Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Daily Update and McKnight’s Senior Living Daily Briefing e-newsletters are profiling each of the McKnight’s 2019 Women of Distinction in July. For more coverage, visit the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living websites and read the July print edition of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and August print edition of McKnight’s Senior Living.

Katie Smith Sloan discovered her career path while working for former Sen. Tom Eagleton (D-MO), then the chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. With an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College, she said she was drawn to public policy work, and when she found the intersection between that and aging, she was hooked. She also has a master’s degree in public policy from George Washington University.

The CEO of LeadingAge since 2015, Sloan previously worked at AARP for 11 years as a consultant on housing. She also has experience volunteering as a board member at several organizations centered around aging, including the Long-Term Quality Alliance and HelpAge USA.

After starting at LeadingAge in 2002, it took her only six months to be promoted to COO. In that role, she accomplished a long list of achievements. It includes the creation of Value First Group Purchasing — a separate corporation that leverages the collective buying power of more than 7,000 aging services providers — and being a member of the team that launched the Long-Term Quality Alliance. She also has served as co-chair of Dementia Friendly America since its creation.

Sloan and her husband, Rick, have two daughters and a son. She loves the outdoors, especially hiking or kayaking near her family cabin in northern Maine.

Among all of her accomplishments, Sloan said she is proud to be a part of an association like LeadingAge.

“There are several things that make LeadingAge special,” she said. “Above all, the mission of LeadingAge is the purpose to look broadly at the experience of aging.”

McKnight’s Women of Distinction is a joint program of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program’s exclusive Platinum sponsor is PointClickCare.