Dear Covia team,
Although it’s not particularly well known, today is officially recognized as Employee Appreciation Day, and I’m grateful for the chance to share my deepest appreciation for all of you before my departure at the end of March.
As I shared with many of you recently, my first job in senior living was as an orderly at the nursing home where my grandmother lived when I was growing up in Minnesota. I vowed to myself that I would never forget what that felt like, how hard that work is and how often that work is not recognized or rewarded. And I never have.
Caring for people is hard work. It’s hard work physically, whether it’s cooking, cleaning, maintaining buildings, providing health services, or anything we do to provide for all the daily care needs of our residents. It’s hard work mentally, as we try to balance the different needs and desires of each individual, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. And it’s hard work emotionally and spiritually, because caring for people means investing ourselves, growing attached, and experiencing loss and grief over and over again. Thank you for caring for our residents and for one another.
I am proud of each one of you, and I am proud of how you work together as a team. You show up every day to do this hard work, and you do it very well. Although this has always been the case, it is even clearer to me this year as you have dealt with COVID-19 on top of all of the other demands that are already placed on you.
I am proud to be part of an organization that lives out its guiding principles of respecting one another and embracing individuality. I have seen you demonstrate these values in how you work together, support one another, and hold one another accountable. That’s something I know you will continue to do long after I’m gone.
I am proud of how far we have come, and I know that good things lie ahead for this organization. Although change is never easy, I am excited about our upcoming affiliation with Front Porch and how these two organizations will build on each other’s strengths. Front Porch will be fortunate to have you as our combined team builds a new, enduring organization together.
I will miss Covia, and I will miss you. It will be very hard to say goodbye. But I will remember this Covia team and the great work you do every day. Thank you.
Kevin J. Gerber has been the President and CEO of Covia since 2005.