We at United Way will greatly miss Herbert R. Brown, our long-time volunteer and namesake of our Herbert R. Brown Society.
Brown, who passed away Thursday, March 11, served in many capacities as a volunteer, including as a member of United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Board of Directors. His presence within our organization was so great that our African American Leadership Initiative was renamed the Herbert R. Brown Society in 2003. This group advocates for equity and access for communities of color.
In 2010, Brown was honored with the Ruth W. and Robert I. Westheimer Award for Continuous Leadership for his dedicated volunteer support of our organization and many others in our community.
Brown had a storied career at Western & Southern Financial Group, rising from a computer trainee in 1963 to senior vice president in 2001. John Barrett, Western & Southern’s chairman, president and CEO, played a key role in creating the Herbert R. Brown Society.
Brown’s volunteer worked stretched beyond United Way. He considered volunteerism an investment in the community. In 1996, he was recognized by Applause! Magazine with the prestigious Imagemaker Award for “Lifetime Achievers.” In 2004, he received the Theodore M. Berry Award from the NAACP and the Paul M. Lund Public Service Award from the National Public Relations Society of America.
His motto: “There is no greater thing in life than to answer a call from others in need, and to have as a true testament that your own needs are secondary.”
We are very fortunate he felt that way and bestowed his talents, time and treasure on United Way of Greater Cincinnati. We are a better organization because of Herbert R. Brown and our impact on the community was greater because of his presence.
Our condolences and gratitude to Mr. Brown’s family during this difficult time.