Board of Directors


Brandy Brown, LCSW (term ends 2022)

Brandy Brown

Brandy Brown, LCSW 

(Pronouns: she, her, hers)

Brandy is the Program Manager for The Gender Clinic Program at Maine Medical Partners/ The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.  She provides assessment, therapy, coordination of medical and mental health services, and program development within a multidisciplinary setting.  She is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry for Tufts University School of Medicine. Brandy received her MSW and BSW at the University of Southern Maine and is currently pursuing a DSW.   

Brandy is an advocate for improving LGBTQ+ healthcare, with a clinical focus on best practices in transgender health within pediatrics, as well as improving overall systemic competency and functionality within a large healthcare system.  Relevant memberships and affiliations include: NASW (President of the Maine Board of Directors and Chair of the NASW- Maine Chapter LGBTQ Advocacy committee), WPATH, MMC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, MMC Equitable Care Workgroup, New England Transgender C.A.R.E. Consortium, & LGBTQ Youth Coalition (Maine).

She has worked within different systems of care, including psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, residential settings with vulnerable populations including homeless youth, severe psychiatric disorders, veterans and neuro-rehabilitation. 

Brandy lives in Southern Maine where she prefers to stay close to the ocean with her family. She enjoys being outside at the beach or on a trail, hiking, camping, reading, and cooking. 

1st Vice President

Julie Schirmer, LCSW (term ends 2022)

Julie Schirmer

Julie Schirmer, LCSW is a behavioral health and curriculum consultant on a Preventative Medicine Enhancement for Maine (PrevME) HRSA grant with the Maine Medical Center (MMC) Department of Family Medicine. She recently retired from her 20+ year position as a behavioral science faculty at the MMC Family Medicine Residency Program and more recent position as Assistance Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship for Tufts School of Medicine/Maine Track Program. She has taught, consulted and held academic leadership positions on regional, national and international levels, authoring multiple articles, chapters and an edited book on Behavioral Health is Primary Care: A Global Perspective. Julie has been actively involved with Maine Providers Stand Up for Health Care and believes that by collaborating with other like-minded individuals and policy makers, we can improve the health and wellbeing of our clients, our communities and ourselves. She has been a member of NASW for over forty years and was co-chair of the Committee on Women’s issues for the state prior to the birth of her 35 and 33-year-old daughters.

2nd Vice President/Financial

April Turner, LMSW-cc (term ends 2020)

april turner

April Turner is a graduate of the University of Maine and holds a Bachelors in Social Work and a Masters in Social Work. In July of 2019, April passed the ASWE Board certification for LMSW-cc. She currently is enrolled at Capella University. April is working towards a Doctorate in Social Work. In 2012, April and her partner became foster parents. Foster parenting introduced April to the important roles held by social workers. Initially, April intended to become a child protective worker. As time passed April became more driven to create systemic change. In 2016 and 2018, April ran for the Maine House of Representatives. April is active in her community as a volunteer with her local fire department and schools. April works as an Outpatient Clinician for Kennebec Behavioral Health. April has also worked as a Family Visitor with Maine Families, a Visit Supervisor with Home Counselors Inc., and a Youth and Family Counselor with Sweetser. In 2016 April was awarded the Non-Traditional Student of the Year by the University of Maine. In 2019, April received the Marcia Lovell Award in recognition of her dedication to children and their families. April lives in Freedom with her ever-growing family, dogs, and stray cat- who is perfectly named– Notmycat.



At-Large 1

Jenna Mehnert, MSW (term ends 2022)

j_mehnertJenna Mehnert , MSW, serves as executive director of the Maine Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Responsible for guiding all program operations, Jenna also operates as the agency’s lobbyist and chief advocate. Having devoted the past 30 years worked in the fields of child welfare, juvenile justice, rape crisis, domestic violence, substance use, mental health and criminal justice, Jenna’s career has focused on building responsive services and more impactful systems for underserved populations. Jenna has held three politically appointed positions and run two non-profit entities prior to starting with NAMI Maine in 2013.  Immediately before returning home to Maine, Jenna spent six years running the Pennsylvania Chapter of NASW and seven years as adjunct social work faculty for Temple University. Jenna is a graduate of Westtown School and the University of Southern Maine. In addition to holding an MSW degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Jenna is a results-based accountability fellow with the JT Gorman Foundation.

At-Large 2

(vacant; term years 2020-2023)

At-Large 3

(vacant; term years 2021-2024)

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Sara Gendreau, LCSW, practices Behavioral Health Therapy in an integrated medical practice in the St. John Valley.  She is a graduate of the University of New England. She graduated with her MSW in 2016.  She is excited to partner with other social workers to bring a perspective on rural social work to the NASW Maine Chapter.

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Mara Larkin, LCSW and a Certified Case Manager (CCM), currently works for Maine Medical Center where she leads a team of 18 MSWs within medical inpatient units. Mara has previous experience working with immigrants and refugees, managing Interpreter services and Cultural Competence Training.

Mara is passionate about advocating to advance social work practice within various settings.


MSW Student Representative

 Bianca Sturchio is an activist, artist, researcher, and student who believes in the transformative potential of human connection. Bianca is pursuing her graduate degree in Social Work at the University of Southern Maine, where she received her Bachelor of Arts dual major degree in Social Work and Sociology. Bianca commits much of her time to advocacy work, particularly around matters relating to disability and mental health. Currently, Bianca works at Preble Street’s Florence House as a generalist practice intern where she serves to meet the needs of housing insecure women in Portland. She also occupies the role of Student Fellow of the Intercultural and Diversity Advisory (IDAC) Board at the University of Southern Maine, and Peer Navigator at the Recovery Oriented Service Center. This is Bianca’s first experience as a Graduate Student Representative on the Board of Directors for the Maine Chapter of the NASW, and she endeavors to use her academic and experiential knowledge to elevate marginalized voices and advocate for systemic change.

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BSW Student Representative

Kahla Jusell, serving as the BSW Student Representative of the NASW ME Chapter’s Board of Directors, is finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at the University of Southern Maine. In addition to studying social work she is also pursuing a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies and is an active student in USM’s Honors Program. Outside of her studies she is an avid activist, volunteer, and leader.  In the past, Kahla has worked alongside the Barnstable County Human Rights Commision and helped to create the Human Rights Academy; a cohort of young activists that are passionate about creating social change in their communities. During her four year as president they received multiple awards from local nonprofits, the Relational Center of LA, and from the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. In the 2017-2018 academic year she served as a Committee Member of the Gloria S. Duclos Convocation at USM which focused on creating conversations on Race and Participatory Democracy. Currently she is serving as USM’s Bachelor of Social Work Student Representative and the founder and Vice President of USM’s Social Work Student Organization. Kahla is an Honors Peer Advisor and Community Service Chair of the Honors Student Organization.  Outside of USM Kahla has taken her passion for volunteering out into her communities and abroad. She has been a long time volunteer with the Council On Aging, Preble Street Soup Kitchen, and Portland Housing Authority. In addition to these she spent the last year working with one of Preble Street’s Housing First Residential Location, Logan’s Place, teaching free trauma sensitive yoga and meditation classes for homeless and housing insecure populations with a focus on recovery yoga for those struggling with addiction. In addition to local service she also traveled abroad to rural Thailand where she worked with a service group in creating sustainable volunteering. After her extensive volunteering with people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland she is now pursuing a deeper connection with this population through her internship at the Preble Street Resource Center as a case manager.


Branch A 

(York and Cumberland Counties)

Branch B

(Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, and Waldo Counties)

Branch C

(Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, and Somerset Counties)

Branch D

(Aroostook County)

Branch E

(Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties)