Fifteen women working in home care, senior living or skilled nursing are being announced today as Rising Stars and will be feted May 14 as part of the sixth annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards, a joint effort of McKnight’s Home Care and sister media brands McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living.

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

The Rising Star awards category honors women who are either aged fewer than 40 years or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the senior living, skilled nursing or home care fields. 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:

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

More announcements coming

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

Once again, a Veteran VIP category will recognize women with at least 15 years of experience who are making an impact on the senior living, skilled nursing or home care fields, and a Hall of Honor category will recognize women who are at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and who have had a significant effect on their organization or industry. Veteran VIPs will be announced Wednesday, and Hall of Honor award recipients will be announced Thursday.

The 2024 program, as in years past, also will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award; the recipient of that award, as well as the recipients of the Spirit Award, recognizing inspiring women who provide care and services, will be announced later.

In-person celebration set for May 14

All of this year’s honorees will be celebrated Tuesday, May 14, during an in-person cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation at the JW Marriott in Chicago. The presentation of awards will be preceded by the fifth annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, offering educational sessions featuring industry thought leaders discussing important topics. All events are open to the entire long-term care industry, family members and friends of winners, and anyone else interested in attending.

For more information and to register for either or both events, visit Those with questions about the events should contact 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 on the McKnight’s Home Care website. See a list of previously honored women by year and category on the McKnight’s Home Care website or an alphabetical list by category 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.