We're celebrating Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April. The goal of SAAM is for individuals and organizations to raise public awareness about sexual harassment, assault, and abuse and educate communities on how to prevent it. To help us raise awareness, we asked our friends for help. Throughout the month of April, we will add messages from community leaders throughout the Commonwealth on this page as well as our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Chief Executive Officer of PCAR
Karen Baker, LMSW, became the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in March, 2018. Prior to her role as CEO of PCAR, Karen served as the Chief Operating Officer of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) since its inception in 2000. Areas of interest include social justice, primary prevention, systems advocacy and effective messaging. She is the primary liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a primary funder; and to the NSVRC’s National Advisory Council. Ms. Baker is the 2014 President of the National Coalition for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and co-chairs the Prevention Committee for the Board of Directors of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA).
Receiving her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas in 1988, Ms. Baker formerly worked with children and families and assisted the State of Kansas in privatizing its foster care, adoption and family preservation services in the 1990s.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro
Sen. Lisa Baker
State Senator for the 20th Senatorial District
Senator Lisa Baker is serving her fourth term representing the 20th Senatorial District, which includes substantial parts of Luzerne and Susquehanna counties and all of Pike, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.
She is noted for her accessibility in the district, for her practical and reasonable approach to problem-solving, and for her bipartisan work on constructive legislation. Numerous community organizations and projects have benefitted from her concerted advocacy, including business development and job creation efforts, library expansions, senior housing initiatives, and recreation programs. Working with county and municipal officials, she has helped to secure essential funding for sewer and water system upgrades, transportation priorities, and intergovernmental cooperation efforts.
This session is her first chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee, an important and consequential committee with broad jurisdiction and a high number of bills referred to it. She also serves as a member of the following committees: Aging and Youth, Communications and Technology, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Labor and Industry, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness. These assignments give her the chance to work in-depth on many of the concerns expressed by individuals and groups in the district, to push forward on reform and cost-efficiency measures, and to shape programs opening the door for opportunities that residents are seeking.
In her last term, Senator Baker championed two measures extremely beneficial to citizens with disabilities and their families, one creating ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts to allow them to save for their futures without jeopardizing their benefits, and the other establishing the IWantToWork program to help them enter the job market.
She led the push for changes to the laws and procedures governing the juvenile justice system, in the wake of widespread corruption in Luzerne County. Her efforts on behalf of crime victims resulted in the opportunity to offer in-person testimony before the Board of Probation and Parole when an offender is eligible for release from prison. She also contributed an important bill to a successful bipartisan legislative effort strengthening Pennsylvania’s child protection laws.
Her dedication to Pennsylvania’s veterans is evidenced by her work to secure funding for veterans’ outreach and support programs and her leadership in establishing the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund to help needy veterans and their families. She has supported numerous bills to assist our deployed servicemen and women and veteran-owned businesses and was successful in securing approval of a “Veteran” designation on driver’s licenses.
Senator Baker’s commitment to emergency services personnel has produced added protections for emergency medical workers through the Good Samaritan Act, the modernization of the EMS code, and recommendations for addressing the manpower and money challenges facing many volunteer fire companies. She pushed for legislation to create Pennsylvania’s first state disaster assistance program, to extend grants to municipalities and counties hard hit by flooding and other natural disasters when federal aid is unavailable to cover losses.
Her focus on responsible natural gas drilling standards and safeguards to protect public health and the environment has resulted in greater water protection and improved well-site safety. She was a leader in the effort to extend and expand Pennsylvania’s One Call Law, to provide greater community and worker safety. A proponent of good government measures, she played a key role in strengthening Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law. She is sponsoring legislation to ban gifts to public officials and employees.
Senator Baker is an inductee of the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Hall of Fame. Other honors and awards include the Commitment to Children Award from the Children’s Service Center, the Legislator of the Year Award from the ARC of Pennsylvania and the American Heart Association, the Distinguished Citizens Award and the Silver Distinguished Citizens Medal from The Marine Corps League of Pennsylvania, the Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumnus Award from Shippensburg University, the Guardian of Small Business Award from the National Federation of Independent Business, the Patrick Henry Award from the National Guard Association of the United States, the James Baird Legislative Award from the Firemen’s Legislative Federation, and the Outstanding Service Award from the Pennsylvania War Veterans Council.
Active in community and civic organizations, she is a member of the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center Advisory Board, and serves as the Wyoming Conference United Methodist Church trustee at Wyoming Seminary.
She is a graduate of Dallas High School and Shippensburg University, where she received a B.A. in Government Administration. She resides in Lehman Township, Luzerne County, with her husband Gary. They have one son, Carson.
Rep. Kerry Benninghoff
Rep. Rosemary Brown
State Representative for the 189th Legislative District
State Representative Rosemary M. Brown represents the 189th Legislative District, which includes Barrett, Delaware, Hamilton, Lehman, Middle Smithfield, Porter, Ross, Smithfield and Stroud townships, as well as Delaware Water Gap Borough. A longtime Pocono resident, Rosemary is focused on reducing or eliminating school property taxes and creating a fairer allocation of state education funds.
The 2019-20 legislative session marks her fifth term representing the people of the 189th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She was first elected to represent the district on Nov. 2, 2010.
During the current session, Rosemary is serving her first term as a deputy whip for the House Republican Caucus. Additionally, she serves as a member of the House Appropriations, Education, Professional Licensure and Transportation committees.
In Harrisburg, Rosemary is committed to reducing the state budget and overall government spending through greater accountability and line-by-line reviews of each agency. She also supports making government more transparent and efficient. In 2020, Rosemary reinforced her support for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and keeping our communities safer by introducing House Resolution 756 to recognize April as SAAM in Pennsylvania.
Rosemary is working to create a business-friendly, low-tax atmosphere that will attract businesses to Pennsylvania and generate family sustaining jobs. She is also focused on issues relating to Home Owner Associations, financial literacy education for our youth, and public health issues such as the opioid crisis, Lyme disease, and tick-borne illnesses.
Rosemary is also a dedicated mother, and she has been married to her high school sweetheart, Joe, for 23 years. They have three children, Kennedy, Carter and Reagan.
Sen. Rob Kauffman
State Rep. Rob Kauffman was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to represent the 89th Legislative District in 2004. Rob has been appointed to serve as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for the 2019-20 Legislative Session. The committee deals with issues pertaining to criminal justice reform, firearms, family law, law enforcement, sex offenses, judicial reforms, animal cruelty, crime victims, juvenile justice and more. He previously served as chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee.
A graduate of Greencastle-Antrim High School and the American University School of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., before being elected to serve the people of the 89th Legislative District, Rob had served as vice chairman of the Greene Township Board of Supervisors.
In his community, he is a member of the Greene Township Lions Club, the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Franklin County Farm Bureau, the Franklin County Historical Society—Kittochtinny, the Franklin County Republican Committee and the National Rifle Association.
Rob and his wife, Niki, live in Scotland, with their children Abby, Will, Andrew and Caleb. The whole family is active in the ministries of their local church, Bethel Assembly of God in Chambersburg.
Sen. Judy Schwank
State Senator for the 11th Senatorial District
Judy Schwank recognizes that the needs and concerns of residents of the 11th Senatorial District are not limited by its boundaries. Her achievements in government and nonprofit realms reflect Judy’s interest in and advocacy for sustainable growth and prosperity, both locally and statewide. Judy has dedicated most of her adult life to public service. A former Berks County Commissioner, Judy has been committed to serving the people of Berks County. Her passion for promoting sustainable growth, prosperity, and preserving agricultural integrity has been exemplified through her many accomplishments in public service.
Following college, Judy worked as a Berks County horticultural agent for Penn State Cooperative Extension and established the Master Gardener Program. She became director of the Berks County Cooperative Extension Program in 1991 and was elected as the first female Berks County Commissioner in 2000. Judy’s interest in creating a sustainable Pennsylvania has drawn her to public service roles in the government and nonprofit realms.
During her two terms as Berks County Commissioner, Judy was instrumental in initiating the Berks Municipal Land Preservation program working with county and municipal leaders to save our natural resources. She also played a leading role in achieving major upgrades and renovations at the Berks Heim nursing home, a needed resource for the county’s most vulnerable senior citizens. Judy recently received the Pennsylvania League of Cities Outstanding Public Service Citation for her work in support of local government and communities throughout the commonwealth.
As President of 10,000 Friends, Judy provided support to organizations and individuals committed to improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvania residents. Under her leadership the non-profit agency developed policies and actions to revitalize and sustain Pennsylvania’s social and economic climate in order to encourage responsible land use, sustainable development, and promote agricultural heritage. Most recently Judy served as the Dean of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley College. Additionally, Judy also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Southeast Pennsylvania.
She serves as the Democratic chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. During the current (2019-20) legislative session, she also will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She also serves on the Aging & Youth, Local Government, Game and Fisheries, and Health and Human Services Committees.
Commonwealth Victim Advocate
Jennifer R. Storm was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett 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.
Executive Director of Centre Safe
Anne K. Ard has served as Executive Director of Centre Safe since 1997. In that role, she has provided leadership at both the state and local level. Anne was appointed by Governor Rendell to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in 2007 and served until 2010 on the Commission and as Chair of the Victims Services Advisory Committee. Anne has also served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In October 2015, she was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. Locally, Anne serves as the Chair of the Centre County Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force and as a member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board. She writes a monthly column, Healthy Relationships, for the Centre Daily Times newspaper.
Prior to her work at the Centre Safe, Anne was a Senior Diversity Planning Analyst in the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity at Penn State. In that role, she worked with the Commission for Women and the Commission for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Equity. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Anne came to State College in 1981 as a campus minister specializing in women’s issues and social justice, a position she held for nearly ten years. Anne received her BA from Centenary College, a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, and her Ph.D. from Penn State.
President and CEO of YWCA Greater Harrisburg
Mary Quinn is the President and CEO of the YWCA Greater Harrisburg. The YWCA Greater Harrisburg has an impact on over thirty thousand individuals each year. As the President and CEO, Mary is responsible for a 6.5 million dollar budget and program operations that run 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Previous to taking over as CEO, she was the Vice President of Programs for the YWCA with oversight responsibilities for all programmatic related activities. Mary has been with the YWCA since 2013 and CEO since 2015.
Mary received her Masters of Public Administration degree and completed a Masters level certificate program in leadership and human resource management from the Pennsylvania State University. Mary was appointed as an Associate Director of PSECU in 2019. Mary’s desire to want to be a part of having a meaningful impact on the community in which she lived brought her to the YWCA.