McNary Group is your go-to partner for strategic consulting, technical assistance and project management. We come in when organizations need us and use a results-based approach to create a game plan for success. We then help clients take actionable steps that help them achieve their goals.
Fighting for a cause is no easy job. It requires expertise, experience, skills and a strong serving of tenacity to get the results your organization is striving for. We want organizations fighting for the greater good to be successful because when you win, we all win.
Let’s make a change together.
The vision of the McNary Group is to build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities through equitable systems. The McNary Group is driven by the values of equity, compassion, social and economic justice, integrity, and ethics. McNary Group has worked with over 30 local, state, and national organizations to create positive social change for children, youth, and families. McNary Group does this work by imagining the possible for kids, families, and communities by:
- Providing proactive solutions to balance inequity
- Translating data and stories into action
- Influencing legislative action and public policy
- Designing value-driven strategies
- Implementing comprehensive program and systems evaluation
- Providing data-driven analysis and recommendations
McNary Group is a member of The Collective; three women consultants who together have over 80 years of collective experience in micro, mezzo and macro social work practice. The Collective represents a commitment to turn vision into strategy, strategy into results, and results into discernible value.
Lacey McNary, MSW
Founder and Principal, McNary Group
Lacey has expertise and over 15 years experience in facilitation, public policy identification and prioritization, as well as network and coalition building. Lacey joined the staff at Kentucky Youth Advocates in 2002 and served in many roles at the organization -including being a deputy director. Successes include leading a planning effort to improve oral health outcomes by developing a statewide oral health literacy campaign as she directed the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition. Lacey is adept at designing, initiating and sustaining a variety of projects and programs in several portfolio arenas, including health, early childhood and child welfare.
Lacey established critical linkages and fostered collaboration between diverse leaders at the local, state and national levels around influencing key decisions on behalf of children and families. She lead successful short and long term strategic planning efforts including various parts of the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children. Her leadership was critical in the passage of several state level policy changes including allowing more time for children aging out of foster care to go to college, passage of the kindergarten entry dental screening bill, the inclusion of BMI collection on the school physical form, the removal of the face to face interview for children’s health insurance and the passage of booster seat legislation in Kentucky.
She has lead many efforts to convene and train advocates and volunteers in sharing their point of view with decision makers. Lacey was the founding leader of the decade-old Children’s Advocacy at the Capitol campaign as well as the designer and facilitator of several Child Advocacy Fellowships. She collaborated with national foundations and organizations to bring critical advocacy funding into the state to make Kentucky the best place in America to be young.
Lacey completed an 18 month leadership program hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation designed to equip state level child advocates with leadership and facilitation skills. The Leadership Institute for State Based Advocates focused on a Results Based Leadership and Accountability model. Lacey teaches masters level social welfare policy courses at the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work.
Melissa Johnson, LCSW
Principal Consultant, McNary Group and Owner of Gateway Therapy
Melissa is Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a broad range of experience in social services as a practitioner and administrator. With nearly a decade of diverse career experience from private practice to government relations and resource development, Melissa works at the micro and macro levels to make positive change for individuals, organizations and communities who help vulnerable populations. Melissa has worked on many issues specializing in access to health care, especially behavioral health care and addiction recovery services. She is skilled in facilitation and planning and policy change initiatives. Melissa holds a MSSW from the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work.
Marta Maria Miranda-Straub
Owner, Catapult Now, LLC
Marta is a Latina woman who has spent her life working towards building equity, inclusion and creating systems change. Her activism has focused on advancing social and economic justice for marginalized communities. She lives and works at the intersection of identities, ethnicity, race, gender and sexualities, applying an intersectional feminist lense to all that she does.
Marta has over 40 years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice during which she has held multiple roles, such as, educator, psychotherapist, group worker, executive leader, community organizer, advocate, activist, coach, trainer, facilitator and public speaker. She is the immediate past President/CEO of The Center for Women and Families, a 6 million dollar non-profit, where she raised 6, 7 and 8 figure gifts. Over the last 7 years she has led two successful collective impact initiatives in Louisville.
After retiring from The Center on February 28, 2018 she re-launched her consulting practice Catapult Now LLC where she provides organizational and leadership development, board development, executive coaching, facilitation and training services to nonprofit and for profit organizations. Her areas of expertise include violence prevention, coalition building, power privilege and cultural humility, trauma informed care, leadership development, conflict management/resolution, addictions and co-creating sustainable systems. Marta’s vision for her consulting work is to harness human potential and co-create systems change.
Dexter is a Research Associate and Project Manager with the McNary Group. He is an avid storyteller, his first passion is for understanding and improving the social structures in society that greatly influence the stories we tell about ourselves. Through qualitative and quantitative data analysis, Dexter wishes to unearth these stories, giving people a voice through empirical evidence; and, with that evidence, help decision makers develop better programs and policies.
Dexter received his Bachelor’s degree in Politics from Centre College. At Centre he received recognition for exemplary character, leadership, and academic achievement, as well as a national fraternal award for service and leadership. He also holds an MPA from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.
Dexter developed his skills as a researcher through his experiences working for the Council of State Governments and the Legislative Research Commission, the policy and program analysis branch of Kentucky’s state government. Past projects of his include evaluations of higher education administrative pay, Kentucky’s foster care system, and Kentucky’s Kindergarten program; as well as research on Medicaid waiver services, prevailing wage laws, and state drone legislation.