Every person we hire is carefully trained to provide skilled, attentive, and responsive service. Criminal background checks are conducted before hiring. All of our staff are loyal, long-term employees who are dedicated to their work and take pride in the wonderful community that they work in.

Robert Hemenway

Executive Director

Robert Hemenway joined Birch Bay Retirement Village as the Executive Director in October, 2023. He was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds a Batchelor of Social Work from Monmouth University and a Master of Social Work from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. 

He began his career as a social worker in a special education school. He then transitioned to the hospital setting; first was a state psychiatric hospital and then with an acute care hospital in New Jersey. 

In 2005, he became a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in New Jersey, where he served as an assistant administrator at two different facilities. 

In 2012, he moved to Maine and took the position of Administrator for Courtland Rehabilitation and Living Center in Ellsworth. In 2015, he became administrator for Westgate Center for Rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s Care in Bangor. During his time at Westgate Center, he was also the Bangor/Brewer Area Administrator that included overseeing the administrators of Eastside Center for Health & Rehabilitation and Brewer Center for Health & Rehabilitation. From 2017 to 2020, he was the administrator of Narraguagus Bay Health Care Facility in Milbridge. 

Prior to joining Birch Bay Retirement Village, he was working as a social worker at Northern Light Home Care & Hospice. It was during this time that he would visit hospice patients at Birch Bay Retirement Village. Rob could see that Birch Bay Retirement Village is a great place. The residents are well cared for by a caring and dedicated staff.

Rob brings to Birch Bay Retirement Village a strong desire to support the mission of the community by forging a relationship with residents, families, trustees and staff.  

James Hoke, MBA, CDP

Director of Programs & Resident Engagement

James Hoke is the director of BBRV’s life enrichment, adult day, volunteer, activity, and other resident engagement programs. He started with the organization in November, 2015, and invested his time in developing BBRV’s life enrichment program for its memory care residents and coordinating services for the Straus Therapeutic Adult Day Program. In 2019, he began acting as BBRV’s Quality Care Coordinator, overseeing regulatory compliance and the quality of services offered to our residents across all program and service areas. He also provides Dementia Education and is a certified trainer of the Habilitation Therapy Program’s Approach to Person-Centered Dementia Care. James is a native of West Virginia and is a U.S. Marine veteran with a background in photojournalism. He has an MBA in Organizational Leadership and a BA in English. Prior to working at BBRV, he managed a quarantine facility for a livestock exporting company in Pennsylvania for three years and worked as an online auctioneer, marketing and IT specialist for a national equine auction company for 10 years. James is also a published novelist and an avid pianist.

Joy Hatfield, RN

Director of Health & Resident Services

Joy Hatfield joined BBRV in November of 2022 and is the Director of Health and Resident Services. Joy has been a RN for 29 years in a variety of LTC and Acute care clinical and leadership roles.

Joy obtained her RN in Nova Scotia, Canada and has been lining in Maine for the last 21 years. During those 21 years Joy has been working in Acute Care, primarily Cardiac and Critical Care.

Joy has come to BBRV as she believes that the Mission, Vision and Vaues of BBRV align with her own. Joy states that her passion of Healthcare Leadership is best explained by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “To know that one life breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded”. Joy believes as a leader in healthcare that she can help guide and lead so many care givers to succeed.

Wayne Sinclair

Facilities Director

Wayne joined BBV in December of 2013 after Mount Desert Island Hospital Organization employees recommended him for the Facilities Director’s position. He is a U.S. Army veteran with a work background which includes eight years on the facilities crew at MDIBL, ownership of the former Higgins Holiday Motel in Bar Harbor for 12 years, and experience in real estate sales, fine art handling and installation in Boston, retail management, and landscaping. He enjoys seeing the physical changes that occur on the Birch Bay Campus due to the hard work of his crew. He currently resides in Trenton with his wife, and their two children.

Susanne Hopkins

Marketing Director

Susanne began at Birch Bay Village in 2012. A native of Mount Desert Island, she received her degree from the University of Maine at Augusta. Susanne came to Birch Bay with 15 years’ experience in hospitality and office management. Susanne is responsible for all of BBV’s marketing efforts including giving tours, coordinating cottage sales and Inn rental agreements, social media management, event planning, outreach and advertising. She also manages the Administrative Office and the Community Lifeline program. Susanne values her role working with residents and their families to help find them a home within the Birch Bay community. Susanne lives in Bar Harbor with her husband and three children.

Melissa Violette, MT-BC, NMT

Music Therapy Program Director

Melissa is a Board Certified Music Therapist at Birch Bay Retirement Village. She is a native New Englander, and her parents hail from Maine. Born in Massachusetts, and raised in Connecticut, she spent her summers in Maine as a child. She received her Music Therapy degree from Anna Maria College in Paxton Massachusetts in 1992 and came to Birch Bay Village with 25 years of music therapy experience in mental health.

Melissa believes strongly in the healing power of music.  Melissa states “Music is found in the same places in our brains as our language and memories. It universally connects our hearts and minds and bonds us to each other. The right song can transport us to another place and time, our loved ones, and ourselves. It is in fact, the soundtrack of our lives. When time steals words from us, it steals our lyrics last, but we can still use music to speak even when our words fail us.”

Joseph Kowles

Director of Dining Services and Executive Chef

Joseph Kowles’s culinary adventure started in Glastonbury, Connecticut where he was born, raised, and first inspired by food. Childhood memories of summer gardening and treasured moments at the dinner table sparked a lifelong interest in the field of Culinary Arts, driving him to pursue his dream. His passion, buttressed by classic French Cooking Technique, led him to Alaska, Colorado, and finally Maine, where he has found renewed inspiration by the natural beauty and bounty of Maine’s woods and waters. Joseph is now a permanent resident of Bar Harbor and when not working, can be found with his beagle by his side, and coffee in hand. 

Learn more about Birch Bay Retirement Village

For more information or to arrange a tour, call 207-288-8014 or complete our contact form