The Square
News and perspectives from Covia.

On February 11, the Covia Communities Board approved plans for Friends House to become part of Covia. This decision is in accordance with the Friends Association of Services for the Elderly (FASE), which voted in November 2020 for Friends House to merge with Covia Communities. The Covia Group board affirmed the merger at its meeting in January 2021.

The merger is expected to take place March 31, 2021, pending approval of the California Attorney General and the California Department of Social Services.

Covia and FASE have worked closely together since September 2018 when Covia began a management agreement with FASE to provide support and oversight for many of Friends House’s administrative functions. FASE and Covia agree that the merger of Friends House into Covia will ensure a financially attainable option for non-profit senior living in Sonoma County.

Covia is committed to the heritage and purpose of Friends House, including its Quaker values and cultural standards for simplicity, stewardship, integrity, equality, community, and peace.

Frequently Asked Questions are posted here. If you have additional questions, contact Friends House Associate Executive Director Jaclyn Carenbauer at


The Boards of Directors for Front Porch and Covia, two leading California-based not-for-profit senior living and affordable housing providers, voted on June 1 to affiliate.

The new affiliation will create one of the nation’s top not-for-profit organizations providing senior living, affordable housing and community services for more than 10,000 people. The combined organization will ensure long-term stability, achieve economic benefits, manage costs, and scale and access resources across 54 communities.

“Our affiliation with Front Porch creates a strong organization going forward that will support the changing needs of our residents,” said Vincent Forte, Chairman of the Covia Communities Board of Directors.

“Aligning our leadership, experience and expertise creates an opportunity to better meet the evolving expectations of a growing population of older adults,” said Oliver Wesson, Chairman of the Front Porch Board of Directors.

Covia CEO and President Kevin Gerber and Front Porch CEO John Woodward will remain in their positions during the transition. The boards agreed to retain the Front Porch name initially and appoint John Woodward as CEO of the combined entity. Kevin Gerber will leave upon the close of the affiliation, expected in early 2021.

“Combining with Covia strengthens our long-held goal of building strong and engaging communities, connecting people with the services and relationships they need to thrive,” Woodward said. “Under Kevin’s leadership, Covia has raised the bar for our industry and is the ideal partner to provide even greater service to all of our communities.”

“Our collective geographic footprints and service offerings will maximize Front Porch’s capacity to grow and diversify our reach and impact,” Gerber said. “I’m confident that under John’s guidance our affiliation will be a success.” 

The affiliation is subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and is expected to close in early 2021. Front Porch and Covia will continue to operate their organizations and their respective communities separately until the affiliation is approved.

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