Jeannette M. Adkins, NACP Chair
Jeannette Adkins served as the Director of the Victim/Witness Division of the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office in Xenia, Ohio from its inception in January of 1982. She developed the comprehensive victim assistance program to include 24-hour in-person crisis response for sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other victims of violence. Ms. Adkins served as the Division’s Director until 2005 when she was appointed to the position of Executive Director for the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). She held that position until October of 2006 when a family illness required her return to Ohio. Ms. Adkins rejoined the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office as the Administrator and also served as Executive Director of Michael’s House Child Advocacy Center until her retirement in December 2014. She holds a BA in Sociology and a MEd in Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Ohio. She is a Credentialed Advocate with Advanced Standing with the National Advocate Credentialing Program, an organization she helped found in 2001. Ms. Adkins also holds a certificate of Registered Advocate with Senior Standing from the Ohio Advocate Network, and is also one of OAN’s founding members. Her passion for professionalizing the field of advocacy was articulated in an article she wrote for the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Networks magazine, titled An Argument for National Credentialing of Victim Service Providers, (Networks, Vol. 16, No. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2001).
Ms. Adkins served as a Special Deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office from 1983 until 1998. She is an active member and Past President of the Ohio Victim Witness Association and has been a long time NOVA member. She has served as a volunteer national training consultant for NOVA, is a Certified Crisis Responder and member of NOVA’s National Crisis Response Team and has been an elected member of the Board of Directors, serving on the Executive Committee from 1995 – 2004, and as President from 2001 until 2003. Ms. Adkins joined the NOVA Board of Directors again in August of 2009 for a three-year term.
Along with a colleague, Ms. Adkins organized and co-coordinated the Ohio Crisis Response Team, a 60+ member statewide team of NOVA-trained community crisis responders, many of whom participated on the NOVA National Crisis Response Team to the New York area in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Ms. Adkins served as the NOVA site manager for the initial 40 member team sent into the New York/New Jersey area during the first week after the terrorist attacks. Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appointed her to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women in 2006. She is also an appointed member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Victim Advisory Board, served two terms on the Ohio Governor’s Task Force on the Investigation and Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse.
Rhonda S. Barner, NACP Committee Member
Rhonda Barner started her 34-year career as a Victim Advocate when, as a senior at the University of Dayton, she became an Intern with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office Victim/Witness Division – a 24-hour service for victims and witnesses of violent crime, particularly sexual assault. Upon graduation in 1976 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice, Ms. Barner was offered a full-time position with the Prosecutor’s Office where she worked as a Victim Advocate for 17 years. In 1992, Ms. Barner was promoted to the position of Director of the Victim/Witness Division. Over the next 17 years, Ms. Barner supervised as many as 15 staff, created many new programs, and was responsible for ensuring the provision of victims’ rights and enhancing the overall advocacy services provided by the Division. Public and school presentations, as well as law enforcement training, were a regular part of Ms. Barner’s duties over the course of her career. In 1990, Ms. Barner developed a Violence Prevention Program to educate the community, particularly students, about alternatives to violent behavior.
Throughout her career, Ms. Barner was actively involved in the Ohio Victim Witness Association (commonly known as OVWA), – a statewide network of victim service providers, which was officially formed in 1978. Ms. Barner held several Executive Committee positions and served as President from 1979 – 1982. Ms. Barner worked with a small group of OVWA members to help craft the legislation that ultimately defined the State Victim Assistance Program and was instrumental in identifying the criteria for those who would serve on the State Victim Assistance Advisory Board. She became the second OVWA President to be appointed by the Ohio Attorney General to serve on the State Victim Assistance Advisory Board and held that position for more than six years. Ms. Barner served as the OVWA Membership Chairperson for a number of years and is a member of the Past President’s Committee. On a national level, Ms. Barner was elected to the NOVA Board of Directors in 1999, serving her first 3-year term until 2002. She rejoined the Board in 2003 and has served as Secretary, Treasurer, President and Immediate Past President.
As part of Ms. Barner’s involvement with OVWA, she helped to establish (in 1993) the Ohio Advocate Network for Training and Registration (commonly known as OAN). OAN is a program that was initiated to enhance the professionalization of the field of victim advocacy by recognizing the years of experience and training of Victim Advocates in Ohio. OAN was the catalyst and model for the formation of the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP). Ms. Barner served as a Co-Chair for the Ohio Advocate Network until 2015, and as a result, was asked to participate on the Review Committee for NACP and the D-SAACP Committee.
Ms. Barner’s interest in the expansion of services to all victims led her to seek out training as a NOVA crisis responder and she joined the Ohio Crisis Response Team (OCRT). As a Crisis Responder she had the honor of participating in a number of local and statewide crisis responses; however, the biggest honor of Ms. Barner’s crisis response service came when she was deployed to serve as Site Manager at the New Jersey Family Assistance Center for 9 days after the September 11th attacks.
Lisa Bowman, NACP Committee Member
Lisa Bowman is a graduate of the University Maryland at College Park with a B.A. degree in Law Enforcement. She started her career in the criminal justice field working part time during college as a dispatcher at the Shenandoah County Virginia Sheriff’s Office. For the past 26 years she has been a Crime Victim Advocate in the Alexandria Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. She also worked part time with the Review Committee and applicants in the NACP program screening and processing applications in preparation for review. Lisa lives in Fairfax County Virginia.
Claire Dunn, NACP Committee Member
Ms. Dunn worked with the City of Alexandria’s Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program for 30 years, retiring in 2015. She most recently served as Division Chief with the City’s Department of Community and Human Services. In this capacity she was responsible for managing two 24 hour hotlines and the safehouse which provided crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy services for sexual and domestic violence victims, survivors and their children throughout the City of Alexandria, VA. As a program manager, she developed intervention, prevention and community outreach programs, supervised 16 professional staff and oversaw an annual budget of $1.8 million.
Ms. Dunn represented the DVP/SAC on various City and State committees, provided leadership to and participated in Alexandria’s Domestic Violence Intervention Project, a multiagency group responsible for the oversight of the City’s response to intimate partner violence, and SART – Sexual Assault Response Team. She has presented workshops at state and national conferences and provided domestic violence training to allied professionals, law enforcement and judicial personnel, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and National Conference of District Attorneys. Ms. Dunn was instrumental in assisting the Alexandria Police Department secure a federal grant in 1995 to develop a domestic violence unit within the police department. She served on the Governing Body of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance state coalition and was Meeting Facilitator from October 2012 – June 2014. She was also instrumental in the development of statewide accreditation standards for sexual and domestic violence programs. Ms. Dunn was raised in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania and received her degree in Social Work from Kutztown University. She resides in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida with her husband, Bill, where she is enjoying retirement!
Michaelene O’Neill McCann, NACP Committee Member
Michaelene O’Neill McCann is a registered nurse and retired member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. McCann is a former Assistant District Attorney and former Chief of the Victim and Witness Services Division of the Essex District Attorney’s Office, a position she held for nearly 19 years. She was a member of the Sexual Assault Unit (SAU) which was responsible for policy development and prosecution protocols for sexual assault and abuse cases. The Unit also developed a county wide Child Sexual Abuse Unit in collaboration with the 34 cities and town police departments, state police unit and state Department of Social Services. The same collaborative approach was used in developing a Violence Prevention Program and Domestic Violence Units which also included working with schools and local battered women’s service agencies.
Ms. McCann has authored or co-authored numerous brochures and pamphlets on sexual assault, domestic violence, criminal laws and process and procedures of the criminal court system. She was directly responsible to the District Attorney to expand and develop the victim assistance program under the Massachusetts Victim Bill of Rights. She has co-authored trainings for advocate standards and police trainings on victim related topics. She also coordinated a NOVA Crisis Response Team from Massachusetts to New York following September 11. Following retirement, she taught criminal law at Middlesex Community College and was “of counsel” to the law firm of Manzi & McCann.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. McCann was a Victim Witness Advocate for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office where she worked primarily with adult and child sexual assault and abuse victims. Earlier on, she was Coordinator of a federally funded Rape Prevention and Treatment Program which covered 7 cities and towns. In that position, Ms. McCann initiated a 40 hour training program for volunteer rape crisis counselors and established a volunteer supervisory committee of private and public clinical social workers to assist counselors with caseloads. The committee members, along with Ms. McCann, later incorporated the program independent of any other agency. The counselors worked with police and hospital emergency departments in providing rape crisis intervention services and Ms. McCann was the first volunteer counselor in those communities.