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

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 facilitates Caregiver Support Groups and teaches community education series for adults interested in better understanding and managing their own health. Peter provides Dementia Education and is certified as a Positive Approach to Caregiving trainer.

Darlene Trafton, RN

Director of Health & Resident Services

Darlene Trafton, RN has more than 30 years of healthcare experience. Starting as a switchboard operator in the early 90’s for a small hospital in Elizabethton, Tenessee, Darlene worked in various settings within the hospital environment. That experience allowed her the ability to move into healthcare management. Darlene’s close relationship with her grandparents and great-grandparents led to her returning to school to become a nurse. She worked in acute care for a number of years but found her passion providing skilled and long-term care.
Darlene, a Maine native, recently moved back from Tenessee. Her previous experience working for MDI Hospital led her to Birch Bay Village. She missed the strong, hard-working family values found abundantly here in Maine and is happy to be able to be part of a community that thrives on looking out for each other. Her love and respect for her grandparents is the driving force behind her desire to provide resources for the aging population to live a happier, healthier, purposeful life.

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 Birch Bay’s marketing efforts including giving tours of the Birch Bay Campus, coordinating cottage sales and Inn rental agreements, social media management, 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

Music Therapy Program & Activity Director

Melissa is a Board Certified Music Therapist and Director of the Music Therapy Department and Activity Program at Birch Bay 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.”

David Viertel

Executive Chef

Chef David is responsible for overseeing the dining services operations at Birch Bay Retirement Village, which includes 55 apartments and suites as well as 17 cottages. In addition to serving meals to its residents, the Birch Bay dining room also hosts community events such as weekly MDI Rotary Club Luncheons, MDI Hospital Physician’s Breakfasts and Acadia Senior College Lunch and Learns.

David received his training from the Culinary Institute of America and has more than 30 years of food and beverage experience. David has experience in the areas of fine dining, healthcare, hotel, resort, and banquet dining. He has had outstanding write-ups in Zagat, the New York Times, Travel and Leisure, and the New York Post.

David is a member of the Lions Club International and a BSA Leader. He lives with his wife and son in Bar Harbor.

Learn more about Birch Bay Retirement Village

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