Mary Ek joined USAging in 2021. As the Director for Community Care Corps and Dementia Friendly America, Mary supports Community Care Corps grantees, dementia-friendly communities and Dementia Friends administrators by providing technical assistance, facilitating learning collaboratives and webinars, and managing the development and sharing of resources.
Mary’s career began as an educator. For 20 years, Mary served as an educator and administrator in various schools and as the Education Director for Volunteers of America Minnesota. In 2011, Mary joined the Collective Action Lab where she served as a Program Director, Project Leader and Manager for various collaborations and initiatives, one of which was Act on Alzheimer’s. Mary was a pioneer and leader in the development of Dementia Friendly America and supported USAging as it acquired the role of DFA administrator.
Mary has significant experience in working on issues central to the mission of USAging’s members. Following her time at the Collective Action Lab, Mary served as a consultant to USAging and many of its Area Agency on Aging members on several projects, including Dementia Friendly America and Community Care Corps.
When Mary is not working in the field of aging, she enjoys her work on the other end of the age spectrum, serving young families as a birth and postpartum doula, parent coach, and Infant Massage instructor.
Mary holds a Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education from the University of Notre Dame.