Introducing Tauhric Brown
IHN Board Chair
Tauhric Brown, CEO of CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions and the CICOA Foundation Inc. was named as the Chair of the Indy Hunger Network board of directors earlier this year. Brown has been working with Indy Hunger Network since he began his current role with CICOA in January 2020. At CICOA, an Indy Hunger Network partner organization, Brown aids the organization’s mission of providing older adults, or adults of any age living with a disability, and their families with innovative answers and solutions with the hope of extending the longevity that those individuals can live at home. CICOA’s services include a senior nutrition program, senior and disability transportation, ongoing case management services, and home repairs and modifications.
Brown joined the Indy Hunger Network almost immediately after starting at CICOA and it did not take long for him to see the importance in IHN’s mission.
“I learned really quickly that there’s a lot of benefit and value to having a collaborative standing up like this,” Brown said. “It was very intriguing to me to be in a position to not only represent the senior population, but to also learn about food pantry services and operation and how we could collaborate together to help families.”
According to Brown, working with families is one of the ways that Indy Hunger Network aids his organization’s mission the most, highlighting the importance of collaboration in the complicated hunger ecosystem.
“We deal with a lot of multi-generational homes where many times the senior is food insecure,” Brown said. “If they’ve got their children and grandchildren living there, they most likely are food insecure also. So having great relationships with the other IHN partners helps us make easy referrals into those food pantries and other entities to really help address that whole family.”
Additionally, Brown says that working together with IHN has taught all partner organizations more about both food insecurity and their own respective missions, which has changed the way that all of them operate.
“We started this venture really to reduce the meal gap, but along the way we’ve learned some things, particularly from the public health emergency,” Brown said. “We’ve learned that hunger could be a symptom of a larger issue. The reason that’s beneficial and valuable for the partners is because each of us has expertise in different areas and arenas. When you bring all that expertise together you can make deeper impacts in lives served.”
One thing that separates Brown from his colleagues on the Indy Hunger Network board is his prior time working outside of the nonprofit world, which is experience that he believes gives him a unique perspective on nonprofit management.
“I’ve not been in the nonprofit sector for my entire career. What that does is allow me to really see things from different angles than many of my peer group. It helps [me] really understand how we can leverage some innovative and unique opportunities for the sustainability of IHN for years and decades to come.”
Under his leadership, Brown sees the board as having three key goals. The first is to collaborate with the board on what type of strategic planning will work to best set Indy Hunger Network up for success in the future. Second, he wants to implement new methods of sustainable financial modeling. Finally, he wants to focus on volunteerism and how to connect IHN to the communities it serves, which Brown believes is important to keep in mind so as to best stay in-line with Indy Hunger Network’s mission.
“It’s very difficult, sitting in our organizations at the levels that all of the members of IHN sit in day-in and day-out,” Brown said. “Part of that is having a good sense of what’s happening on the ground or having a finger on the pulse of these communities. The only way to do that is to solicit that feedback from individuals who have benefited from those services but really drive the need for volunteer engagement across our communities we serve.”