Dunwoody College of Technology is delighted to announce that Sona Mehring, CEO and founder of CaringBridge, the leading website for rallying support during a health crisis, will be the keynote speaker at our Commencement on Thursday, May 14, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Throughout her successful career in computer programming, Sona always searched for a way to help others with her skills. Her expertise was such that she owned and operated her own computer consulting firm that came with it’s own rewards. However, in 1997 when close friends experienced a serious medical crisis, Sona was inspired to create a solution around how to communicate with family and loved ones during a critical time and CaringBridge was born.
Sona was the first to recognize that the Internet could be a powerful tool in helping people connect and rally support during difficult times. Seeing her friends struggle with communication, Sona created a website that allowed them to easily share updates with their support community. What started as an act of kindness for her friends soon became Sona’s passion, and eventually her new career.
People around the world are now able to share news, receive comfort and coordinate care by creating private, personal websites through CaringBridge. Since its creation, CaringBridge websites have been visited nearly 2 billion times. Sona’s business insight told her the success of CaringBridge could be lucrative, but she cared more about its benefit to others than to herself. Choosing mission over profit potential, Sona made the website a nonprofit in 2002. This ensured that CaringBridge remained free from outside financial pressures and focused on helping anyone, anywhere get the social support they need during their health journey.
Sona serves on the National Caregiver Council, a group of leaders in the industry that studies the issues and technology impacting caregivers and their families. Sona is an active member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and is on the board of Minne*, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Minnesota’s technology community. She has also participated as a speaker and panelist at many healthcare and caregiver related events.
Sona is the author of Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge.
Sona has received numerous honors for her leadership and vision, including:
- 2015: Star Tribune’s Annual “Ten to Watch” List
- 2014: The Breast Cancer Education Association Award for Outstanding Support and Outreach to the Breast Cancer Community
- 2014: 1 of 35 Women Leaders in Minnesota Healthcare by The Women’s Health Leadership TRUST
- 2013: 41st on Minnesota Monthly’s List of 75 Most Influential People of the Twin Cities
- 2011: One of Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology”
- 2010: The Health Care Heroes Award from Twin Cities Business Magazine
- 2009: 25 Women Industry Leaders in the Twin Cities by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
- Good Neighbor Award – CBS affiliate WCCO-TV
- Alumni Excellence Award – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
- Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding service to the community