Byron is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in Aging Life Care, derived from over 30 years in the social work field. His writings and interviews on geriatrics, dementia and caregiving have been published nationally. He received his Masters in Social Work from the Worden School of Social Services at Our Lady of the Lake University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Byron is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Texas and holds certifications in Social Work Case Management as well as Care Management. He served as an Assistant Professor at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, is a Fellow of the Leadership Academy of the Aging Life Care Association and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. He served as the 2012 President of the Aging Life Care Association™ and is a Past-President for the South Central Chapter. In 2018, Byron was appointed to a five-year term on the Texas Council on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders by the Texas Speaker of the House. He currently serves as the President of the Board for the National Academy of Certified Care Managers; Chair of the Board of Directors for the South Texas Adult Protective Services Community Board, and Chair of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio & South Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Byron enjoys traveling and watching movies with his wife and their daughter.
Jullie is a principal at Aging Wisdom, a care management firm in Seattle, Washington. She combines three decades of experience in healthcare and aging, is an award winning care manager and is Past President of the Aging Life Care Association® (formerly National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers).
Jullie attended the University of Washington where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare, Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Healthcare, and a Certificate in Geriatric Mental Health. Jullie has been an Affiliate instructor for the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She participates in local community advisory groups focused on aging.
Mary Kay Krokowski BSN, MA, CMC, is the retired founder and principal of Aging Advisors, LLC, a Care Management company serving the central New Jersey area. She is a graduate of the Boston College School of Nursing, Honors Curriculum program. She received a Master’s in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College, focusing on ethics with medical decision making. She is a Fellow of the Leadership Academy of the Aging Life Care Association, and a past Executive Board Member. She is also certified in Care Management from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers since 2004 and serves on the NACCM Board since 2019.
Mary Kay was Co-Chair of the National Conference of the Aging Life Care Association (formerly known as National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) held in Philadelphia in 2013. She has been the National Chair of many Committees for ALCA, including Member and Chapter Relations and on committees dealing with peer and business development and educational alliances within the ALCA.
Amy Abrams holds a joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from San Diego State University, and is the Education and Outreach Manager for Alzheimer’s San Diego, an innovative non-profit organization that provides care and support to those impacted by dementia, while advancing critical disease research. She is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s community education and professional training programs, delivering vital information for individuals with Alzheimer’s or related dementia, caregivers, and the professional community.
Amy has been a member of the Aging Life Care Association® since 2004, and served on the Board of Directors at both the national and chapter levels. She has worked in the field of aging services for nearly two decades, and held the CMC certification through the National Academy of Certified Care Managers for ten years. Amy co-founded a care management and in-home care organization in San Diego, California, and is a passionate educator and vocal advocate for aging and disabled adults everywhere.
Linda M. Distlerath, PhD, JD
Linda Distlerath is a senior executive in the health care industry with over three decades of experience in the global biopharmaceutical sector, bringing substantial expertise in public affairs and building favorable policy environments for business success in markets around the world. Highly regarded as an international leader in forging innovative and strategic alliances and partnerships, Linda excels in engaging a diverse range of stakeholders to impact market access, regulatory and legal policies across highly-regulated health and technology industries.
Linda most recently served as the Deputy Vice President of Advocacy and Strategic Alliances for the Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) which represents the leading global biopharmaceutical companies. With a portfolio spanning China, India, South East Asia, Mexico and Canada, Linda led numerous multi-stakeholder partnerships and alliances, raising public awareness and securing government action on counterfeit medicines, chronic disease, intellectual property protection, health technology assessment, and drug pricing & reimbursement.
Previously, Linda led the global health practice at APCO Worldwide, a public affairs consultancy, as the primary business counselor and advisor to organizations in the health care, biopharmaceutical, food & beverage, and animal health sectors. Linda spent most of her career as a senior executive and corporate officer at Merck & Co., Inc., a Fortune100 global biopharmaceutical firm, where she led corporate public affairs and global health policy and served as president of the Merck Foundation.
Linda is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., a board member of the National Academy of Certified Care Managers, and on the advisory boards for the Aging Life Care Association, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, the Indian Alliance of Patient Groups. She holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in Environment Health/Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Biochemistry from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and a J.D. from Rutgers University Law School.
Leisa R. Easom, PhD, RN
Associate Dean of Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Georgia Southwestern State University
Dr. Easom has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years and devoted much of her nursing practice to addressing the mental and physical health needs of the older adult population. She served as the Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) and Pope Eminent Scholar at Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) from 2010-2018. Dr. Easom was a Professor of Nursing and served as the Chair in the GSW School of Nursing from 2007-2010. Prior to this, she served as the Program Coordinator of the RN-BSN program at Macon State College in Macon, Georgia. She has served as an adjunct professor for the Clinical Nurse Leader graduate program at the Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Easom has published multiple peer-reviewed publications focusing on translational science and the implementation of evidence-based programs including Reach II, BRI Care Consultation, and Operation Family Caregiver. She completed her doctoral degree in nursing at the Medical College of Georgia in 2003. Post-doctoral education included end-of-life training. Certified in gerontology, Dr. Easom serves as an academic partner with the Aging Life Care Association.
Dr. Harriette Grooh is a Clinical Psychologist who received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University and her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Lone Mountain College, now University of San Francisco. In 1983 she established her private, for-profit interdisciplinary consultation and care management firm which serves the behavioral, bio-psycho-social needs of older adults and disabled beneficiaries of individual trusts and family offices in San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area.
She is a founding director and past-president of the Western Chapter of the Aging Life Care Association, and past board member of the ALCA, formerly known as National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. She is an Advanced Professional member of the ALCA and a certified care manager through the auspices of the National Academy of Certified Care Managers.
Wendy Pender, MLS
In addition to her MLS from the University of Pittsburgh, Wendy has a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington and is a trained facilitator with the Northwest Center for Creative Aging. She has over 25 years of experience as a librarian and branch manager, and now serves as Older Adults Program Coordinator at the King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington State, one of the largest and busiest library systems in the U.S. In her spare time she loves to make music and motorcycle across our beautiful country.
In 2016, the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) honored Wendy at its annual conference in Kansas City as one of the recipients of a 2016 Top Innovator Award. Wendy was recognized in the category of Civic and Community Engagement for her work in building new programs, services and outreach to seniors in King County.
Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Advanced Professional/Fellow Member of the Aging Life Care Association®. In 2003, Stephanie founded Elder Options, Inc. after working as a Professional Geriatric Care Manager since 1995. Stephanie served on the Board of the Aging Life Care Association for 6 years and has also served as the President of the Aging Life Care Association Florida Chapter.