Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 9. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.

Gail Spencer

Gail Spencer’s 35 years as a leader in assisted living embodies her dedication to the field. 

Starting as assistant director of the Charles Bierman Home, an assisted living community in West Orange, NJ, she began serving residents and working to improve the community. She then became director of assisted living at the brand-new Montclair Plaza, where she managed the opening and planning of the community.

Spencer also held multiple other positions in various assisted living communities and helped transform them. In 2007, she started her current role as executive director at Promenade at Chestnut Ridge in Chestnut Ridge, NY, where colleagues say she displays compassionate leadership.

“Gail always makes herself available to address any situation. Her dedication is simply amazing,” said Debbie Corwin, Promenade’s director of community relations. 

For Spencer, no task is too small. She can be seen doing everything from helping residents participate in virtual bridal showers or birthday parties over Zoom to assisting with arts and craft programs.  She also encourages her adult children — son, Eddie, and daughter, Samantha — to be active in the community, and they often help out with programming and events. 

Outside of work, she is an active member of her synagogue, having served in many roles, including president, vice president and social chair. She also leads Sabbath services and is a member of the choir.

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.