Fifteen “Rising Stars” working in senior living, skilled nursing or home care have been named 2024 McKnight’s Women of Distinction honorees, program organizers announced Tuesday. 

The winners will be feted May 14 as part of the 6th annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards banquet. Honorees in the Veteran VIP and Hall of Honor categories will be announced Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

“The judges were impressed with the difference these women have been able to make with limited time in long-term care,” McKnight’s Editorial Director, Vice President and Associate Publisher John O’Connor said of the new Rising Stars class. “We’re thrilled to be able to shine a light on their contributions and look forward to honoring them in person.”

The Women of Distinction program is a joint effort of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and sister brands McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Home Care.

Women either 40 years or younger, or with less than 15 years of experience in the senior living, skilled nursing or home care fields are eligible in the Rising Stars category. All have demonstrated an exceptional commitment at the community, facility, agency or corporate level.

The 15 Rising Stars in the McKnight’s Women of Distinction class of 2024 are:

Lindsey Beagley, Senior Director, Lifelong University Engagement (Mirabella at ASU), Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Diamond Boone, Corporate Director of Therapeutic Recreation, Athena Health Care Systems, Farmington, CT

Jessie Bosshard, Executive Director, Givens Home First (Givens Estates), Asheville, NC

Erica Dewan, Vice President of Care Transitions, Ignite Medical Resorts, Park Ridge, IL

Lauren DiZio, Senior Director of Clinical Operations, Innovive Health, Medford, MA

Keri Dunlop, Delegating Nurse, Brightview Senior Living – Brightview Bel Air, Bel Air, MD

Kate Gilday, Administrator, Legacy Healthcare, Skokie, IL

Christian Grunder, Vice President of Human Resources, Givens Communities, Asheville, NC

Shelly Koch, Executive Director, Operations – Home-Based Services, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls, SD

Lesly Martinez, Regional Vice President, Atria Senior Living, Louisville, KY

Melinda Monasterski, Market President, Genesis Healthcare, Exton, PA

Kelly Pero-Petty, Vice President of Business Development, Ignite Medical Resorts, Park Ridge, IL

Mary Cate Spires, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Strategy, The Arbor Company, Atlanta

Stephanie Uhrmacher, Administrator – Senior Living, Good Samaritan Society – Hastings Village, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Hastings, NE

Addison Wilczak, Vice President of Human Resources, Ignite Medical Resorts, Park Ridge, IL

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program was judged by a national, independent panel of experts.

The 2024 program, as in years past, also will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award. The recipient of that honor, as well as the recipients of the Spirit Award, recognizing women who have provided inspiring care and services, will be announced in the coming weeks.

May 14 awards banquet open to all

All of this year’s honorees will be celebrated Tuesday, May 14, at an in-person cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation at the JW Marriott in Chicago. The presentation of awards will be preceded by the 5th annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, which will offer educational sessions featuring industry thought leaders. All events are open to the entire long-term care industry, family members and friends of winners, and other stakeholders.

For more information or to register for either of the events, visit Any questions about the events can be sent to Anna Naumoski, senior event manager at the parent company of the McKnight’s brands, Haymarket Media, at [email protected].

Keep up to date with McKnight’s Women of Distinction news and past articles at this tab.  See a list of previously honored women at (click on “Past Honorees” at the top of the page).

Healthcare Services Group is the Platinum sponsor of this year’s event. PointClickCare is the Gold sponsor. PharMerica is the Silver sponsor. Additional sponsors include HER Stories, Curana Health, DirecTV for Business, ShiftKey and Sentrics.