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.

Peter Sullivan, MBA, RN-BC, LRCA, CDP

Executive Director

Peter has more than 20 years experience in healthcare. He has worked in a variety of care settings across the country including; acute care, long-term care, managed care, and healthcare administration. He began his career as a CNA in a skilled nursing facility while obtaining his nursing degree, and has furthered his education by obtaining an MBA with a concentration in healthcare. Peter came to Birch Bay Retirement Village because of his love of working with adults in all stages of the aging process as well as a desire to provide education and support to individuals and families on Mount Desert Island. He is a member of the Maine Gerontological Society and believes strongly in community outreach. As part of his commitment to the community he teaches a community education series for adults interested in better understanding and managing their own health. He also provides Dementia Education and is certified as a Positive Approach to Caregiving trainer. Peter is also a board member of the Dirigo Maine Geriatrics Society.

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.

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.

Julie Ireland, RN

Director of Health & Resident Services

Julie has 20+ years of experience in healthcare leadership. She has worked in a variety of care settings including acute care, homecare, LTC/SNF, managed care and care management. Julie sought a position at Birch Bay Retirement Village for her passion and enjoyment of providing care to aging populations. This passion paired with her background in leadership made the Director of Health and Residents Services position role a good fit. Julie leads with a customer centric focus and views all members of her teams as well as residents and internal and external vendors as customers.

Some of Julie’s leadership accomplishments in her past positions have included: remediation in challenged nursing facilities, being voted “Best in Class” (by peers) for clinical best practices for northeast region of a national company, managing clinical practice in a start-up region and growing operations from 10K members to <90K members while maintaining best in class service, and providing mentorship to other startup regions.

Julie was born and raised in Northern Maine, she and her family moved to Mount Desert Island in 2010. Her favorite job is being Nena to her 2 grandchildren. She and her husband reside with their new baby yorkie, Maggie, in Seal Cove.

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.”

Chef Louis Kiefer

Director of Dining Services & Executive Chef

Chef Louis Kiefer was formally the executive chef at The Bar Harbor Inn Oceanfront Resort in Bar Harbor, Maine. Chef Louis Kiefer held that position for 22 years. Chef Kiefer is a graduate of A.I. Prince Technical Institute and Johnson and Wales University. He is a member of the ACF Northern Maine Chapter.

Chef Kiefer apprenticed under Chef Allen Weigman for 10 years and held many positions in resorts, such as The Belleview Biltmore, The Vanoy, The Albamarle, The Balsams Grand Resort and The Eastland Hotel. Chef Kiefer worked for many years in the Bar Harbor area at properties such as The Asticou Inn, Cranberry Lodge, The Bluenose Inn, The High Seas Conference Center and The Claremont Hotel.

Chef Kiefer has published two cookbooks “The Bar Harbor Inn Recipe Collection Volumes 1 and 2”. Chef Kiefer has been published in The New York Times and has participated in media events for CBS, PBS and for local media outlets. Chef Lou has been the winner of the Autumn Gold Annual Chowderfest and past ACF food Competitions.

Chef Louis Kiefer currently lives in Eastbrook, Maine on Dickens Farm with his partner Emily Dickens and her two children Mia and Malcolm Jordan. Chef Lou enjoys international travel, marathon competition, martial arts, organic farming, carpentry and guitar.

Learn more about Birch Bay Retirement Village

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