LeadingAge of MA Names NSES’ Lucy McKinnon as the Emerging Leader Award Winner

Lucy McKinnon of Peabody, NSES’ Director for Long Term Services & Supports, was presented with the Emerging Leader award at the LeadingAge of MA 64th Annual Meeting of the Membership on October 4, 2018 in Bedford, MA.

This award is given to an individual at any level in a LeadingAge Massachusetts member organization who has assumed additional leadership responsibilities in the past five years; and has worked to build a shared vision, developed robust relationships, and has excellent organizational capability. These awards publicly acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of those who exemplify and advance the missions of LeadingAge Massachusetts’s member organizations. These awards will reveal examples of the commitment, innovation, leadership, and excellence within LeadingAge Massachusetts member organizations.

Newly graduated with a bachelor’s degree and uncertain about a career path, Lucy McKinnon accepted an offer to be a care manager assisting frail, low income elders to stay safely and comfortably in their homes as long as possible. She had not set out with this role in mind nor had she been trained as a social worker. However, she was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. About a year later, Lucy moved out of state for family reasons and accepted a paralegal position. She very quickly realized that her passion was working with elders more than legal clients. When she returned to Massachusetts a few year later, she sought reemployment at North Shore Elder Services. Since that time, Lucy has accepted increasing leadership responsibilities. She has become a model for care managers as well as an invaluable member of the management staff.

On her return to the agency, she excelled in her care management role and over the next five years took on assignments with more responsibilities working with special programs as well as serving as Supportive Housing Coordinator. She was promoted to Client Services Supervisor overseeing the work of care managers. In 2013, she accepted the opportunity to participate in LeadingAge Massachusetts’ Leadership Academy, which she found “immensely valuable in learning the process of becoming a leader.” In June of 2018, she was promoted again, becoming the Director of Long Term Services and Supports. This was a newly devised, upper management position created in recognition of the increasing complexity and diversity of services and programs provided by the agency. Reporting to the position are home care managers, resident service coordinators, housing specialist, SCO program manager, money management program manager, and the long-term care ombudsman manager.

Within a short time, Lucy assimilated all the essential knowledge about the array of programs and services reporting to her. She has been able to ensure effective, efficient, and compliant operations with all the disparate areas of focus. Moreover, this summer, very unexpectedly, she assumed the role and responsibilities of the Chief Program Officer, the position she had been reporting to, when an extended medical leave of absence occurred. Lucy stepped in without hesitation. She managed the entirety of client services including budget oversight and contract management. Staff morale, vendor relationships, and client satisfaction have all been maintained at expected levels. Additionally, Lucy has undertaken strategic initiatives with housing sponsors, community organizations, and other agencies, which have results in expanded mission opportunities and business growth. Most impressively, she has accomplished this with an effervescent, positive attitude that is contagious to everyone.

Lucy’s career progression at North Shore Elder Services from care manager to Director of Long Term  Services and Supports has been an inspiration to other staff members. She continues to be a role model to others. “I have enjoyed working with this population over the past 14 years and I truly believe that we make a difference in the lives that we touch. Since becoming a supervisor my goal was always to coach, motivate and teach my staff to be the best that they could be. Our staff does such great work and I am honored to be part of this amazing team.”

“In consultation with the CEO, the Chief Program Officer strongly supported the nomination of Lucy McKinnon as an emerging leader. Lucy has consistently demonstrated the desire and ability to continue to advance her career path to her current position as Director of Long Term Services and Supports. A true demonstration of her leadership ability was when she was suddenly called upon to assume the supervisory responsibilities for staff when an unexpected medical event of a senior manager occurred. Lucy was able to assume additional duties, identify, and develop needed policies and procedures, and maintain adequate staffing; essentially maintaining the operations of the agency during this critical time.”  – Cheryl Krisko, Chief Program Officer

Paul Lanzikos, Executive Director, adds, “We are immensely proud of Lucy and the recognition of her leadership acumen by her receipt of LeadingAge Massachusetts’ Emerging Leader Award. Daily, through her direction and by her example, she motivates North Shore Elder Services staff members to provide exemplar service to some of our communities’ frailest and most at-risk elders. We salute her by declaring widely and loudly, “Well done, Lucy!”

“I am honored to have been nominated and awarded this recognition. I hope to continue to apply what I have learned at NSES and during my time with the Leadership Academy so that I can contribute to the professional growth of our staff as well as advance the mission of North Shore Elder Services.” Lucy McKinnon, Director of Long Term Services & Supports


NSES’ co-workers congratulate Lucy McKinnon on her Emerging Leader award.

Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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