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OVA Team


At this time, Pennie Hockenberry is serving as the Acting Victim Advocate, pending the Governor's new nominee and Senate confirmation.

To request the Office of Victim Advocate to speak at your training or event, please fill out this form and email it to


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. Mrs. Hockenberry holds a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Shippensburg University and a B.A. in Sociology from Shippensburg University. 

Tara M. Gross is a Director of Victim Services, where she is responsible for ensuring post-sentencing rights pertaining to victims at the state level along with general staff supervision, oversight of staff training and ensuring compliance with business processes. Ms. Gross is also the main oversight of any inquiries that come in to OVA via the web. Prior to her appointment as director, Ms. Gross served as the Victim Assistance Supervisor, as well as a Victim Assistance Coordinator. Ms. Gross joined the Commonwealth in February 2013. Before coming to the Commonwealth, Ms. Gross spent her career in York County. She was previously employed as a Victim/Witness Coordinator with the York County District Attorney’s Office, as well as a Facilitator with Family Group Decision Making which is a sub department of York County Human Services. Ms. Gross graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2007.

Tanner D. Widdowson is a 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 at 800.563.6399 or  RA-OVAINFO@PA.GOV

Renee Bressler, Administrative Officer 
Annette Gantz, Victim Assistance Supervisor

Our Victim Assistance Coordinators include:
  • Mike Arceo-Maddy
  • Pam Behr
  • Kenneth Benka-Davies
  • Heather Cattron
      Institutional Victim Assistance
  • Taylor Crum
      Resilient Voices
  • Cathy Eichelberger
      Juvenile Justice
  • Nicole Evans
      Inmate Apology Bank
  • Heather Julius
      In Person Victim Testimony
  • Jessica Kasaback
      Board of Pardons
  • Karen Laird
      Training Specialist
  • Renee Langan
  • Tatiana McConnell
      Board of Pardons
  • Nina Morris
  • Stephanie Rice
  • Lisa Ryan
      Victim Awareness Education, Resilient Voices
  • Amanda Shradley
      Victim/Offender Dialogue
  • Gerald "JR" Waltemyer
      Address Confidentiality Program
  • June Wilson-Moore
      Sex Offender Registration Notification Act

Field staff include:

  • Missy Hunsberger, Office of Attorney General
  • Annie Karlen, Philadelphia Regional Office
  • Mandy Goddard, Pittsburgh Regional Office
  • Melissa Merolla, Northeast Regional Office
  • Karen Hinkle, Lehigh Valley Regional Office

Office support staff include:

  • Shanda Strain
  • Adele White-Wright