Who We Are

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 Santorum, Chairman

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. Rick is currently a CNN Senior Political Contributor.

Rick Santorum is the author of the 2005 New York Times bestseller It Takes a Family, American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom, and Blue Collar Conservatives: Recommitting to an America that Works. Rick and his wife Karen are also the co-authors of Bella’s Gift that 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 12 in May of 2020 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. Rick and Karen are the parents of seven children including Bella: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, and Patrick.

Nadine Maenza, President

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.

As President of Patriot Voices, she provides her expertise to shape the organization’s special emphasis on public policies that support 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, tax reform, and international religious freedom.

In May of 2020, she was re-appointed by President Donald Trump to a second two-year term on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, serving as its Vice Chair in 2019. She has represented USCIRF in delegations to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Uzbekistan. She has traveled in her own personal capacity to better understand religious freedom conditions in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Bangladesh as well as recently spending a month in northeast Syria. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Global Engagement as well as for Freedom Research Foundation. Previously, she was Chairman of Hardwired Global, an organization working to stop religious oppression around the world. Nadine has advised several major organizations on faith engagement, policy development, and strategic partnerships.

She has served as a senior advisor to Rick Santorum and other presidential and Senate campaigns. She has decades of experience in fundraising and coalition building, having worked with presidential and 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 then in the Senate for former Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz.

Nadine’s writings on various policy topics have been published in numerous publications domestically and internationally. She is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and is married with three children living outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Contact Nadine at Nadine@PatriotVoices.com

Shonda Werry, Executive Director

Shonda Werry is a policy advisor and political writer in Washington, DC. During her career, she has served in various communications and research positions for political candidates and non-profit organizations. She has worked in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives in legislative and communications roles.

As the executive director of Patriot Voices, Shonda works to advance pro-family, conservative solutions and policy proposals.

When she isn’t working in the liberty movement in the United States, Shonda is an advocate for child welfare issues in the former Soviet Union. She has lived in, and traveled extensively across the former Soviet Union, and she serves on the board of Ukraine Orphan Outreach.

Shonda is the co-author, with Congressman Ken Buck, of Capitol of Freedom: Restoring American Greatness. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Russian from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Contact Shonda at Shonda@PatriotVoices.com

Shirley Widlacki, National Grassroots 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 36 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.

Contact Shirley at Shirley@PatriotVoices.com

Regional Grassroots Directors:

Jeannine Como, Heartland Region

Candy DeHaan, Great Lakes Region

Sarah Dykes, Northeast Region

Patrick Haworth, Midwest Region

Sunny Rinker, Southeast Region

Shirley Widlacki, Mid-Atlantic Region