Women made headlines this past week when a record number, 127, began serving in Congress.

Outside of Washington, of course, women are no strangers to senior living, working at every level. Even at the very top, where numbers appear to be increasing. In 2018, for instance, Lucinda “Cindy” Baier was named CEO and president of Brookdale, the country’s largest senior living community operator, according to recent lists compiled by Argentum and the American Seniors Housing Association. And Katherine Potter just became president and CEO at Five Star Senior Living, the nation’s fourth-largest operator of senior living communities, according to the same lists.

They join numerous other women leaders at senior living companies and senior living-related organizations, such as Donna Kelsey at American Senior Communities; Gayle Trupiano of Ascension Living; Patricia Will at Belmont Village Senior Living; Tana Gall at Blue Harbor Senior Living; Brenda Bacon at Brandywine Living; Marilynn Duker at Brightview Senior Living; Terri Cunliffe at Covenant Retirement Communities; Kathryn Roberts at Ecumen; Lynne Katzmann at Juniper Communities; Sarabeth Hansen at Harbor Retirement Associates; Lilly Donohue at Holiday Retirement; Susan Farrow, Collette Gray and Tracee DeGrande at Integral Senior Living; Sloan Bentley at Lifespace Communities; Wendy Nowokunski at the Northbridge Companies; Severine Petras at Priority Life Care Management; Anja Rogers at Senior Star; Katie Smith Sloan at LeadingAge; Debra Cafaro at Ventas; Wendy Simpson at LTC Properties; Susan Givens at New Senior Investment Group; Jennifer Francis at Senior Housing Properties Trust and … wow, the list goes on and on, so much so that, unfortunately, it’s impossible to name everyone — even limiting the list to those at the very top.

But you get the idea. It’s impressive!

And so McKnight’s Senior Living and our sister media brand, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, decided it was time to recognize the contributions of women in senior living and skilled nursing, including those inside and outside the C-suite.

We’re launching the Women of Distinction awards to recognize women who have made significant contributions to the senior housing and care field, as well as those who are poised to be leaders of some sort in the future.

Eligible for recognition are women working as direct care providers, managers, executives, corporate executives and owners in independent living, assisted living, memory care and life plan communities, as well as those working in these capacities in skilled nursing facilities.

Awards will be bestowed in two categories:

  • The Hall of Honor will recognize candidates who are at a level equivalent to vice president or higher who have made a significant impact on their organization or the industry.
  • Rising Stars must be aged fewer than 40 years old or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the industry, and they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior housing and care field.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 18, at no charge. For nominations received Saturday, Jan. 19, to Thursday, Jan. 31, a late fee of $25 will apply.

If you’d like to nominate yourself or someone else, be prepared to share information about the nominees’ work history, exceptional achievements and contributions or service, and anything else you believe could sway the judges.

For additional information and to nominate yourself or someone else, visit www.mcknights.com/womenofdistinction.