Chair — Katherine Hamilton
Katherine joined the Centre Safe Board of Directors in July of 2013 as one of two volunteer representatives. She started volunteering at Centre Safe in December 2012 as a counselor/advocate and has helped out on the hotline, in shelter, and in the school programs. Her involvement on the board has included participating in fundraising committees, serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, and chairing the Personnel Committee. She currently works as an Assistant Teaching Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, where she teaches classes in research methods and statistics and does research on how to improve the effectiveness of teams. Her background in industrial/organizational psychology enables her to best contribute to the personnel/human resource needs of the organization.
“I volunteered both as a counselor/advocate and as a board member in order to better build an awareness in the community of the struggles faced by those that experience sexual and domestic violence on a daily basis. I’ve seen its devastating consequences among friends and family members of mine. The evidence-based proactive and reactive practices that the organization uses are unparalleled, and I am happy to help them succeed in any way that I can.”
Vice Chair — Jean Songer
Secretary — Diane Conrad
This is Diane’s second term on the Board; she first joined while serving as the Chief of Police in Ferguson Township. She retired this past June, but her 40 years of police experience (first with State College PD and most recently at Ferguson Township PD) and, specifically, as a member of the Centre County Domestic & Sexual Violence Task Force in that capacity since the 1990’s have provided a perspective of service from both the field and administrative levels of a partner agency. She has seen the benefits and difference that collaboration makes and hopes to impart that to fellow board members. She also understands the grant funding process, having had responsibilities for assistance in drafting and overseeing the collaborative VAWA grant application processes (for the police components) and carrying out the deliverables as specified therein.
“Heretofore my experience with the Centre Safe and staff have been from an outside agency; those experiences have been very positive and so I thought I would like to continue that experience in a different capacity. I have seen the difference the Centre Safe has made in our community and how the breadth and depth of services of the agency have grown and continue to grow to meet the need. I hope to help that legacy continue.”
Treasurer — Kate Tosto
Kate is currently in her third year on the Centre Safe board. She is one of the owners of RE/MAX Centre Realty and manages its daily operations as Broker of Record. Being in real estate puts her in contact with many different people at many different stages in life. She enjoys informing her growing network about Centre Safe.
“I am so thankful to serve on the Centre Safe board. This is my third year serving and I am very grateful to a past board member for nominating me to join. I did not have any prior experience with the Centre Safe. Being a board member has allowed me to understand how Centre Safe helps community members, so I can now advocate for its services.”
Past Chair — Eric White
Eric joined the board of Centre Safe in 2013. He retired from Penn State at the end of 2012 after working at the University for 42 and a half years. His work at Penn State involved psychological counseling, academic advising, administration, and teaching. He sees all of these endeavors as helping him as a board member at the Centre Safe. In the area of academic advising especially, advisees often share private information with their advisers. It is then up to the adviser to determine whether some sort of referral might be necessary. Here, a knowledge of resources in the community is of value and it is important that advisers are aware of the Centre Safe and its services.
He came to the Centre Safe on the suggestion of a long time friend, Judy Kelly, who had served both as a volunteer and on the board for many years.
He serves on the Finance, Facilities, and Governance committees and was the 2017-2018 chair of the board. “Over the course of the years, I have come to appreciate more fully the importance of the work done by the staff of the Centre Safe, how challenging the work is both personally and in context with current societal norms and policies, and how devastating it would be for our community if this work was not done.”
Kristine is a gynecologist currently working at the Pennsylvania Dept of Health and at Centre Volunteers in Medicine. After being in private practice for 20+ years, she is now focused on women who have been underserved by the traditional health care system.
“Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence is one of the most important health issues I discuss with my patients so I really see my work on the Centre Safe board as an outreach of what I am doing in my professional life. Many of my patients have benefited from the work of this organization and I am so happy that I have been invited to give back by serving on the board.”
Kristie L. Kaufman
Kristie has served on the Centre Safe board for six years, in addition to serving on the Outreach Committee for two years prior. She is a pediatrician with Mount Nittany Physician Group, working in general pediatrics, as a Children’s Advocacy Center Pediatrician, and as a Mount Nittany Health Systems Board Member. Her experience working with situations of child abuse, as well as her medical knowledge and skills with event planning, are valuable assets to the Centre Safe board. She has a passion for preventing the cycle of domestic violence, child abuse, and toxic stress as well as an interest in making Centre County a more educated, healthier, and safer community.
Ann is in her fifth year on the Centre Safe board. She is the General Manager at CrossFit Nittany, a full service gym in State College. Prior to changing careers, she was the Executive Director of Annual Giving at Penn State, so she brings an extensive knowledge of fundraising to the Centre Safe board.
“I’ve always thought of Centre Safe as an integral part of our community so when I was offered the chance to be part of the board to show my support in a bigger way, I jumped at the chance.”
Phil Miles has served on the Centre Safe Board since July 2016. He currently works as a Shareholder Attorney at McQuaide Blasko in State College, PA where he focuses his practice on employment law and litigation. Phil also teaches labor and employment law as an adjunct faculty member of Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations and publishes the employment law blog Lawffice Space. As a member of the Centre Safe Personnel Committee, Phil provides knowledge regarding human resources issues, and general legal expertise. Born and raised in State College, Phil has generally been aware of Centre Safe, and has seen the tremendous impact it has had on the area, for most if his life. When a co-worker mentioned that Centre Safe was looking to fill a position on the Board, he was excited to pursue this opportunity to make a positive impact on our community. His support for Centre Safe stems from his strong belief that everyone is entitled to the core, fundamental right of personal safety and a life free from violence.
Debbie has served several terms on the Centre Safe board, starting in 2008. She is the Vice President of Creative and Brand at Snavely Associates—a communications firm focusing mainly on development communications for educational, healthcare and cultural institutions. With her experience, she has been able to contribute to the design and production of materials used to promote the Center Safe as well as to participate in the branding exercises for the organization.
“On a personal level, I think it’s important to help make our community a stronger, safer and more vibrant place for us all to live and thrive. Centre Safe is one of the organizations that does just that and I am happy to be a able to help with the advancement of their services.”
A board member since the fall of 2015, Meg is the Director for Social Innovation in the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) at Penn State University. She also is the director of the Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab, an interdisciplinary collaborative that translates research into practice using innovative approaches and design methods. Her work in the PRC is deeply connected to Centre Safe as healthy relationships in early childhood and adolescents are foundational to preventing interpersonal violence. Specifically, Meg’s lab is the design and evaluation partner for Centre Safe’s middle school prevention program, Allies in Action. Centre Safe’s commitment to evidence-based prevention inspired Meg to join the board and support all aspects of the organization. Meg began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she served as a liaison to the World Health Organization in Geneva and as a member of the White House Council on Youth Violence. Meg received her Ph.D. in Community and Pubic Health from the University of Maryland.
Adrianne Vasey — Volunteer Representative
Anne K. Ard — Executive Director
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.
Geoff Landers-Nolan — Staff Representative
Geoff started with Centre Safe in 2014 as a volunteer, began working full time as a Transitional Housing Advocate in 2017, and then moved into the position of Sexual Assault Counselor and Therapist. As a sexual assault counselor, Geoff follows up with clients seen at the Mount Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department for Forensic Rape Exams, provides crisis counseling, and facilitates the men’s and women’s support groups for survivors of sexual violence. Through Centre Safe’s therapy program, Geoff provides long-term therapy to a small number of Centre Safe clients who are unable to obtain therapy through other means. He has a professional background in addiction and mental health counseling, and mobile crisis counseling and intervention. Geoff is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Pennsylvania since 2018, and graduated with an M.Ed in Counselor Education from Penn State in 2012. In addition to being the staff representative to the board, he is on the Centre Safe Anti-Racism and Oppression Committee.