Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Daily 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.

Kristy Ruppe Craddock’s experience in senior living goes back to when she was a child. Every Sunday before church, she and her family would go to a local community and cook for the residents. Craddock said she remembers feeling as if she could do good work there and became passionate about pursuing a career in senior care.

She attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned a degree in sports medicine. From there, she spent 10 years at Kisco Senior Living, where she began as a sales director and later was promoted to national sales coach and trainer. She oversaw 11 campuses in five states.

Kristy Ruppe-Craddock receiving Rising Star award
Kristy Ruppe Craddock with McKnight’s Senior Living Editor Lois Bowers. Photo: Social Snacks

Craddock’s current position is senior vice president at Commonwealth Senior Living where she oversees the sales and marketing efforts for 22 communities and has grown the community’s census 15 percent in two years.

In 2017, she developed Commonwealth Senior Living’s Promise to Veterans program. Through this program that partners with Hook Law Center, veterans and their spouses can obtain the Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs four times faster than if they applied on their own.In addition, veterans enjoy a life-long rate lock at any Commonwealth Senior Living community.

She said her favorite aspect of her job is being able to work with the employees to tackle challenging scenarios for families. She believes that in those intimate moments, it’s OK to show emotion to make a need family connections.

“In this industry, if you’re not feeling, you’re not serving,” Craddock said.

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.