Hertfordshire Mind Network employs around 80 members of staff and 100+ volunteers throughout the county. Leading this group is a qualified and experienced team who are responsible for looking after the day-to-day operation of the organisation. These are:

CEO: Julie Nicholson MBE

Julie originally trained as a mental health nurse before moving into the voluntary sector with Body Positive in the 1980's. She graduated in politics and literature in 1995, winning the University award for outstanding achievement in the field of social justice. Julie joined Mind in Dacorum in the same year, as one of the first paid workers to set up a new Befriending project aimed at resettled clients discharged from long stay hospitals. 

Over the past 20 years Julie has led the organisation to become the largest provider of mental health services in Hertfordshire, supporting more than 5,000 clients last year. 

As a qualified mediator Julie has been heavily involved in influencing mental health policy and was awarded an MBE in 2012 for her contribution to mental health services in Hertfordshire. 

Head of Operations: Lisa Nicholson

Lisa joined Hertfordshire Mind Network as Head of Operations in July 2019.

With a background in child development and health and social care, Lisa has worked for the Local Authority and the charity Action for Children managing Sure Start Centres and multi-disciplinary services.  She achieved the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership in 2010 and is also a qualified project manager.

Her interest in mental health came as a result of the increasing number of interventions required for children, young people and parents suffering from anxiety, isolation and depression in her services.

She has been commended on her leadership and management by Ofsted after achieving ‘Good’  for children’s centre inspections and was also named  Action for Children’s  Outstanding Employee of The Year in 2017 as part of their National Stephenson’s Awards because of her work in starting a community based social enterprise to generate additional income for the charity.

In her spare time as a mum of three, she is kept busy by family, her partner Charles (mainly trying to avoid his cycle rides) and her ‘very naughty’ dog Harry! Although she has recently discovered the joy of gardening in her new greenhouse!!

Head of Growth, Quality & Marketing: Clare Rennett

Clare joined Hertfordshire Mind Network in 2016.  She has 20 years experience of working in health and social care settings, both in service delivery and service development roles. Clare also holds a BA (Hons) in Social Policy and Administration.

Clare is experienced in developing effective, high quality and innovative business growth, through building and maintaining successful relationships with commissioners, partner organisations and local providers to identify and create service delivery solutions that work for individuals and local communities.

Clare has a particular interest in the design and delivery of creative, person centred mental health outreach services and crisis provision. 

In her spare time she enjoys walking her two sighthounds and volunteering for a local greyhound rescue charity.

Head of Finance: Petra McMillan

Petra has worked in Finance for 26 years, qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2005.  She has worked in a number of business sectors including Construction, Retail, Print and paper management before deciding to work in the charity sector in 2018.  She has overall responsibility for the day to day financial control and financial management of the business.

In her spare time she is Akela for her local Cub Scout pack, providing a balanced program for 8 to 10 ½ year old boys and girls.