Meet our team at The Birches at Harleysville

Justin Mason
Executive Director

Justin’s passion for working with seniors stems from his own relationship with his great grandparents when he was younger. Throughout his career he has worked in the hospital-based setting, the skilled nursing setting, and the home care setting, but has dedicated the last decade and a half to working exclusively with seniors and memory care. With over twenty years of nursing experience in various roles, Justin is an experienced Administrator, Nurse, and has had extensive training related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Justin also enjoys volunteering to assist others and is an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Justin has lived in Montgomery County for most of his life and spends his downtime with his spouse, family and friends. He also enjoys gardening, music and traveling. Justin loves working in senior living because of the connections he makes with residents and families and looks forward to seeing you on your next visit to the community!

Ellen Bernier RN WCC
Resident Care Director

Ellen dedicated her nursing career to long-term care for the past thirty-five years beginning as a Candy-Striper at Mercy Suburban Hospital in Norristown at fourteen years of age. During this time, she realized long term care was her passion. Ellen has spent the last three decades mastering her expertise through additional certification including wound care certification, infection preventionist, and experience as an RNAC. Throughout Ellen’s nursing career and personal journey, she has continued to strive to provide the highest quality of care and service for all residents.

Ellen was born and raised in Worcester Pennsylvania and is happily married with one son and currently resides in Salford, Pennsylvania. She is one of three daughters who have dedicated their career to the medical profession. Ellen enjoys gardening, the Jersey shore, and her two Labrador retrievers.

Michelle Walsky
Daybreak Director

.Michelle brings a unique skill set to The Birches team as our Memory Care Director. Michelle has twenty years’ experience in the health field starting out as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Michelle spent many of those years providing care in nursing homes, home health care, private duty, as well as working with the intellectually disabled community for eight years. Within these settings is where Michelle gained valuable training and knowledge with those with dementia. She completed a degree in Health and Fitness at Montgomery County Community College and obtained her training as a Certified Dementia Practitioner with the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). Michelle enjoys her days overseeing our Daybreak neighborhood to ensure our residents and their families have a journey with dementia that is meaningful and compassionate.

In Michelle’s spare time, she enjoys the beach, watching the Phillies and being with her family and beloved shih tzu, Coco!

Bryan Jacobson
Maintenance Director

Bryan is responsible for the building, facilities within the building, and the grounds of The Birches. He is also responsible for the housekeeping team. Bryan has 27 years of experience in the Telecommunications industry. Since 2006, Bryan has been responsible for many telecom Central Offices and Data Centers from Washington D.C. to Maine. He has working knowledge of critical power, mechanical, and life safety systems. He has disaster preparation and recovery experience. He and his team kept a crucial Central Office running for seven weeks without commercial power in lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy. Bryan has been a manager of people and process since 1998.

Norma Favors
Food Service Services

Norma Favors began her long standing career in the food services industry working in senior care facility.  Starting out she learned the importance of food safety and service.  Norma later went on to work in the catering business preparing foods for special events and clients. She then went to work for a major hospital  in Philadelphia as a patient service manager.  During this time, Norma managed the staff and daily operations of the food establishment.

Norma has a love for cooking fresh wholesome foods that nurture the mind and soul. As Dining Services Director at Birches, Norma has once again found her niche in managing the daily operations of the Food Industry staff and providing nutrition services for seniors. She is responsible for the staff, inventory, service schedule, and routine operations of the kitchen. Norma has returned to her first love; providing seniors with wholesome foods that nurture the body and soul.

Ashley Donato
Marketing Director

Ashley is the Marketing Director here at The Birches. Ashley’s passion for working with seniors started after she graduated high school when she worked as a caregiver in an assisted living.  Over her 18 years in senior care she has worked in all levels including personal care, memory care, skilled nursing, and non-medical home care. She has worked in many positions throughout her career such as personal care coordinator, admissions coordinator, and memory care director. Ashley has a passion and drive to assist seniors and their families navigate through the process of finding the perfect community that will ensure they live long healthy lives that is full of purpose and fun!

Susan Founds
Activity Director

Susan began dedicating time to senior citizens from the age of 18, volunteering musical performances for residents with disabilities, senior centers, and nursing homes.  She was guided into this by her mother, who was a classical pianist. After a life of musical studies, she became a professional entertainer, touring the Philadelphia and local areas, casinos and jazz clubs. After decades as a performer, she married, and did fundraising for special needs children, beginning the building of the all-abilities playground in Coatesville near CCDC. Susan has three children with her wonderful husband, Jack, and she currently resides in Downingtown, Pa. Jack and Sue have 2 dogs, one cat and one chinchilla.

Once Sue became involved in Healthcare, she visited several neighborhoods to sing and play the piano, falling in love with the communities and the residents. It was then Sue decided to become involved in the Life Enrichment field. She is nationally certified and has been working as an activity director for the past fifteen years, while also teaching classes about songwriting to other directors at conventions throughout Pennsylvania. She loves to create programs that are harmonious with the communities, and find all their hidden talents, living every moment to the fullest, and can’t wait to meet new friends

Robin Gordon
Business Office Manager

Robin Gordon has a diverse financial background that makes her a strong asset to our community.  Robin’s primary responsibilities include payroll, billing, and accounts payable just to name a few.
She started her career in healthcare as a file clerk at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood NJ.  A position for a medical biller opened and she applied.  From there she discovered an interest for medical billing and coding.  Robin did billing and coding for physical therapists as well as a gastroenterology group.

Always having a niche for numbers and wanting more, she left healthcare and worked her way around and up the banking industry as a personal banker, credit and collections supervisor and went to business school to become a mortgage loan officer.  She continued in mortgage refinancing until she discovered an opportunity to bring all her skills together.

Robin decided to apply as a Business Office Manager at an assisted living facility where she felt right at home.  She was able to bring forth her financial knowledge, supervisory skills, as well as her medical billing background to one place.  In addition, she realized that working in senior care she could also present her love for helping others on a whole new level and still enjoy the financial world at the same time.  She feels that not everyone can be both a numbers person and a people person and that is what makes her special.  Here at the Birches Robin’s peers refer to her as “The BOM” (Business Office Manager) not only because of her title but its complimentary to her efficiency and explosive desire to get the job done.

Come Home to The Birches at Harleysville

Give us a call today. Our team is standing by to answer any questions you have and guide you on the path to calling our Harleysville, Pennsylvania, senior living community home.