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HomeTwo Vibrant East Bay Groups To Enter Second Decade Together

Two Vibrant East Bay Groups To Enter Second Decade Together

For Release: Monday, July 6, 2020                                     

Contact: Su-Yin Bickner,

In the midst of closures and cutbacks brought on by the current pandemic, two East Bay organizations with the same compelling mission have found a way to strengthen both their offerings and operations.

Ashby Village and North Oakland Village, two nonprofits that have helped older adults stay in their homes and communities and thrive for the past ten years, have merged as of July 1, 2020 to provide even more robust programming and support to seniors in Berkeley, parts of Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Kensington and Richmond. Both are part of the fast-growing national Village movement that trains networks of volunteers to create close-knit communities of elders that address their needs and engage them in stimulating events and activities.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to join forces, to make us stronger and more resilient in these challenging times,” says Andra Lichtenstein, Chair of the Ashby Village Board.  She points out that since both villages have been in existence for 10 years, they have a wealth of experience and wisdom to share.

Charlotte Dickson, Director of Village Movement California, a coalition of over 43 villages in the state, says the coalition applauds mergers like this because they’re win/win situations.  “I’m excited,” she says. “This will widen opportunities for older adults in the East Bay,” she adds, “plus it’s a very wise business move.”

Judith Coates, co-founder of the North Oakland Village, agrees. She says both organizations have considered the merger for some time, realizing that there would be a saving of administrative costs and an enrichment of programming for members of both groups. Combined there will be more than 400 members and 300 volunteers.

Andy Gaines, Ashby Village Executive Director, and Susan Pierpoint, North Oakland Village Board President, point out another advantage:  both villages have contacts and partners who open doors and provide opportunities that will benefit all members. To create a seamless transition, three members of the North Oakland Village Board of Directors will join the Ashby Village Board of Directors.

Mary Jo Powell, who coordinates the activities of the Thousand Oaks Hamlet Neighborhood Group, one of seven neighborhood groups within Ashby Village, said, “we are pleased to welcome Greg Finnegan as North Oakland Village’s representative on our Neighborhood Group Council, and are so happy that North Oakland is becoming a part of our Ashby Village family. We will all learn from each other”.

For more about the merger, please contact Su-Yin Bickner ##