Meet the visionaries behind The Menta Education Group.
With diverse expertise and unwavering commitment, our leadership team drives our organization’s mission to provide innovative solutions to critical education problems, thus shaping a brighter future for at-risk youth.
Since his earliest memories, Dr. Rory Conran has been driven by a deep-seated passion to assist people in navigating traumatic experiences and realizing their utmost potential. His journey with The Menta Group began unexpectedly. As a young college student, he initially majored in business. But his trajectory altered dramatically after just a week working as a paraprofessional in a classroom filled with middle school-aged students at The Menta Group. The profound impact of this experience propelled Rory to shift gears and change his major to Special Education. Since that pivotal moment, he’s remained steadfastly committed to the organization.
After receiving his BA in Special Education with LBS 1 Certification from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he was honored to be on the Dean’s List, Rory went on to earn his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. His passion for education didn’t stop there. He promptly returned to Aurora University and achieved his Special Education Director’s license. His insatiable thirst for knowledge and growth led him to earn a Doctorate in Leadership in Educational Administration from the same institution. Rory’s dissertation titled “Funding Impacts in Low-Income Areas” shed light on the significant implications of funding allocations on teacher retention in less privileged communities.
With a constant endeavor to enhance his expertise, Rory has also enriched his knowledge base with Executive Education from world-renowned institutions like Harvard Business School and MIT Sloan, with multiple stints at the latter.
Today, as the CEO of The Menta Group, Rory is more passionate than ever about Menta’s mission. His aim is to be at the forefront of education, setting standards and forging innovative paths. His unwavering focus remains on recruiting and retaining the finest talent, ensuring that Menta can offer the very best to the students and communities it serves.
Brian McGowan is a Certified Public Accountant with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.
Dr. Lynne Nicolas is the Chief Operating Officer for The Menta Group. Dr. Nicolas is also a respected board member and a licensed Clinical Psychologist, bringing a multi-dimensional approach to her role.
Graduating with a B.S. in Psychology from Northern Illinois University in 1997, she then pursued advanced studies at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. Here, she attained her M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 2001 and furthered her academic achievements with a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2002.
Having devoted 22 years of her professional life to The Menta Group, Dr. Nicolas has gracefully transitioned through various significant roles. She began her journey as an Advanced Therapy Practicum Student and gradually assumed roles of greater responsibility such as Clinical Director, Program Director/Administrator, and Director of Operations. Her current role as Chief Operating Officer is a testament to her unwavering commitment and invaluable contributions to the organization.
Beyond her operational duties, Dr. Nicolas is deeply passionate about holistic student development. She ardently believes in the power of collaboration and the implementation of innovative, tailored programming. This individualized approach ensures that every student is equipped with the necessary skills for success. Her vision for innovative educational strategies make Dr. Nicolas an invaluable asset to The Menta Group and the broader educational community.
As the Chief Operating Officer of The Menta Group, Jason manages an expansive portfolio of 33 programs across 16 buildings, nurturing over 1500 students and leading a dedicated team of over 1000 professionals. His visionary approach to education extends beyond the classroom: he’s been pivotal in forging community partnerships, elevating organizational procedures, and ensuring the organization’s growth aligns with its core values.
Holding a Bachelor of Arts from Northern Illinois University, Jason further honed his expertise with specialized endorsements and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Aurora University. His dedication to academia also led him to prestigious programs in education at MIT.
Outside his professional endeavors, Jason’s heart beats for the community. He’s been an active volunteer for the Special Olympics, contributed significantly to fundraising efforts for the Marie Wilkenson Food Pantry, and has participated in beautification projects at the CORE Academy.
Recognized for his unwavering dedication and excellence, Jason’s accolades include an impeccable 4.0 GPA from Aurora University, a place on the Northern Illinois Dean’s List, and the esteemed Menta Board Award in 2019.
A dynamic leader and a passionate educator, Jason Kudelka continues to inspire and drive positive change within the educational landscape.