In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, we heard from many attendees that the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Awards and Forum was a welcomed ray of sunshine — a celebration of remarkable women making a difference in senior living and skilled nursing through their accomplishments and leadership, as well as an opportunity to earn continuing education credits at a time when in-person events were on hold.

Here we are, almost a year after last year’s event, and not much has changed as far as live events. That’s why we’re delighted once again in 2021 to offer the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Awards and Forum as a virtual event, May 18 and 19.

May 18, we’ll honor a Lifetime Achievement Award winner, 19 Hall of Honor inductees, 15 Veteran VIPs (a new category of recognition!) and 17 Rising Stars.

May 19, we’ll offer three live webinars during which attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to three CE credits. These sessions will be tailored to a broad audience — everyone is welcome to attend, and there is no charge.

During the first session, “Addressing pandemic challenges with success,” 11 a.m. to noon ET, industry leaders in senior living and skilled nursing will detail how their organizations have met COVID-19-related challenges and also will share the best practices they’ve uncovered. Speaking will be Covenant Living Communities and Services CEO Terri Cunliffe, Hebrew Home at Riverdale COO David Pomeranz, Life Plan Communities SVP/Senior Director Allison Pendroy, and Goodman Group VP Kim Te Brugge. Cunliffe and Te Brugge are 2021 McKnight’s Women of Distinction.

The second session (I’ll be moderating this one!), “Finding success in increasing diversity and inclusion, will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. ET and will offer a first-hand look at diversity and inclusion efforts at four organizations. Speaking will be Christian Living Communities President and CEO Jill-Vitale Aussem, Brookdale Senior Living President and CEO Lucinda “Cindy” Baier, A.G. Rhodes CEO Deke Cateau, and Eclipse Senior Living CEO Kai Hsiao. Baier is a 2020 McKnight’s Women of Distinction honoree.

The third session, “Secrets to career success,” will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET and will feature six 2021 McKnight’s Women of Distinction speaking about mentoring, networking, developing assertiveness, career advancement, leadership succession planning, and establishing organizational culture, among other topics. Sharing their wisdom will be PruittHealth Chief Strategy Officer Mary Ousley, Allure Group COO Melissa Powell, Green House Project Senior Director Susan Ryan, LeadingAge SVP of Research Robyn Stone, DrPH, Belmont Village Senior Living founder and CEO Patricia Will and Birmingham Green CEO Denise Chadwick Wright.

We’re excited to have you join us in three weeks. Find out more and register at

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.