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 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.


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! 


Nicole Martinez
Marketing Associate

Nicole has been the Marketing Associate here at The Birches since September 2021. Nicole received her degree in Business and Marketing from Lansdale School of Business and has since worked in the field for the past 19 years. Over her 19-year career she has worked in various industries such as the glass and glazing industry where she was able to provide the safety glass they use in military vehicles, police vehicles and secured buildings. She also worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a company who calibrates medical/pharmaceutical equipment. Although Nicole is newer to the senior living industry she believes she finally found where she belongs. Nicole has a passion for seniors and truly enjoys the process of helping residents and their families find the perfect community at The Birches. A few of Nicole’s other passions are animals, playing softball, and spending quality time with her family. 


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!


Susan Founds
Resident Life 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 two dogs and one cat. Sue 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!


Norma Favors
Food Service Services

Norma began her long standing career in the food services industry working in senior care facility, starting out learning the importance of food safety and service. Norma later went on to work in the catering business preparing foods for special events and clients prior to working 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 The 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.


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 is a certified fire safety trainer as well. Bryan has been a manager of people and process since 1998.



Robin Gordon
Business Office Manager

Robin has a diverse financial background that makes her a strong asset to our community. Robin’s primary responsibilities include payroll, billing, and accounts payable. 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.


Leslie Hernandez
Wellness Nurse

Leslie is the mother of three beautiful daughters who are her pride and joy: Naisha, Allison and Cecilia. She has been with her husband since she was in middle school, he is her rock and supported her throughout her entire nursing journey. Leslie is a licensed Practical Nurse who loves everything about this field. All of her experience is in geriatrics, and it is where her passion burns. She accredits this passion to her grandmother Cecilia, who she helped to take care of at home, bathing, feeding and caring for her until her passing. Leslie’s passion grew from there, and after her grandmother passed away, she wanted to continue to care for the elderly of the world, so she pursued getting her CNA certification so that she could continue to do just that. Leslie worked as a CNA for 16 years in both skilled and personal care homes. Leslie graduated on September 10, 2021 with a degree in Practical Nursing, which remains one of her proudest accomplishments. Leslie is thankful for the best employee support, the knowledge and for the relationships she has made at The Birches, and sees herself long term here at this special community, that she now calls home.


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.