Making a Difference

Houston Food Bank President Brian Green Recognized For Pandemic Leadership Efforts

50 out of 300 executives were chosen for the award.

By Sofia Gonzalez October 15, 2021

Andrea Osbourne (Greene’s wife), Paul Clolery, and Brian Greene.

Houstonians are once again stepping up to the plate and going the extra mile for their neighbors. The President and CEO of Houston Food Bank, Brian Greene, was honored as one of The Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50; for his relentless efforts during the pandemic.

“While I was personally selected for this award, it was accepted on behalf of the entire Houston Food Bank family, an immensely dedicated and hard-working team that gave their all during one of the most challenging times in all of our personal and working lives,” Greene says in a release. “I am proud of each person individually and for what we accomplished together.”

The Nonprofit Times is the leading business publication for nonprofit management, and for the past 24 years, the organization has handed out Power and Influence awards to honor the top leaders based on the hardships of that year.

According to NPT, those recognized this year are frontline heroes who found a way to overcome the unprecedented pandemic with their staff. The Top 50 were distinguished from their competition based on who worked day-in and day-out as initiators, innovators, and leaders.

“The year quite possibly launched a new era in philanthropy, with major donors and foundations eliminating the red tape and strings attached to funding. Infrastructure is finally receiving deserved respect,” says Paul Clolery, NPT vice president and editorial director in a release.  

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Houston food bank faced many challenges, grappling with a new normal and lockdowns. Those working were forced to learn how to continue serving people, while dealing with increased health and safety restrictions in place and fewer volunteers. According to Greene, the Houston Food Bank had to pull from their disaster playbook to accomplish their goal of providing food for better lives in Harris County; but with their new socially distanced world.

Furthermore, the economic upheaval that stemmed from the pandemic triggered a dramatic increase in the demand for food, causing the local food bank to double its distributiongoing from serving 800,000 pounds a day to almost one million. While working alongside: food pantries, soup kitchens, social services, and schools in the last fiscal year, the food bank has given over 18 counties in southeast Texas access to 207 million nutritious meals. 

“The evolution of thinking, planning, and implementation of 360-degree services focusing on shelter, food, and healthcare is what held a nation together. Executives in some cases risked their lives – staring down threats to personal safety – to ensure those who needed help got as much as could be mustered," Clolery concluded.

For more information on the Houston Food Bank, visit their website. 

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