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 succeed 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 50 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.

Additionally, we have a large pool of sub-contractors who offer subject matter and process expertise in equity and inclusion, training, organizational audits, conflict management, housing policy and data, evaluation, community engagement and organizing, and project management. We are ready to put a fantastic team together to help you solve your most pressing issues.


Send Lacey an email if you are interested in being part of the team as a subcontractor or student intern!


Lacey McNary, MSW


Lacey has expertise and over 20 years experience in facilitation, public policy identification and prioritization, as well as network and coalition building.

She is an accomplished leader with a proven record of consistent success improving outcomes for families and communities. She has demonstrated expertise in tailoring solutions to audience needs based on observation, experience, and research. Highly skilled in collaborating with all members of an organization to achieve organizational mission, goals, and objectives. Ability to implement strategies and programs that increase efficiency and enhance productivity while aligning with clientele initiatives.

Areas of Expertise include:

  • Strategic Development
  • Policy Change Campaign Planning
  • Research & Analysis
  • Relationship Management
  • Grant Writing
  • Project Management
  • Evaluation
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Network Facilitation
  • Policy Development
  • Collective Impact
  • Facilitation and Strategic Planning

She leads meetings with multiple clientele simultaneously while focusing on analyzing and improving public policies. Provides consulting services, placing an emphasis on improving organizations and the community. Lacey conducts research and analyze results to implement programming. She also offers evaluation services and oversees meeting planning and facilitation.

Lacey joined the staff at Kentucky Youth Advocates in 2002 and served in many roles at the organization – including being a deputy director.  She is adept at designing, initiating and sustaining a variety of projects and programs in several portfolio arenas, including health, early childhood and child welfare. 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.

Erin Chism, PHR, SHRM-CP

Operations Director and Principal Consultant

HR professional with industry expertise including legal, engineering, technology, higher education, and non-profit.  Erin Chism was previously the Director of Human Resources for St. Joseph Children’s Home.

Practicing human resources in a variety of industries and serving many years in various roles within HR, Chism has had the opportunity to work in all areas of human resources including recruiting, policy development, onboarding, training, employee relations, performance management, leadership training and development, workers compensation, benefits, and safety.  She earned a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Sullivan University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University.  She has also achieved the designations of SHRM-CP, PHR, and is currently working on obtaining certification as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS).

Outside the office, Chism volunteers on an HR Committee for the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Community Shield, and is very active in her children’s school.

Deepika Andavarapu, PhD

Evaluation Director

Deepika Andavarapu, is an urban planning scholar, community researcher and evaluator working with  government, nonprofits and other philanthropic organizations. She is a strategic systems thinker designing long-term solutions with an emphasis on results and measuring impact. Deepika has over sixteen years of experience working with public sector and philanthropy over a myriad of social justice issues. 

Deepika is a published author and TEDX speaker, whose Doctoral Dissertation focused on the Temporal, Spatial and Social Resilience of a slum in Visakhapatnam India. As a planner, she designed and implemented meaningful citizen engagement process to implement multiple social justice policies for communities in Florida, California and Texas. Deepika worked closely with Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s Collective Impact Cohort and assisted in the creation of an outcome focussed place-based collective impact model. Deepika is the Technical Writer for Urban Land Institute in Greater Cincinnati Region, she has facilitated multiple Technical Assistance Panels for communities. 

Deepika Andavarapu, is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair for Impact 100-Cincinnati. Her work with the DEI committee has garnered national attention and she is invited as a speaker for Catalist (women accelerating the power of collective giving) 2020 National Conference in Seattle.

Ahmed Farah, BSW

The University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work MSSW Practicum Student

Ahmed Farah is a social worker who is currently attending the University of Louisville to complete his Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW). He hopes to practice macro-level social work in areas such as research and policy.  One of his favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”





Marta Maria Miranda-Straub, MSW

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.

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.

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