By Cash Benton, Executive Director
On October 6, 2023, The Covington in Aliso Viejo celebrated 100 years of delivering on its parent company’s mission to provide exceptional communities and services to seniors in Southern California.
The celebration took attendees through exhibits showcasing three chapters of the Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS) legacy, starting with its origins, then its progress over the past century, and culminating with an exciting look toward the future.
The origins of ECS were told through a video interview of Bishop John H. Taylor, VII Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. As he richly relayed the beginnings of the organization, eight-foot panels displayed the story of Deaconess Sophie Miller, who believed that aged people throughout the diocese, particularly the widows of clergy, should be provided for in their retirement years. By collecting donations on dime cards and enlisting the support of Bishop Horsfall Johnson, she was able to raise funds to build The Episcopal Home for the Aged in Alhambra, which welcomed its first residents in 1923. As attendees continued through the exhibit, they learned how this Home evolved into today’s organization, which owns and operates five premier senior living communities in Southern California.
In the second room, the displays celebrated the company’s progress. Prior CEO, Martha Tamburrano, described via video the holistic approach ECS has taken to become a leader in premier senior living in Southern California. “Wherever we operate, we provide good jobs for the community. These are jobs that have good benefits and good pay. They are jobs one can be proud to have.” She continued, “I’m personally proud of a lot about the ECS legacy, but what I most enjoy sharing is that the company operates within a value system based on lifelong learning, care that comes to you, and providing exceptional communities and services to seniors from all backgrounds, cultures and faiths. Those values have been in place since day one. The fact that the company has continued to expand the mission and grow the organization while maintaining the same original founding values is uniquely satisfying and especially remarkable.”
CEO James Rothrock shared ECS’s vision. Future initiatives include for The Covington an upgraded entrance, expanded dining, and refreshed shared spaces; while the company’s Affordable Housing Plan supports Bishop Taylor’s initiative to build 30 additional communities throughout the diocese.
More than 100 people attended the afternoon event, including Aliso Viejo City Councilmember, Ross Chun. Additional attendees included The Reverend Michael S. Bell – ECS Director of Housing and Development, current and future residents, Board Members, leadership, team members, and The Covington’s business partners.
“It was a wonderful afternoon,” said Rothrock. “I am thrilled that we had this opportunity to enjoy such a worthy tribute to the numerous lives touched by the Mission and Values of our organization over the past 100 years.”
Special appreciation to Morrison Living who generously donated the food and beverage.
We thank all who attended and look forward to more milestones to celebrate in the future.