Adah Parris - Chair

Cultural Strategist

Adah ParrisAdah is a polymath and enthusiastic curator of people, patterns and stories. She is a creative problem solver who empathetically subverts the status quo.

This year Adah has been longlisted as one of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology. In 2019, she was recognised as one of TED Talks Global Emerging Innovators. In 2018, she was recognised as one of the UK’s Top 100 Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Leaders in Technology.

Adah takes a philosophical and anthropological approach to technology, merging logic and creativity to design immersive storytelling, learning and development environments. Cultures in which her clients and audiences become critical thinkers, philosophers and immersive storytellers, problem-solvers. Innovators.

Adah has over 20 years of experience in transforming cultures to nurture decentralised humanity-centred innovation environments. She has worked with businesses and individuals in advertising, education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, marketing, media, and technology start-ups.

Clients and partnerships have included Google, Unilever, Sainsbury's, Oath, Ogilvy Labs, The British Council, The EU Council, The Tate Modern, the British Film Institute (BFI), The Union Chapel, Burning Man Camp: Playground, ArabNet Dubai, Innovate Finance, Wayra UK, The Friday Club, and Shambala Festival.

Andy Ward

Andy WardVP, Operational Lead UKI/EMEA, Corporate Bank People Strategy, Deutsche Bank

Andy originally trained for a technical career in film and television, but changing circumstances resulted in a shift in direction in 2001 leading to him working within the financial services industry across the UK for more than 15 years. Following his own lived experience of mental health challenges in recent years, Andy has embraced the importance of selfcare and mental health awareness in both his professional and personal life and has taken on a personal ‘mission’ to do all that he can to help others avoid the same challenges. This lived experienced has driven him to make mental health and wellbeing critical topics for discussion and action within the corporate environment.

Andy is a keen motorcyclist and amateur carpenter and uses both as a method to maintain good mental health and wellbeing, and a way to bring balance to the unsettling and stressful times that 2020 has brought about. Andy has worked in partnership with MHFA England since 2018, leading the adoption of MHFA England training within his workplace and ensuring that the mental health of employees stays firmly on the agenda. He joins MHFA England as a non-executive director with an enthusiasm to bring both workplace learnings and personal experiences to the table to help drive the vision to improve the mental health of the nation.

Charlotte Goodrich

Chief Operating Officer, National Infrastructure Commission

Charlotte GoodrichCharlotte is the Chief Operating Officer at the National Infrastructure Commission, an Arm’s Length Body of HM Treasury who provide impartial, expert advice to government on major long-term infrastructure challenges. Charlotte has held this post since May 2019. Prior to this Charlotte spent 7 years at KPMG delivering audit and assurances services across the public and not for profit sectors, working in particular with clients in the government, health and charity sectors. Charlotte is a Chartered Accountant and prior to joining KPMG, completed her accountancy training at the Audit Commission, where she delivered external audit and value for money reviews for local government and health sector clients.

Alongside her executive role Charlotte was appointed as a Magistrate in 2018. She serves in Bexley and Bromley Magistrates Courts, a role in which she sees directly the effect of mental ill health on those within the justice system.

Charlotte is a Mental Health First Aider and is passionate about championing mental wellbeing in the workplace and the benefits this brings to individuals, and employers. Charlotte has gained extensive experience in identifying and supporting those with mental health challenges throughout her career. Prior to becoming an accountant, Charlotte began her career answering 999 calls for the Ambulance Service, a role where she saw at first hand the impacts of mental health crisis on individuals and the wider community. In her current role Charlotte leads on all people matters, with a particular focus on mental health, in order to protect and promote both individual and organisational wellbeing.

Karim Virani

Chief Commercial Officer, West Ham United Football Club Karim Virani

Karim Virani is currently Chief Commercial Officer at West Ham United where he is responsible for all areas of commercial revenue, partnerships, and digital activity at the club. Reporting directly to the Vice-Chairman of the club, Karim has overseen significant growth in terms of record-breaking revenue, new partnerships and digital development; a period which has seen, in recent years, the club rise as high as 14th most valuable football brands in the world according to independent reports carried out by the likes of Forbes, KMPG and Deloitte. Karim’s previous experience includes several senior marketing and digital roles across the financial services, online gaming, and telecommunication industries.

Karim is absolutely delighted to be joining MHFA England and feels the mission of training 1 in 10 of the UK adult population in mental health awareness and skills is one of the most important objectives of his career. Karim sees the subject matter of mental health being incredibly important in the current climate in which we live. He also feels that whilst inroads have been made into broader society being more comfortable talking about this topic, that more support pushing this agenda forward must continue to be a priority and is incredibly passionate about helping the cause in any way possible. He is looking forward to being part of an exciting new non-exec team tasked with offering expert support on guiding the business through the next phase of their journey.

Rachel King

Rachel King

People Director, Camelot

Rachel King is People Director at Camelot, operator of The National Lottery, where she is responsible for leading the people strategy. Rachel joined MHFA England as a non-executive director in June 2018 and is also on the board of Network Homes, a housing association based in London and Hertfordshire.

Prior to joining Camelot, she spent a number of years in senior HR roles in the media sector including Group HR Director of Trinity Mirror plc and HR Director at Hearst Magazines. Rachel has led the HR functions of a number of organisations, helping their business models to evolve following significant changes in technology and consumer behaviour.

Sandi Wassmer

CEO, Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion

Sandi Wassmer is a visionary leader, strategist and change agent, with senior executive experience within the charity and commercial sectors.

Sandi WassmerThe bulk of Sandi’s career has been spent in the media sector, in a range of commercial organisations – from COO of the SyFy UK TV Channel to MD of digital agency, Copious.

A lifelong human rights advocate, Sandi is driven to play her part in creating an inclusive society; after registering blind in 2008, she began advocating around equality and inclusion, working at the intersection of Government, Industry and the Third Sector, as well as writing and public speaking. In 2014, she decided it was time to give back wholesale and began working in the charity sector. She joined social care charity, Jewish Care, initially to develop its digital services portfolio and latterly as Head of Transformation and Service Design, as well as joining the RNIB Board as a Trustee.

In November 2020, Sandi was appointed as CEO of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion, supporting organisations of all shapes and sizes in creating workplaces where people feel a sense of belonging.

When Sandi lost her sight, she experienced significantly poor mental health and advocates to remove any stigma around mental health. She wants to ensure that everyone can have access to all of the tools and services they need to enjoy the same good mental health that she does today. Having trained as a Mental Health First Aider, she jumped at the chance of becoming a non-executive director of MHFA England.

Sandi has a daily yoga and meditation practice, to keep her mind and body balanced and well, and teaches mindfulness meditation so that others can benefit too.

Tom BerryTom Berry

Chair, Chameleon

Tom is the Chair and co-owner of Chameleon, a specialist public relations and marketing agency, which has been named B2B PR Agency of the Year and the UK's Best Agency to Work For during his tenure.

Tom provides senior consultancy to develop stories that bring companies closer to customers, influencers and their own people. Tom takes a journalistic approach to storytelling, drawing on his early career as a business journalist. Tom’s passions include fighting the stigma of mental health in communications, creating brilliant places to work and collecting records. Tom is also a part-time secondary school teacher and is married with four children.