Executive directors, researchers, nurses and vice presidents from across the U.S. and Canada are among the inaugural class of Rising Stars named in the McKnight’s Women of Distinction program.

The Rising Stars category honors women younger than 40, or who have less than 15 years of experience in the senior living or post-acute care industries. The group encompasses women working in skilled nursing, senior living, hospice, associations and academia.

McKnight’s received several hundred nominations for Rising Stars and Hall of Honor inductees, making the selection process by a national, independent panel of judges extremely competitive.

“For those worried about the future of the industry, the Rising Stars nominations demonstrate how much incredible talent lies in the next generation,” said McKnight’s Vice President and Editorial Director John O’Connor. “The nominations reflected women who are full-steam ahead in their ideas and enthusiasm for making the lives of seniors better.”

The list of McKnight’s Hall of Honor recipients will be unveiled Thursday. The Lifetime Achievement award will be announced later this month.

All Rising Stars and Hall of Honor recipients will be feted the evening of May 16 in Chicago. PointClickCare is the program’s exclusive platinum sponsor in this, the program’s inaugural year. Those who want to learn more, or wish to attend, can click here for ticket and other information. Winners will be contacted with additional details.

Questions about the event? Contact Bianca Andia at [email protected]

Rising Stars Class of 2019

Sarah Belmont, Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, Brookdale Senior Living, Nashville, TN

Vanessa Brookes, Director of Quality, Friendly Senior Living, Rochester, NY

Jennifer Cisneros, Nursing Home Administrator, The Williamsport Home, Williamsport, PA

Kristy Ruppe Craddock, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Commonwealth Senior Living, Charlottesville, VA

Kari Dick, Executive Director, Touchmark, Fargo, ND

Erin Donaldson, Vice President, Director of Operations Management, Life Care Services, St. Charles, IL

Debora Erksa, Director of Life Enrichment & Cultural Arts, Ohio Living Breckenridge Village, Willoughby, OH

Felichia Fields, Assistant Executive Director, St. Catherine’s Village, Madison, MS

Scarlet Star Gardner, Director of Admissions and Marketing, Willow Ridge Rehabilitation, Rutherfordton, NC

Jessica Garvin, Administrator, Gregston’s Nursing & Rehab and West Wind Assisted Living, Marlow, OK

Bre Grubbs, Partner and Senior Vice President of New Business, Leisure Care, Seattle

Katie Jayne, Director of Community Life Services, Bishop Gadsden, Charleston, SC

Natalie Law, Social Services Director, Life Care Centers of America, Life Care Center of Stonegate, Parker, CO

Meg (Margaret) Lutze, Chief Operations Officer, Good Shepherd Community Care, Newton, MA

Tabassum Majid, Ph.D., Executive Director, Integrace Institute, Eldersburg, MD

Jennifer Maina, Director of Nursing, Larksfield Place, Wichita, KS

Rachel Monger, Vice President of Government Relations, LeadingAge Kansas, Topeka, KS

Rebecca Scott Rawn, National Director Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Extendicare, Markham, Ontario

Berenice Galvez Soto, Quality Assurance Compliance Coordinator, HealthPro Heritage, Broadview, IL

Christine Ulbricht, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA

Shamim Wu, Chief Operating Officer, Eclipse Senior Living, Lake Oswego, OR