Empowering those affected by violence.

Meet the Staff

PAVE operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with just a handful of staff!  Each and every individual is deeply dedicated to their program and PAVE's mission.  Please take a minute to learn about us and be sure to give them kudos for their efforts when you see them out in our community.   



Family Advocacy Team

Sarah Saverino - Family Advocacy Team Leader



HI, my name is Sarah Saverino. I am a Family Advocate at PAVE. I began working at PAVE as a second and third shift advocate, and am excited to be in the role as a family advocate. Growing up I have heard about PAVE and the mission they strive to achieve, and always thought it would be a great organization to be involved in.  I truly believe in the work and support we provide. When people ask where I work it is an honor to tell them PAVE. As a family advocate I am here to support adults and children who have been affected by abuse. Getting help is a brave and huge step, and I am here to help you wherever you are in your journey.

In addition to my work, I enjoy my 3 children and 2 dogs. I enjoy being outside, taking walks, and listening to music. Prior to working at PAVE I have worked with adults with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. I enjoy working with people in all walks in life. Although we may go through different life experiences, everyone could use support, compassion, and a cheerleader. 

If you or someone you know is affected by abuse, please give us a call. We are here to listen and provide support and resources in a non-judgmental environment. 

You can reach me by calling PAVE crisis line or by email:
cmpave@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com 

Melissa Rivera - Bilingual Family Advocacy Team Leader

Underserved Populations Specialist


Hello, my name is Melissa Rivera. I am the Bilingual Family Advocate at PAVE. I work with adults and children in hopes of leading them towards a violent free future. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful organization that continues to bring awareness to the community and surrounding areas about domestic violence and sexual assault. 

I currently live in the city of Beaver Dam. I enjoy traveling, the beach, and spending time with friends and family. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin--Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish & Human Resources. I continue to learn everyday through my work and real life experiences. I enjoy my work and look forward to learn something new every day. 

If you or someone you know is directly or indirectly affected by abuse please calls us. Staff and I are all here to listen, offer support, and resources in a non-judgmental environment. You can reach me by calling PAVE’s crisis line or by sending me an email at familyadvocate@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com.

Hola, mi nombre es Melissa Rivera. Yo soy la defensora de la familia bilingüe en la organización de PAVE.  Yo trabajo con adultos y niños con la esperanza de poder ayudarlo tener un futuro libre de violencia. Estoy orgullosa de poder trabajar en una organización maravillosa que continua de educar y prevenir el problema de la violencia doméstica y el asalto sexual en la comunidad. 

Actualmente vivo en la cuidad de Beaver Dam. Me gusta irme de viaje, ir a la playa, y pasar tiempo con las personas más cercanas a mí. Me recibí del colegio de Wisconsin-Whitewater con un bachillerato de artes en el español y recursos humanos. Continúo a aprender cada día en mi trabajo y de mis propias experiencias personales. Me gusta mi trabajo, y me de alegría en poder aprender algo nuevo cada día.  

Si usted o alguien que conozca es directamente o indirectamente afectado por el abuso por favor llámenos. El equipo de PAVE y yo estamos aquí para escucharlo, darle apoyo y recursos en un lugar sin prejuicios. Me pude contactar llamando a nuestra línea de crisis que está disponible las 24 horas del día, los 365 del año o también me pude mandar un correo electrónico a: familyadvocate@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com.

Kayla Grams and Mercedes Serrato - Family Advocacy Program Team Partners 


Legal Advocacy Team

Ashley Welak - Legal Advocacy Team Leader

Systems Specialist


I have a associates degree in Criminal Justice – Corrections from Moraine Park Technical College. I started with PAVE as a volunteer for over a year helping with child care and job shadowing when I could.  I became a member of the teams as the legal advocate in March 2010.  My job is to feel like I really can make a difference.  I am looking forward to continue my journey here at PAVE and here to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  

I am proud to be a part of the PAVE staff and to continue to bring awareness to the community about domestic violence and sexual assault.  I am here to help with any legal questions you may have or help you navigate through the legal system.  I know it can be difficult to understand the process, but I will do my best to help you through it and start the healing process. I hope that justice can be served and abusers are held accountable. 

I have been a part of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer) Committee since 2011.  The LGBTQ Committee is made up of other agencies collaborating on issues regarding intimate partner violence.  We do trainings all around the state regarding LGBTQ issues.  We also discuss how we can bring awareness and prevention to the public.  I am here to help with any issues, questions, or discussion anyone may have concerning LGBTQ.   I want everyone to have a safe person to talk to about anything that is bothering them.  

If you would like to contact me, please call PAVE's crisis line or e-mail me: lapave@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com

D.J. Mayo - Legal Advocacy Program Team Partner


Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Team

Bobbi Jo Bentz - Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Team Leader


I live in Beaver Dam with my family and our dog. I enjoy reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my family. I began my career at PAVE in early 2010 as an overnight advocate. I am now the Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with both adults and children.

I truly believe and am very passionate in the work we do for our community and continue to learn new and better ways to serve victims of domestic abuse, child abuse and those affected by it. I am honored at being part of such an amazing organization that I hold close to my heart and look forward to serving both shelter and community clients.

If you or someone you know is directly or indirectly affected by abuse please call, I am here to listen, offer options, support, believe, care, and last but not least be non-judgmental.
You can reach me by calling PAVE's crisis line or by e-mail: sapave@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com

Mackenzie Saverino and Stephanie Schulz- Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Team Partner


Agency Direction Team

                                Jess Tiffany - Director of Services



I have been a lifelong resident of Wisconsin.  My early career aspirations were driven to be a voice for children and families that did not otherwise have a voice.  Throughout my adult career, first beginning in healthcare providing education and outreach to recipients of federal  benefits my aspirations continued to develop and deepen in raising awareness and providing that “voice” for those most vulnerable.  As life continued, my family grew and my passion remained strong.  As a non-traditional student working to obtain my bachelors and now my MBA, I have begun my next step in my career. 

I have been with PAVE for over a year and a half, and as a Program Manager working to ensure that our community and clients has the knowledge and information about domestic abuse and sexual assault.  As a Program Manager at PAVE Inc., my role takes many forms.  Program oversight for Legal Advocacy, Sexual Assault Advocacy, Family Advocacy, Volunteer Coordinator and Outreach are just the titles of the programs that I am involved in.  As I continue to work with clients the need for change becomes more obvious every day.  My role allows me to advocate for our clients in house, as well as within my community.  The push for greater awareness, more resources as well as societal stigma are some of my focuses.  Forming alliances and partnerships within the community to take positive approaches are some of my immediate goals. 

As a single mother of 5, I spend my free time cheering for the sports that my children play, and lots and lots of time doing and checking homework.  We like to be outside, at the same time we like our down time for family movie nights.  We are an active family and as a mom there is nothing better than seeing my children shine, smile and have compassion.

Feel free to contact me through the crisis hotline or by email: ea@peopleagainstaviolentenvironment.com

Sarah Tisdale - Agency Direction Team Partner

Teresa Nienow - Executive Director


Thank you for taking the time to visit our website; my name is Teresa Nienow and I'm PAVE's Executive Director.  I’ve been in the human services field for over ten years and am passionate about helping those in need.  I first became aware of PAVE as a community member researching our local non-profits.  PAVE’s mission and services resonated with me and I knew PAVE was an organization I wanted to be involved with.  In 2012 I became a part of PAVE’s team as a graduate intern working with the previous Executive Director.  During my internship experience I was able to witness firsthand the amazing work PAVE does and the incredible people we serve.  In 2014 I become a part of PAVE’s permanent team as our current Executive Director and have spent the past few years helping to ensure our organization provides the best services possible.    

In addition to my work, I enjoy spending time with my husband Rex, black lab named Darwin, and cat named Baxter.  We like to play outside, sit in the sun, and visit the local dog park.  Besides relaxing with Darwin and Baxter, my favorite activities are anything that involves quality time with family and friends.  I also enjoy staying fit and active and can often times be found jogging near my home, participating in charity 5K’s, or working out at the YMCA.  

The staff at PAVE are an amazing group of people and will be able to help you in your journey.  Please let us know if you need anything and we will do our best to help in any way we can.

Please feel free to contact me at 920-887-3810 or via email at tnienow@pavedc.org  

The Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is an important part of our Agency Director Team.  Everyone on the Board volunteers their time for the good of the agency.  Read their bios by visiting our Meet the Board page.

Interested in joining PAVE's staff?