In our previous post of this ongoing series, we heard from McKnight’s Women of Distinction honoree Stephanie Harris, Esq., who discussed the growing role of technology in senior living and care. Now we’d like to introduce you to another member of the inaugural Hall of Honor class of Women of Distinction: Kristy Ruppe Craddock. Kristy is the senior vice president of sales and marketing for Commonwealth Senior Living, which has 21 communities offering independent living, assisted living and/or memory care throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. With more than 15 years of experience in sales and marketing leadership within the senior living industry, she has successfully built top-performing sales teams, designed compelling sales training to create a unique customer experience, and developed sales science analytics which have led to increased sales performance and revenue.
Volunteerism Created a Clear Professional Path
Kristy’s early personal experiences led her to the realization that elder care was the right field for her. “I grew up within a mile of three senior residences, and every Sunday before church, we’d cook breakfast for the residence with the heaviest level of care. So, I was raised being around seniors in a residential environment and became passionate about the connection I had there.”
Kristy notes that volunteering in nursing homes, hospitals, and rest homes gave her the feeling that she could do good work for that population. It also eased her own personal experience with senior living. “I went through the journey when I was in high school, and my grandmother entered a continuing care retirement community. I then understood what it was like to be a family member navigating this situation.”
Emotion Comes with the Territory – and Should Not Be Denied
Kristy loves working with the staff members at her communities, to help solve challenging scenarios for seniors and their families in need. “I believe that the senior living journey is one of the most intimate and emotional circumstances that a family will ever go through. So any time we can tap into the heart and soul of a family, become that sigh of relief, and provide them with a level of comfort, I feel the true meaning of what I get to do. It’s an honor to help the folks who are the front-line contact with the families when they’re dealing with these changes.”
Kristy points out that as she moved higher up the corporate ladder, she was warned as a female executive not to show emotion in her profession, to lead with her brain and not her heart. However, she feels that emotion has a positive role to play in the industry. “In the healthcare and senior industries, it’s people taking care of people. I believe that if you’re not feeling, you’re not serving. And it’s okay to get emotional, because that’s when you make amazing human connections. We’re serving families who, more often than not, are in turmoil. They’re going through such a hard emotional journey, recognizing that someone who was their caretaker, or a strong figure in their lives, is suddenly vulnerable and needing help. I don’t know how you can give that help without emotions.”
Celebrating and Advocating for Women is a Company-Wide Commitment
While the percentage of women in leadership positions in our industry, as well as in others, is not as high as we would like it to be, we believe our efforts to expand opportunities for women are gaining traction. PointClickCare is delighted to be the exclusive Platinum Sponsor for McKnight’s first Women of Distinction program, which will annually honor women in the senior living and post-acute care industries. Earlier this year, our long-time customer Lynne Katzmann, founder, president and CEO of Jupiter Communities, was chosen the first McKnight’s Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Winner. McKnight’s also named 19 executive-level women to its Hall of Honor class, and 21 women under the age of 40 as Rising Stars.
In March, PointClickCare held its first-even official celebration of International Women’s Day, strengthening our support for diversity in our company – and throughout the world. Employees from across the organization came together to support gender equality and celebrate the incredible women at our jobs, our homes and our community partners.
“I want PointClickCare to continue to be one of the most well-respected business and cultural environments in the technology industry,” says Chief People Officer Sarah Bettencourt. “To make that happen, we must focus our efforts on creating balance in the workplace for all people – which means envisioning and then implementing change.”
Our Women of Distinction Series Continues
McKnight’s has also featured Kristy Ruppe Craddock in this article and the video below. We will continue to profile the 2019 Women of Distinction honorees on our blog, as part of our work with McKnight’s to highlight the meaningful contributions that these leaders are making to the industry. They’re an impressive group!
PointClickCare is the Platinum Sponsor of the 2019 McKnight’s Women of Distinction program, which honors women in the senior living and post-acute care industries.