Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Long-Term Care NewsDaily Update and McKnight’s Senior Living Daily Briefing e-newsletters are profiling each of the McKnight’s 2019 Women of Distinction in July. For more coverage, visit the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living websites and read the July print edition of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and August print edition of McKnight’s Senior Living.

When she was growing up in Bowling Green, OH, Erin Donaldson had a close relationship with her grandparents, which ultimately influenced her decision to go into senior living.

She began her career at a skilled nursing community in Cincinnati and later, in 2003, joined Life Care Services. In the past 14 years, she has been promoted five times.

During Donaldson’s time at Carillon, a not-for-profit community in Lubbock, TX, she maintained a 95%-plus average occupancy. Her leadership also led to documented increases in employee and resident satisfaction and assisted with the community’s financial turnaround.

Donaldson assumed a regional operations management position at LCS in 2013 and a director of operations management role in 2014. She was promoted to vice president in 2017.

Erin Donaldson receiving Rising Star award
Erin Donaldson and McKnight’s Senior Living Editor Lois Bowers. Photo: Social Snacks.

Through her work with LCS’ Sedgebrook in Lincolnshire, IL, the community began a partnership with a nonprofit organization in Lake County and the Illinois Department of Human Resources in 2017. This nine-month internship program, called Project SEARCH, led to helping young adults with developmental and cognitive disabilities transition from high school to the work world. Sedgebrook served as home base to students participating in a rotation of three internships, working alongside employees to learn different job skills, from food services to landscaping. In its first year, eight out of 10 students landed permanent jobs, many of whom ultimately gained employment at the community.

Currently, Donaldson guides five LCS life plan communities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Connecticut as vice president / director of operations management. She also serves on the LeadingAge of Illinois CCRC Cabinet.

A resident of St. Charles, IL, Donaldson and her husband, Joe, enjoy watching their two sons play extracurricular sports and traveling with them.

McKnight’s Women of Distinction is a joint program of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program’s exclusive Platinum sponsor is PointClickCare.