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Meet OVA


Jennifer R. Storm
Victim Advocate
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Corbett nominated Jennifer R. Storm as Commonwealth Victim Advocate on November 8, 2013. She was confirmed by the state Senate on Dec. 10, 2013, to serve a six-year term. As Victim Advocate, she is responsible for representing the rights and interests of crime victims before the Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) and the Department of Corrections (DOC) and to provide notification to crime victims of the potential for inmate release, opportunity to provide testimony, and notification of the inmate’s movement within the correctional system. Further, Ms. Storm is responsible for advocating the interests of adult and juvenile crime victims throughout Pennsylvania. 

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Storm served for 10 years as executive director of the Dauphin County Victim/Witness Assistance Program, a non-profit organization which provides direct services to victims of crime, community outreach and training in victim’s rights, and crisis response services.

The author of several books and magazine articles, Ms. Storm has received numerous awards for the telling of her personal story of victimization, addiction and recovery. She has traveled the country giving keynotes, lectures, workshops, and panel discussions regarding victims’ rights, LGBT rights, addiction and recovery, and civil rights.

Ms. Storm has been profiled in, and interviewed for, many major national media outlets including: NBC‘s The Today Show and Dateline, People Magazine, CNN, Rolling Stone Magazine, World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, CBS 48 Hours Live to Tell, E! News, Washington Post, Business Weekly, USA Today and many more.

Ms. Storm currently serves on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Victim Services Advisory Committee, PA Commission on Sentencing, Crime Victims Alliance of PA, the State Council for The Interstate Compact on Juvenile and Adult Offenders and chairs the PA Task Force on Restitution.

Renee Bressler, Special Assistant to Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm
Email: rebressler@pa.gov  | Phone: 717.783.7501

To request the Victim Advocate to speak at your training or event, please fill out this form and email it to rebressler@pa.gov.

Office of Victim Advocate - Directors

Pennie Hockenberry is the Director of Victim Services dealing with issues pertaining to the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. She joined the agency in April 2011 as a Victim Assistance Coordinator. Ms. Hockenberry has 15 years of experience in the human services field. As director, she oversees the probation/parole post-sentencing notification and input services. Ms. Hockenberry holds a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Shippensburg University and a B.A. in Sociology from Shippensburg University.  


Karen Laird
is the Director of Victim Services dealing with issues pertaining to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. She joined the agency in February 2003 as a Victim Assistance Coordinator. As director, she oversees the corrections post-sentencing notification and input services. Ms. Laird also oversees the OVA Dialogue Program for Victims of Violent Crime. Victim Offender Dialogue is a way of bringing a victim and offender together for a face-to-face meeting, in the presence of a trained unbiased mediator, between the victim of a crime and the person who committed that crime. Additional programs that are administered from OVA West include the coordination and training for the Impact of Crime Classes and curriculum development for PA 143 Victim Awareness Education within the PA Department of Corrections. Ms. Laird holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania.


Ashley N. Walkowiak,
 Executive Assistant to Victim Advocate, acts as the communications director for public awareness and outreach. Ms. Walkowiak conducts special projects relating to the executive activities of the Victim Advocate; she provides technical oversight, coordinates evaluations and oversees quality control of office programs. Ms. Walkowiak represents the Victim Advocate at agency and public events to articulate victims’ rights policy and office objectives and to garner support. Additionally, she drafts sensitive correspondence and position papers, memoranda, articles in regards to victims’ rights. Prior to joining OVA, Ms. Walkowiak served in various positions, including Deputy Director of Communications, at the Governor’s Office of Administration over a twelve year period. She is also a survivor, a published author, and spends much of her free time volunteering to provide hospital accompaniments and sexual assault counseling to victims.

OVA Staff

Contact OVA Staff  1.800.563.6399 RA-OVAINFO@PA.GOV

Gerald "JR" Waltemyer, Address Confidentiality (ACP) Coordinator, Victim Wrap-Around Cases
Tanner Widdowson, PREA
Nina Rosendale, Innocence Project, PREA
Pam Behr, Restitution
Heather Julius, In Person Victim Testimony
Nicole Evans, Board of Pardons, Inmate Apology Bank
Tara Gross, Compliance and Training Project
Lisa Martire, Victim and Awareness Education Classes, VOD, Resilient Voices
Annette Gantz, SAVIN
Heather Cattron, Institutional Victim Assistance Coordinator
Anna Greenholt, Impact of Crime Class
June Wilson-Moore, SORNA Victim Assistance Coordinator
Melissa Merolla, Victim Assistance Coordinator
Amanda Shradley, Victim Assistance Coordinator, Victim/Offender Dialogue
Adele Wright, Clerk Typist 2
Shanda Strain, Clerk Typist 3