CaringBridge Announces Four New Board Members

Eagan, Minn., (February 7, 2017) — CaringBridge is pleased to announce the appointments of Sharon Berry, Jim Cuene, Bruce Smith and Pete Sommerness to its board of directors. They join a board of 16, comprised of individuals from the technology, health care, business, and nonprofit communities. Board members for the Minnesota-based nonprofit are appointed to a two-year term and can serve up to three consecutive terms. The board works side-by-side with the CaringBridge senior leadership team to provide counsel, guidance and governance in the direction and operation of the organization. In addition, they raise awareness for the CaringBridge mission and work to attract support.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sharon, Jim, Bruce and Pete as new CaringBridge board members. Their knowledge is invaluable as we are seeking to grow and reach more people during a time of need,” said Liwanag Ojala, CEO of CaringBridge. “These appointments reflect our commitment to find the very best leaders in the health, digital, business and nonprofit industries to work with our team in fulfilling our mission and vision.”

Berry has a PhD and is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves as the associate clinical director and psychology director of training for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Berry has worked in health care for more than 30 years in a number of different states and facilities, treating patients with physical, behavioral and mental health concerns. Berry has personally witnessed the benefits CaringBridge offers families under stress and says it is her privilege to serve on the board.

Cuene is a partner at GoKart Labs, a digital innovation company in the Twin Cities. Cuene has worked in the marketing industry for 20 years, and has a unique depth of experience in digital marketing and digital-powered innovation. Cuene has seen the impact CaringBridge enables, and is thrilled to help a digital platform like CaringBridge continue to enable people to work together to support their family and friends.

Smith is the managing director of Marsh & McLennan Companies in Minneapolis, a global insurance broking, risk management and human resources consulting firm. He also serves on the Board of the Kate P. Smith Foundation, along with his daughters, which is a nonprofit that was formed in memory of his wife to support families challenged with cancer. Smith is honored to give back to CaringBridge, which was an outlet to communicate with family and friends during his wife’s long-term illness, and is passionate about supporting families in similar situations.

Sommerness is a partner at the Minneapolis office of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. He has more than 20 years of experience in the health care industry, both on the medical device side as well as the hospital and care network side. Sommerness is excited to work with a mission-oriented team and use his in-depth knowledge of the health care industry to help further the CaringBridge mission.

About CaringBridge

CaringBridge is a global nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey through the use of free personal websites. Their mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. Nearly 90 percent of all funding comes from individual donors. Since its founding in 1997 by Sona Mehring, more than 650,000 CaringBridge websites have been created. Combined, they have received more than 2 billion visits. For more information, visit