The deadline for the receipt of nominations for the 2021 McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards has been extended one week to Jan. 13. All nominations must be received by midnight.

The program, now in its third year, is a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and sister media brand McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

Last year’s program recognized 44 women across two categories, plus a Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This year’s program includes an additional awards category, Veteran VIPs.

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 those capacities in skilled nursing facilities. Women who serve the field indirectly, for instance as association staff members or, academicians, also are eligible. Individuals working for vendor companies are not eligible.


  • Hall of Honor: Candidates should be senior-level professionals in the C-suite or at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and should have made a significant impact on their organization or the industry.
  • Veteran VIPs: A new category this year to recognize candidates who have more than 15 years of experience making an impact on the senior living or skilled nursing fields and are at a level lower than vice president or its equivalent. Whether as a community/facility administrator or executive director; or as a director of nursing, health/wellness or activities; or through some other position, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry through their accomplishments.
  • Rising Stars: Candidates must be age 40 or younger or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the profession. Also, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry. These achievements/accomplishments may include, for example, managing a project, developing a campaign or contributing to the field via research or thought leadership.

Nominators should be prepared to share detailed information about nominees’ work histories, exceptional achievements and contributions or service, and anything else that the judging panel should consider.

All honorees, including a lifetime achievement award winner, will be celebrated at a virtual awards event in May that also will include continuing education sessions. Additional details about the event will be announced at a later date.

To nominate someone, visit this website.

Read about 2018 and 2019 Rising Stars and Hall of Honor inductees at