Editor’s note: McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are profiling the McKnight’s 2022 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 5 through Aug. 11. For additional McKnight’s Women of Distinction content, visit this page.

Despite her arrival amid a COVID-19 surge, Victoria Wenick immediately made waves at Covenant Living.

As the director of philanthropy at Covenant Living at The Shores in Mercer Island, WA, she quickly elevated the continuing care retirement community’s philanthropy profile by raising more than $300,000 for benevolent care in her first 12 months, an increase of more than 50% from the previous fiscal year. 

Wenick collaborated with staff members, family members and external constituents to increase the benevolent care fund and become a key leader on the company’s western philanthropy team. Some of her most successful efforts, colleagues said, included improvements to the company’s gala campaign in July 2021. She was able to raise more than $268,000 through the employee giving campaign in May 2021, increase the number of gala sponsorships from two to six — resulting in more than $8,000 in revenue — and recruit five gala Resident Advisory Committee members, according to colleagues. She also raised more than $10,500, more than double the previous year, through a letter-writing campaign targeting residents and campus vendors through an end-of-year donation appeal.

Wenick supports the campus beyond her job description, noted Liam Dunfey, Covenant’s regional director of philanthropy. Relieving a receptionist for her lunch break, helping screen visitors at the welcome booth, setting up for events and planning logistics for a retreat, all are jobs you can find Wenick performing to help out around the community.

At various times since the pandemic started, she would deliver food, take temperatures, answer phones as a receptionist and assist with resident life programs. Also because of Wenick, the entire philanthropy team became educated about advocacy at the state and national levels.

Two months ago, Wenick obtained her CFRE credentials, making her a certified fundraiser. The CFRE entails a multi-year process that leads to the highest certification in the fundraising industry, and it can’t be earned strictly by taking courses. It also requires long-standing work in the profession and volunteer service that reveals the commitment of certification-holders.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Home Care, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. Silver sponsors include OnShift and PharMerica, and the Bronze sponsor is Reliant Rehabilitation. Table sponsors included Dreamscape, Gojo/Purell and Sound Physicians.