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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.

  
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 Executive Team

Pennie Hockenberry is the Director of Public Policy and Legislation. 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 administers OVA’s input on policies that pertain to victims’ rights and coordinates with legislators to ensure that the voices of victims are heard. 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 Outreach and Programming for services pertaining to the 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 as well as major departmental programs and services.  Ms. Laird holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania.

Tanner D. Widdowson is the Director of Victim Services responsible for general staff supervision, oversight of staff training, and ensuring compliance with business processes ,  policy and procedure.  Prior to his appointment as director in November 2018, Mr. Widdowson served as a Victim Assistance Coordinator and a Victim Assistance Supervisor with OVA since his transition to state service in February 2015. During his county service years, Mr. Widdowson was a Legal Advocate and a Legal Coordinator with ACESS York/Victim Assistance Center YWCA serving domestic violence and sexual assault victims. He holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Penn State University and served as enlisted aircrew in the US Air Force from 2005-2009 supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


 

Office of Victim Advocate Staff

Contact OVA Staff  1.800.563.6399 RA-OVAINFO@PA.GOV

Renee Bressler, Assistant to the Victim Advocate 
           
Tara Gross, Victim Assistance Supervisor

Our Victim Assistance Coordinators include:
  • Mike Arceo-Maddy
  • Pam Behr
    Restitution
  • Heather Cattron
    Institutional Victim Assistance
  • Nicole Evans
    Inmate Apology Ban
  • Mandy Goddard
  • Missy Hunsberger
  • Heather Julius
    In Person Victim Testimony
  • Jessica Kasaback
  • Lisa Martire
    Victim Awareness Education Classes, Resilient Voices
  • Tatiana McConnell
  • Melissa Merolla
    Board of Pardons
  •  Vicki Palmer
    Board of Pardons
  •  Nina Rosendale
    Innocence Project, Prison Rape Elimination Act
  • Amanda Shradley
    Victim/Offender Dialogue
  • Gerald "JR" Waltemyer
    Address Confidentiality Program, Victim Wrap-Around Cases
  • June Wilson-Moore
    Sex Offender Registration Notification Act

Field staff include:

  • Annette Gantz, Office of Attorney General
  • Vacant, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office