, Communications ManagerAnnalise Stromsta, Communications SpecialistAmy Swaffield, Administrative Assistant
Christina Bath Collosi, MA, Managing Partner

Christina Bath Collosi, MA, Managing Partner

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6230

Email: christina@viva-strategy.com

Connect with Christina on LinkedIn

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 O. Tanner, Ph.D.

Nicole O. Tanner, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6235

Email: nicole@viva-strategy.com

Connect With Nicole on LinkedIn

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.

Edwin Ferran, Consultant

Edwin Ferran, Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4306

Email: edwin@viva-strategy.com

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.

Karina Rivera, Associate Consultant

Karina Rivera, Associate Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4305

Email: karina@viva-strategy.com

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 six-county Bay Area Regional Quality Rating and Improvement System and leading the mentorship of the Bay Area Region’s Race to the Top mentee counties. Karina has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and is proficient in 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.

Katie Sylvester, Associate Consultant

Katie Sylvester, Associate Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6114

Email: katie@viva-strategy.com

Katie is dedicated to promoting the development and welfare of our nation’s children. She has experience working in schools in the Bay Area and New York City, as well as in communications and policy development supporting improved outcomes for children, families, and communities. Katie’s passion for early childhood education began as a lead teacher and Teach for America corps member in a Head Start classroom in San Francisco. Most recently, Katie studied California’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and suggested an improvement plan for the implementation of QRIS in programs across the state as part of her master’s degree. She has a Master of Arts in Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies from Stanford University and a Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology from New York University, as well as a Childhood Development Site Supervisor Permit for the state of California.

Hidden Talent: I can fall asleep anywhere.

Favorite Word: Peony (my favorite flower and it’s fun to say!)

I’m Inspired By: My sister.

Super Power I’d Like to Have: Teleportation, so I could travel around the world.

Justine Hufford, Project Associate

Justine Hufford, Project Associate

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6154

Email: justine@viva-strategy.com

A San Francisco native, Justine has a lifelong passion for improving lives and communities through impactful, innovative, and sustainable policy and programs. Justine has worked in areas of public policy and government relations as well as for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Congressional Intern in the Congressional District Office of Congresswoman Pelosi. Prior to joining VIVA, Justine worked as an Education Analyst with RTI International, where she ignited her passion for education policy, especially in the realm of early childhood and K-12 education. In this role, Justine provided research assistance on a variety of projects spanning the educational pipeline and analyzed trends in educational access, equity, and achievement. Most recently, Justine helped develop proposed early childhood education indicators for the Hawai’i State Department of Education’s state longitudinal data system. Justine graduated cum laude from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.

Hidden Talent: Facial recognition, especially with D-list actors and commercial extras.

Favorite Word: Mellifluous.

I’m Inspired By: My family, nature, adventurers and risk takers!

Super Power I’d Like to Have: Time travel, so I could experience all of my favorite moments in history first-hand.

Laura Bowen, Communications Manager

Laura Bowen, Communications Manager

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6232

Email: laura@viva-strategy.com

Laura is a dynamic communicator who brings passion and a desire to make a difference to her work. Her experience spans marketing, communications, branding, and social media. Prior to working at VIVA, she managed marketing and communications for a national healthcare association and worked in client services at a leading branding and graphic design agency. Originally from North Carolina, she has also lived in Washington, DC, Paris, and rural Arkansas, where she taught high school English as a 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 learned how to spell it in the third grade and have never forgotten it.

I’m Inspired By: Selflessness.

Super Power I’d Like To Have: Teleportation.

Annalise Stromsta, Communications Specialist

Annalise Stromsta, Communications Specialist

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 517-6220

Email: annalise@viva-strategy.com

Annalise is a well-rounded communicator who believes that stories are an effective way of conveying messages and ideas. She is a committed team player who is driven by innovative ideas and making positive community impact. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Annalise has extensive experience working in the non-profit arena including brand management, effective marketing strategies, social media strategy, and graphic design. In 2011 she spent the summer working at a Paraguayan immigration agency in Madrid, Spain, focusing on the effectiveness of institutional frameworks. Annalise has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Spanish from James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Hidden Talent: I can make incredibly delicious scones.

Favorite Word: Anaranjada. It means orange (the fruit) in Spanish.

I’m Inspired By: Breathtaking views.

Super Power I’d Like To Have: Fly! Traffic is such a bore.

Amy Swaffield, Administrative Assistant

Amy Swaffield, Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4306

Email: amy@viva-strategy.com

Any has a passion for kids and trying to make a difference in the world. Before joining VIVA, she spent 10 years working as an administrative assistant at a non-profit philanthropic organization that was helping to end mass atrocity and slavery. She has lived in San Carlos her whole life.

Hidden Talent: I love to draw and paint.

Favorite Word: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

I’m Inspired By: My parents.

Super Power I’d Like To Have: I would love to fly and be as free as a bird!

Saeed Mirfattah, Consultant

Saeed Mirfattah, Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4306

Email: saeed@viva-strategy.com

Saeed brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the public, non-profit and philanthropic sectors as a strategic advisor to organizations locally, nationally and internationally. His work has encompassed a diverse range of consulting engagements including organizational restructuring, strategic planning, change management, capacity-building initiatives, retreat planning and facilitation, and executive coaching. In addition to his consulting experience and positions directing and developing programs within non-profit and philanthropic organizations, he has served on numerous boards and advisory committees at the state and national level. Saeed has a Master of Arts degree in Social Anthropology from the University of London and an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education. He is an avid adventure traveler and photographer–he spent more than three years documenting the cultures, landscapes and architecture of South, Southeast and East Asia.

Hidden Talent: High school spaghetti eating champion 3 years in a row

Favorite Word: Ocularcentric (The privileging of vision over the other senses)

I’m Inspired By: Social entrepreneurs

Super Power I’d Like To Have: Flight

Vanessa Hernandez, Associate Consultant

Vanessa Hernandez, Associate Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4306

Email: vanessa@viva-strategy.com

A native of the central valley, Vanessa has a strong, lifelong passion for the community, healthy living, and family. Vanessa has experience in journalism as an intern at the State Capitol reporting on topics such as immigration and healthcare. Before joining VIVA, she worked for the University of California, Cooperative Extension as a Nutrition Educator where she worked to educate and inform underserved populations about nutrition through facilitated workshops in English and Spanish. Inspired by her family and upbringing, Vanessa is a positive, energetic team player with a lifelong passion to do good and help others. Vanessa graduated from UC Merced with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and a minor in Spanish.

Hidden Talent: Making ridiculously good ice cream

Favorite Word: Hello

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: Telekinesis

Sabina Tarnówka, Associate Consultant

Sabina Tarnówka, Associate Consultant

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 525-4306

Email: sabina@viva-strategy.com

Sabina is dedicated to developing and implementing smart, creative ideas to improve outcomes and reduce inequality for children, families, and communities. Her experience spans education, public policy, government relations, and communications. Prior to joining VIVA, Sabina helped develop behavior change campaigns for government agencies, nonprofits, and industries as a communications consultant. She also taught English at the Wuhan University of Technology in China as a Princeton in Asia Fellow. Sabina’s passion for community impact work began during her undergraduate career when she led a student organization that provided college admissions and test preparation programs to high need schools in Detroit. Sabina has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Chinese Language and Culture from the University of Michigan.

Hidden Talent: Sleeping through loud noise.

Favorite Word: Nonchalant. (I decided this in fourth grade because I thought it sounded “fancy and French” which is a particularly non-nonchalant way to pick one’s favorite word.)

I’m Inspired By: My mom.

Super Power I’d Like To Have: Ability to speak every language.