McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living have opened the nomination process for the third annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program.

This year, organizers have added a third category: the Veteran VIP division, which is honoring longtime leaders who fit between the “Rising Stars” and “Hall of Honor” designations.

The nomination deadline is Jan. 6, 2021. Last year’s program recognized 44 women across two categories, plus Lifetime Achievement Award winner Wendy Simpson.

Eligible for recognition are women working as direct care providers, managers, executives, corporate executives and owners in skilled nursing facilities, as well as those working in independent living, assisted living, memory care and life plan communities. Women who serve the field indirectly, for instance as association staff members, academicians or thought leaders, also are eligible. Individuals working for vendor companies are not eligible.

The categories for 2021 are:

  • 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: This is a new category this year to recognize candidates who have more than 15 years of experience, are 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 or 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.

Nominations submitted through Dec. 16 will require a $69 entry fee. Nominations submitted on or after Dec. 17 will have a $99 entry fee.

All honorees, including a lifetime achievement award winner, will be celebrated at a virtual awards event in May that again will be followed by a morning of continuing education sessions. Additional details about the full list of activities will be announced in early 2021.

To see coverage of the 2020 honorees, awards ceremony and other activities, please head to and

To nominate someone, visit this website.