Liwanag Ojala, CEO of Caring Bridge: Making Your Health Journey a Group Effort

April 29, 2021

Hosted by Robert Rimm

This episode brought to you by…

Now available from Arch Street Press.

From the launch of the very first CaringBridge site in 1997, they’ve been working toward a single vision: a world where no one goes through a health journey alone. In order to turn this vision into reality, they’ve made it their mission to build bridges of care and communication, providing love and support on a health journey.

CaringBridge has made it simple and safe to offer or ask for support when needed most. More than 300,000 people use their private and ad-free platform every single day, sharing health updates and rallying around loved ones. People around the world turn to CaringBridge for health journey communications; every 10 minutes, there’s a new CaringBridge site made to share updates and get support. And every hour, 1,800 messages of encouragement are shared on the sites of loved ones.

Liwanag Ojala is the CEO of CaringBridge, the first and most widely used global nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. She ensures that all CaringBridge operations contribute toward its vision—a world where no one goes through a health journey alone.

Liwanag’s background has given her a strong foundation of business skills and knowledge that she uses to continue pushing CaringBridge forward into its next era. Before joining CaringBridge as chief operating officer at the end of 2014, she was vice president of ecommerce at Meijer, and had also served in several executive roles. Liwanag began her career as an attorney with Briggs & Morgan and, as legal counsel for SpartanNash, assisted that public company by advising executives.

Liwanag has been continuously recognized for her business prowess and achievements. In just the past few years, she was named among the “Top 500 Executives” by Minnesota Monthly, as well as included in the new CARE 100, a list of Americans doing the most to reimagine and re-humanize our care system. In 2019, Liwanag was named as one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEOs” and selected by Twin Cities Business Magazine as one of their “Top 100 People to Know in 2020.” She remains a member of the Minnesota State Bar, a trustee emeritus of the Blandin Foundation and serves on the Board of Trustees for MPR News.

Liwanag studied at Northwestern University before receiving her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. The opportunity to lead an impactful organization at the intersection of healthcare, nonprofit and technology—all while utilizing her many years in e-commerce—has made CaringBridge a rewarding and fulfilling chapter in her professional career.