Our first Women of Distinction Awards program culminated in a lovely celebration Thursday in Chicago (you can read more about it here), and we’re already planning next year — and yes, this will be an annual program.

Questions such as that one arose as guests and staff members from McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and our parent company, Haymarket Media, mingled amid beverages and hors d’oeuvres before and after the awards presentation — and after the event concluded. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer a few of the most common ones.

Question: “How do I increase the chances that [insert name here] will be recognized in the future?”

Answer: That’s an easy one. The best way to try to make sure everyone knows about your stellar colleague is to nominate her! We relied on nominations for this year’s Hall of Honor and Rising Stars award recipients and will continue to do so. The industry is fortunate to have so many women deserving of recognition — so many that they all cannot be recognized in any one year. But they must be nominated to be considered by our panel of judges from the industry!

So subscribe to our daily e-newsletter, and watch our website and social media feeds (McKnight’s Senior Living is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), for updates and details. Nominations should open in December.

Question: Can I nominate myself?

Answer: Absolutely!

Question: “How do I get an invitation to next year’s event?”

Answer: Everyone is welcome! Once we kick off the next program, which will honor another class of women in 2020, tickets will be for sale online. This year’s event sold out, so again, stay tuned for more details and get your tickets as soon as they become available.

In the meantime, follow our coverage of this year’s event at the social media hashtag #McKnightsWOD and on our website, where we’ve started to post video interviews of some of the senior living-related nominees. Additional videos, of skilled nursing-related nominees, will be posted on the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News website.

Some of the staff members at the Women of Distinction Awards festivities take advantage of the photo booth. From left: McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor; McKnight’s Senior Living Senior Editor Lois A. Bowers; Art Director Mark Speakman; Regional Sales Manager, East Coast, Denise Devito; Key Account Representative Ginger Kost; and Regional Sales Manager, Midwest / West Coast Robin Broomer.