Meet our Caregivers – Mike, Maintenance Director

We are excited to recognize our hardworking Maintenance Directors! They work tirelessly all year, keeping our communities in great working order and making sure all systems are working perfectly. We wanted to recognize them in February because of the extra time and effort put in during the Winter months to keep our communities safe, shoveled and warm for all of our residents and associates. Get to know a few of our wonderful and handy Maintenance Directors!

Maintenance Director: Mike Smith
Community: Avita of Brunswick

  1. What first made you interested in working in Senior Living?
    I always have a story to tell. I was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT and before coming to Senior Living, I worked for many years in the newspaper industry and loved it. You might say there is printers ink running through my veins. Prior to my graduation from high school, I had started working part time for a local newspaper printing company and when I graduated, I immediately accepted a full-time job with the company. It wasn’t long after that, I was recruited for a position with a daily newspaper a few towns over and spent 30 years working for them. I advanced in my career from an apprentice press person to foreman and then manager of printing operations. In 2007 I was faced with my first layoff from the industry. I never thought I would see the day that I would be asked to leave that job.I had always visited Maine as a child, in my growing up years, as well as my later years. I have a deep love for Maine. My Mom and her family are from Maine, so we always seemed to be coming up for vacations and visits. It was at that time of the layoff that I decided that I would move to Maine. I accepted a job at the Lewiston paper and was laid off after 13 months. I decided at that time it was worth moving on. I had always had a part time job in Connecticut working for a family that owned apartment buildings, doing a lot of what I do in my work now. Coming to Maine for many years I knew the population was getting older so coupled with that information and my part-time work in building maintenance I had a very strong feeling that if I got into a Senior Living, I would most likely not have to deal with  getting laid off again.
  2. How Long have you been working in Senior Living and what was your first job in this field?
    I started my very first Senior Living job at a Long-Term Care Community in Falmouth Maine in March of 2010. I was their Director of Environmental Services and Maintenance, over- seeing plant operations, their safety program, as well as the laundry and housekeeping operations.
  3. What is your favorite part about working in Senior Living?
    THE RESIDENTS! I have this wonderful and amazing opportunity to bring moments of joy to a somewhat disjointed life that the typical dementia resident experiences. At times during the day, you can find me joining a group exercise, leading folks in a few verses of “Take me out to the Ball Game” and other all-time favorites. You might see me holding a hand or giving a hug to try and sooth some sadness or anxiety that comes so often with the disease. I enjoy going for walks with a resident or two around the community or around the neighborhood. You likely may find one of our residents spending time together with me in the Maintenance shop.
  4. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about what it means to be a Maintenance Director?
    The Maintenance Director has a full plate…everyday! It is a multi-faceted job with many moving parts. The position is not for the faint-hearted. Organization is the key. The better organized you are the easier the job becomes. There are many unseen tasks that a Maintenance Director does. In many of the smaller buildings the Maintenance Director IS the Maintenance staff. We must be proficient in Maintenance and Work Order software, budgeting, managing a housekeeping team, ordering supplies and Accounts Payable. We oversee the maintenance of the grounds as well as help manage the capex budgets for the building. We also manage the safety operations of the building, the associates, and the residents amongst other things.
  5. What is one piece of advice you would share with someone thinking of starting a career in Senior Living?
    I will share what I was told by a senior leader in the company when I first interviewed for the Maintenance Director position at Sunnybrook back in 2015. “If you came here to make a million dollars you came to the wrong business. But…if it is gold you are after, it is here, you are in the right place.” This person went on to explain what it’s like working with the folks that reside in Senior Living, and yes, I struck gold here with our residents at Northbridge. It is an absolute amazing experience caring and loving every one of the folks and their families that are a part of our communities.
  6. What keeps you invested in the field?
    The many learning and growth opportunities. I always try to keep an open mind. I am enjoying new projects and tasks and having the ability to help at other communities. There always seems to be a challenging problem to solve and the sense of accomplishment that comes with finding a solution. I enjoy working in a field that is always changing and growing with new technologies, capabilities, and ideas. I enjoy working with talented and passionate people that are thoroughly invested in the love and care of our residents. The idea that I am helping people and bringing joy to their lives.
  7. What is your favorite part about your job?
    I don’t have just one – I have this tremendous opportunity to come and work for this amazing company. Northbridge Companies is by far the greatest company I have worked for. Jim and Wendy have grown this company from one to multiple communities never forgetting that the associates and the residents we serve are the most important part of the business. I get to work alongside many very talented team-mates and in some of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. I have flexibility in my job and great work life – home life balance. Also see the answer to Question #3.
  8. What is the best part about working at Avita?
    I work alongside this amazing leadership team. We are all a part of a fun and high-performing culture. We each do our part to make sure our functional area of the business is productive and that we are creating a culture that people want to be part of. We each bring distinct skills to the team, and we all trust one another to get the job done. We are all very strong in our positions of facilities operations, wellness, engagement, business, marketing, and culinary operations. We have learned how to respectfully disagree. We all have amazing respect and love for each other. We all bring different ideas to the table, and we have fun together. As the saying goes, it starts from the top and our Executive Director is the catalyst for our fun and high-performing culture, and I know our associates appreciate it. Monique, our Executive Director empowers each of us with the abilities to do our jobs and do them well.

Mike wanted to share a picture of him and Avita resident, Geri, they both have a love for hats. Like Geri, Mike has a generous hat collection as well, and felt honored and privileged to be able to hang her hat rack in her apartment.

Mike is a valued member of not only the Avita of Brunswick team but the Northbridge family. We are lucky to work alongside such a dedicated professional who puts so much personal care into the work he does!

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Working at a Northbridge senior living community

If you are considering a career in senior living, we hope you’ll consider one of our communities. Our team of associates makes a meaningful difference in the lives of our residents, every day. Because of that, we treat our team like family and we’re happy to offer:

  • Competitive Pay
  • Flexible Schedules
  • Direct Deposit
  • Vacation & Personal Days
  • Paid Holidays & Sick Time
  • Your Birthday Off
  • Health Insurance to Qualified Associates
  • 401k Company Match
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Ongoing Education
  • Associate Appreciation

View our careers website today to view open positions, what a day working at Northbridge is like, and why our associates love to work here.

As a New England senior living company, we pride ourselves in being the local choice for families in need of assisted living or memory care. We look to our teams of associates to truly make our communities home for our residents. Whether that’s a helping hand or a moment to listen to a story, our associates are dedicated and compassionate. With 19 communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, we hope you’ll find your home here too. If you already love what you do, and want to love where you work, apply now! We look forward to meeting you.

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