Governor Tom Corbett nominated Jennifer Storm as Commonwealth Victim Advocate on November 8, 2013. She was confirmed by the Senate on Dec 10, to serve a six year term. As Victim Advocate, she is responsible for representing the rights and interests of crime victims before the PA Parole Board and the Department of Corrections 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, Mrs. Storm is responsible for advocating the interests of adult and juvenile crime victims throughout Pennsylvania.
Prior to this appointment, Mrs. 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, Mrs. 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, LGBTQ+ rights, addiction and recovery, and civil rights.
Mrs. Storm currently serves as President of the National Crime Victims' Law Institute Board of Directors, and also on the PCCD Victim Services Advisory Committee, the PA Commission on Sentencing, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- Cathy Eichelberger
- Nicole Evans
Inmate Apology Bank
- Heather Julius
In Person Victim Testimony
- Jessica Kasaback
Board of Pardons
- Karen Laird
- Renee Langan
- Tatiana McConnell
Board of Pardons
- Nina Morris
- Stephanie Rice
- Lisa Ryan
Victim Awareness Education, Resilient Voices
- Amanda Shradley
- Gerald "JR" Waltemyer
Address Confidentiality Program
- June Wilson-Moore
Sex Offender Registration Notification Act
Field staff include:
- Vacant, Philadelphia Regional Office
- Missy Hunsberger, Office of Attorney General
- 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