Patriot Voices was founded by Rick and Karen Santorum in 2012 to give a voice to hard-working Americans. Learn more about the people behind Patriot Voices:
Rick and Karen Santorum, Co-Founders
Rick and his wife of 27 years, Karen, are the parents of seven wonderful children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella. Rick Santorum was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 and 2016 – winning the 2012 Iowa caucuses, 10 additional states and nearly 4 million votes. Prior to his campaigns for president, Rick served two terms in both the House of Representatives and Senate, where he gained a reputation as one of the nation’s leading government reformers, pro-life advocates, and national security experts.
Karen Santorum is an accomplished neonatal nurse, attorney, and best-selling author in her own right. In 2012, Rick and Karen co-founded Patriot Voices, a grassroots and online community of Americans committed to finding ways to restore the American dream for hardworking families.
Rick and Karen are the co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Bella’s Gift: How One Little Girl Transformed Our Family and Inspired a Nation. Bella’s Gift chronicles the inspiring story of life with the Santorums’ special-needs youngest child. Bella was born with a condition called Trisomy 18, and she wasn’t expected to survive her first birthday. Beating all the odds, Bella turned 10 in May of 2018 and is a joyful and loving little girl. Bella’s miraculous life has only strengthened Rick and Karen’s belief in the dignity of each and every life.
Follow Rick on Twitter: @RickSantorum
And on Facebook: Rick Santorum
Nadine Maenza, Executive Director
Nadine Maenza is a noted speaker, writer, and policy expert, with more than two decades of experience as an advocate for working families and a champion for international religious freedom
Nadine is the founding Executive Director of Patriot Voices, where she has provided her expertise to shape the organization's special emphasis on public policies that help working families. Drawing on her extensive network and coalition-building experiences, she has helped build unique coalitions on issues such as paid family leave, health care, and tax reform. She also served as the Chairman of Hardwired Global, an organization working to stop religious oppression around the world. In this role, she was involved in advocacy efforts to have violence against religious minorities in Iraq labeled genocide by Congress and the Obama Administration. She has advised The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The College Board, and The Anne E. Casey Foundation on policy development and strategic partnerships through her work with The Clapham Group.
She was appointed by President Donald Trump to the Commission for International Religious Freedom in May of 2018. She has spoken at several conferences on Freedom of Religion or Belief and has met with senior government officials from around the world. She recently represented the Commission in Saudi Arabia for a groundbreaking meeting with their religious police; officially known as the “Department for Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.” She is most honored to have met with persecuted communities of various faiths from some of the most repressive countries in the world.
She has served as a senior advisor to Rick Santorum for President in 2012 and on his U.S. Senate campaigns and has advised other presidential and U.S. Senate campaigns. She has decades of experience in fundraising and coalition building having worked with presidential and U.S. Senate super PACs, served as the finance director for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, and as a consultant to the Republican National Committee. She worked on Capitol Hill in both the House of Representatives and also in the U.S. Senate for former Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz, in addition to later serving as his finance director.
Nadine's writings on various policy topics are widely read, and have been published in The National Review, The Hill, The Daily Signal, and The Christian Post. She attended Pennsylvania State University. She is married with three children and lives outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
Follow Nadine on Twitter: @nadinemaenza
Contact Nadine at Nadine@PatriotVoices.com
Val Sommerville, National Grassroots Co-Director
Started Grassroots activism as a Volunteer Chapter Leader for Patriot Voices. She then served as Patriot Voices Grassroots Coordinator and as Grassroots Coordinator for Rick Santorum for President during the last Presidential cycle. It is Val's passion to encourage those that believe they can't make a difference. Through Grassroots Team Building every person has the ability to speak up and be heard. Val is a pro-life warrior with 8 children and has been married to her USMC Veteran for 27 years.
Follow Val on Twitter: @valsthewoman
Contact Val at: ValPatriotVoicesCoDirector@gmail.com
Shirley Widlacki, National Grassroots Co-Director
Shirley was first inspired into political activism by Senator Santorum’s passionate defense of the unborn during the partial-birth abortion debate in 1996 and later was very active in both of his two presidential campaigns. She also served as a Chapter Leader for Patriot Voices in Virginia. Shirley is a conservative culture warrior, blogger, and a blue collar small business owner with her husband, Tim. They have been married for 34 years and have 3 children. As a deeply involved grassroots activist, She is enthusiastic about teaming with like-minded people committed to building a solid network of local and state leaders and social media activists to have the voices of working families heard loud and clear in Washington and throughout the country.
Follow Shirley on Twitter: @patriotmom61