Changing Aging Blog

Katrinka (Katie) Smith Sloan Named LeadingAge President and CEO
Date: Oct 20th, 2015 7:00am

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Ecumen Communications

Katrinka (Katie) Smith Sloan has been named the new president and CEO of LeadingAge, an association of not-for-profit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow old.

Sloan was unanimously selected for the position this afternoon by the LeadingAge Board of Directors, who were meeting in Chicago. She succeeds William L. (Larry) Minnix, who announced in February that he will be retiring at the end of the year. Sloan is currently LeadingAge’s chief operating officer and senior vice president, as well as executive director of the International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing (IAHSA).

“Katie Smith Sloan will make a superb president and CEO of LeadingAge. When we announced the search process in February, we pledged to identify an ‘impressive leader,’ and she is most certainly that,” said David Gehm, chair of the LeadingAge board of directors and the chair of Wellspring Lutheran Services, Frankenmuth, MI. 

Gehm said, “Under the excellent leadership of chair-elect Kathryn Roberts, a robust nationwide search was conducted, with hundreds of prospects considered and dozens interviewed. It was a thorough process, and when all was said and done, it turned out that the ideal candidate was right here all along.” 

Chair-elect Roberts, president and CEO of Ecumen, Shoreview, MN, described Sloan as “a nationally recognized leader in aging, human services and consumer protection. Katie Smith Sloan impressed the search committee with her strategic vision, her finance, public policy and program development skills, and her proven abilities as a consensus builder. 

“Each of us on the search committee felt she was the right person to build on the excellent work of Larry Minnix, and would lead the organization with just the right blend of honoring the rich traditions of LeadingAge while adjusting to meet the many challenges of the future.” 

Sloan commented, “I am deeply honored to be named as LeadingAge’s president and CEO. Expanding the world of possibilities for aging is important, vital, and invigorating work and in the years ahead, older people will dominate our nation’s census. 

“I have devoted my career to the field of aging services, and I can think of no better vehicle than this organization for leading a national conversation about what it means to have an aging society, for tackling challenging policy issues, and for reversing prevailing biases against the aging. Doing so will require a vigorous program of engagement in public policy issues and with policy makers. I look forward to that, and to continuing our strong ties with IAHSA.”

Minnix, LeadingAge president and CEO since 2000, said, “I could not be more delighted that the board has named Katie Smith Sloan as my successor. She is a superb person who will use her strong management skills, her knowledge of consumer protection advocacy, and her financial and organizational prowess to make a great leader of this wonderful organization. There is no question in my mind that she will take LeadingAge to the next level and beyond, and I look forward to watching both Katie and the organization excel.” 

Before joining LeadingAge, Sloan held management positions of increasing responsibility at AARP from 1991 to 2000 – serving first as manager, Consumer Affairs, then director, Applied Gerontology Group, and finally as director, Life Resources. Prior to AARP, she was a policy research specialist for the American Association of Homes for the Aging (AAHSA) and a staff assistant to a U.S. senator. 

Sloan has been the secretary-treasurer of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) since 1997 and serves on the board of directors of numerous organizations. In addition to the CFA, they include HelpAgeUSA, Value First, Inc., the Center for the Study of Services (Consumers’ CHECKBOOK), Sidwell Friends School, of which she is a graduate, and the Friends Council on Education. 

She holds an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and a master’s in public policy from George Washington University.

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