Volunteer Shares Passion for Service and Innovation

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Essential to the success of any nonprofit’s mission and vision for the future is building strong relationships with community volunteers.

CICOA Board Chair Peter Bisbecos has a relationship with the organization that goes back nearly 30 years. It’s an association based on mutual interests in service and innovation that fulfills a mission of caring for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

“Service to people, high-quality service, keeping people at home…these are real passions of mine,” Peter said. “Early on, I noticed the way CICOA advanced the thinking in those areas and served as a leader in ways that went beyond the role of a typical AAA (Area Agency on Aging). I could see that in the way it supported people in communities and family caregivers.”

Peter first engaged with CICOA in the early 1990s when he was with the Indianapolis mayor’s office, working on public transportation issues. He linked up with CICOA again a few years later after leaving state government work. His wife preceded him on the CICOA board. His successor with the city asked Peter to consider joining the CICOA board, which he did in 2011.

Supporting a forward-thinking community organization

“It’s always been true that CICOA has been an innovative organization,” he said. “It’s now at a point where you have this upward movement of innovation, with ideas flowing from staff to leadership. You don’t get that in a lot of places.”

Peter, who is the executive director of rehabilitation neuropsychology and RHI legal affairs at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, became chair of the CICOA board in 2020 and will complete his term later this year. While there are enough challenges ahead for agencies serving older adults and individuals with disabilities to cause him concern, he believes CICOA’s people and processes are moving in exactly the right direction.

“It’s rare to find an organization that does all that it can today and can still look down the road toward the future. Right now, CICOA is focused on what the senior care model and the disabilities model will look like in 10 to 15 years. That provides the kind of advantage that’s going to make our mission sustainable,” Peter said.

He points to Duett, the agency’s for-profit tech start-up designed to match people who need in-home care with providers who offer services, as an example of such forward thinking.

“They created a way to help clients simplify the process of choosing service providers. Finding the right provider can be a terrible ordeal for people who are new to the experience,” he said. “(With Duett) clients now can have immediate, meaningful conversations with providers. That’s an enormous innovation. That kind of thing excites me.”

Volunteers like Peter lend their voices, background and expertise to the mission of CICOA. Get involved and join us in creating a supportive community for older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers.

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