Eric Connor, MS, LCPC – Co-Founder, Facilitator
Eric Connor, licensed therapist, has “re-booted” his own career multiple times over his working history. From being a management consultant for Fortune 500 companies to writing software for cutting edge platforms, Eric has participated in a variety of work cultures and domains. Now, in his role as a therapist and career coach, he draws on his experience to help others discover their deeper career passions and aspirations. Part of this work is assisting others to identify those messages and fears that inhibit us from moving forward on what we know is best.
A primary truth Eric has seen in action is that there is power in groups. The group construct in therapy yields powerful changes in its members that could not be achieved individually. Flank 5 is founded on the premise that this same group construct can have a profound, multiplying effect on those making career transitions.
Eric holds a MS in Computer Science from the University of Chicago, a MA in Counseling from National-Louis and a BA from the University of Michigan, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of addiction, trauma, and facilitating change in our lives.
Todd Connor, MBA – Co-Founder, Facilitator
Todd Connor is a former management consultant, U.S. Navy veteran, and has held many leadership roles in the public and private sector – with the belief that we can all change and redirect our lives. His inspiration for facilitating the Flank 5 Academy experience was derived from a short-course he taught to graduate students at the University of Chicago to help students figure out how to create a personal strategy to go do the work that naturally connects to their skills and aspirations. Todd found that while students were in programs to advance, they spent little time answering “what is it you would like to do with your life, and how do you get there?”
Flank 5 Academy was created as a Personal Incubator to help people realize their professional potential by bringing psychology and strategy to work in a context that helps people do self-discovery, create a personal strategy, and ultimately take action to realize their professional aspirations. Todd holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MBA from the University of Chicago, formerly led the Service Leadership Academies for Chicago Public Schools, and is the author of two books on leadership and personal strategy.
Emily Drake, LPC, MA – CEO, Facilitator
Emily Drake has always been a storyteller and connector – committed to inspiring hope, and creating structure, for individuals in transition. She believes in the power of community to get anywhere in life – “better together” is a mantra she lives by.
Emily’s story has her changing career paths four times, from public relations executive to youth development leader; from career counselor and veteran advocate to program and coaching director. After going through a life-changing experience as part of a Flank 5 Academy cohort, Emily began facilitating with Todd and Eric, creating spaces for groups and individuals to access that which does not exist: an intentional space, with support and structure, for the career conversation. Believing it to be not only her passion, but also an obligation, Emily joined Flank 5 Academy as CEO in January 2016.
Emily holds a BA from Augustana College and an MA from Northeastern Illinois University. She is a licensed therapist specializing in working with career changers, beginners or seekers – as well as individuals rebuilding after career trauma.