Effecting comprehensive policy and culture change around an issue like obesity is a big challenge, but that is precisely what Maren accomplished in her former role as President & CEO at LiveWell Colorado (LWC). Charged with building an organization that would set and align strategies, develop and promote key messages and serve as the unifying force among various constituencies, Maren turned a public health problem into a public advocacy campaign that quickly gained momentum.
LWC became known as an innovative model and credible thought leader both in Colorado and nationally. The first step was to develop a compelling and approachable brand for the issue that would engage people in a statewide movement to drive sustainable change. Utilizing earned, paid and social media, in conjunction with a robust website, strategic partnerships and community outreach efforts, LWC developed a successful culture change campaign that resonated with a wide spectrum of individuals as well as the community-at-large. In addition, LWC created and cultivated a multi-sector, statewide coalition which engaged diverse stakeholders – many from unexpected industries – to advance its mission with a collective voice.
Finally, coordinated grassroots and media advocacy supported public policy efforts at the local, state and federal levels, as well as organizational policies in schools and companies throughout the state. Under Maren’s visionary leadership, public awareness and will-building strategies were leveraged and maximized, resulting in the only statewide obesity prevention movement in the nation.