Bass River’s mission is to support and advocate for adults who are developmentally challenged; to assist them in achieving their fullest potential; to enable them to improve and enrich the quality of their lives; to provide exceptional services that are responsive to individual needs and are based upon respect for each person; and to enhance their skills so that they may become productive members of society.

Bass River was established in 1972

and has been providing continual support and community involvement to individuals with Developmental Disabilities in residential and day program settings.  We endeavor to initiate, provide and foster an environment within the community that assures each individual’s full rights, responsibilities and promotes their community membership.

At Bass River, each person develops a vision for their future based on his or her individual strengths and interests.  Bass River believes that a network of communication is essential to the life enrichment of individuals.  We take a team approach to help people achieve their personal goals.

Our success begins with person-centered planning, continues with building day to day relationships, which leads to life enrichment, independence and security.


Ed Potvin, Executive Director 1972-2014 (retired)

Ed Potvin began the community based services of Bass River, incorporating the private non-profit in 1972. Awarded an initial contract for a single day program, he grew the agency  to the organization of today. Ed remains active with Bass River by volunteering his time on a regular basis in consultation, and in facility residential renovation and development projects.

Larry Lusignan, Executive Director

Larry Lusignan was promoted to Executive Director in November of 2014. He began working for Bass River in 1980, starting as a staff member for our residential program prior to transferring to Bass River day programs. He served for over 25 years as the Director of Day Services. Larry is a graduate of Salem State University.

Jackie Silva RN, CDDN, Healthcare Coordinator

Jackie Silva graduated from Salem State College with a BS in nursing.  Hired in 2010, she was promoted to oversee the healthcare of individuals in the day and residential programs as the Healthcare Coordinator in 2013.  In 2014 she received her CDDN (certification in developmental disabilities nursing). She serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Developmental Disabilities Nursing Association and is a MAP (Medication Administration Program) trainer.

Alexandra Marxsen, Director of Day Services

Alexandra Marxsen has been working in the field for two decades. She started as a substitute teacher at the age of 18 in her native Hungary, and gained experience as a direct care worker in the U.K. and consequently in the U.S. She worked her way up to leadership and senior leadership positions and joined Bass River as the Director of Day Services in June, 2015. Alex graduated from University of Nyiregyhaza, Hungary.

Gail Borish-Wayson, Director of Residential Services

Gail Borish-Wayson was promoted to Director of Residential Services in July 2008. A life-long North Shore resident, she began her career at Bass River in 1984 as a House Manager. Gail graduated with a BA in psychology from the University of Vermont in 1982.

Sarah Swart, Director of Behavioral Services

Sarah Swart has more than 15 years’ experience working with people with developmental disabilities and mental health conditions. She obtained an ALB in psychology from Harvard University in 2003 and later studied ABA while pursuing her M.Ed. through Endicott College. Certified as a BCBA in 2014, she received Massachusetts LABA status in 2015.

Diane Ricciardelli, Business Manager

Diane Ricciardelli has been working at Bass River since 1988, holding several positions within the agency until being promoted to Business  Manager in 2004.