Advoz is committed to helping those in challenging life situations–whether involved in conflict or impacted by violence. Our skilled staff and volunteers offer conflict resolution and restorative justice services based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania that have been recommended again and again by thousands who have participated since 1980. Advoz is overseen by a dedicated staff including:
Chris Wenden, Executive Director
Chris Wenden was originally born in Sydney Australia. He has headed up a number of non-profits in Lancaster County and holds an MBA in Non-profit and Executive Leadership. Chris is married to Michelle, a Lancaster County native, and they have four children through adoption and have been foster parents for two others. Chris is trained in Divorce and Custody Mediation by the Pennsylvania Council of Mediation; Restorative Justice Facilitation; Basic Meditation; and Circle Process Facilitation. Chris is passionate about helping individuals and organizations break through the barriers of negative conflict to help breed healthy conversation and community.
Addrienne Whitfield, Operations Manager
Addrienne, is the friendly voice of Advoz, working in the organization since 2019 as an administrative assistant, office manager and now Operations Manager. She joins Advoz from the travel and service industry with extensive customer service and organizational skills. On any given day, you’ll find Addrienne directing inquiries for mediating disputes, inviting volunteers to work an event, or getting fair deals with our vendors. Addrienne enjoys spending time with family and friends, where she already has achieved peacemaker status. In her free time, you’ll find her at music concerts or escaping to the beach. We’re excited to have Addrienne contribute to Advoz’s present and future as she keeps our office humming — with an extra-friendly voice.
Chris Fitz, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Training
Chris worked and studied in conflict resolution, program management, and fund development for 25 years and now leads strategic partnerships, training and business development for Advoz. He began with the organization in 2014 as the Center for Community Peacemaking’s executive director before its merger with Conflict Resolution Services (formerly Lancaster Mediation Center) in 2017. Previously, he founded two campus-based mediation programs and has studied and worked in community-based conflict transformation efforts in the US, Northern Ireland and Croatia, earning his M.A. at the Universitat Jaume I (Castellon, Spain). More recently he nurtured interest in arts-based approaches to transforming conflict with improvisation and applied theatre. Chris shares a bustling bilingual and musical household in Marietta, PA with his wife and two teenagers.
Krista Rittenhouse, Director of Restorative Practices
Krista got involved with Advoz training and volunteering in Restorative Justice Conferencing in 2019. But she went beyond the call of duty by successfully reaching dozens of case participants on the phone. Now the director for restorative conferencing, she coordinates and coaches facilitators on 150+ cases of harm each year. Krista graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2014, studying peacebuilding, development and Spanish, with an interest in restorative justice. She comes to Advoz with a range of experience in social services, mission work and retail management. Krista is excited to help people heal relationships and invest in Lancaster city youth. She is an avid runner and loves rock climbing, board games, and sharing food with friends.
Thalia Rios Cruz, Restorative Practices Case Manager
Thalia has two kids, a dog, and a wonderful fiancé. They like to spend their free time outdoors and are always on the go! One thing that caught her attention about Advoz is being able to advocate for people, which she is passionate about. Thalia is excited to join Advoz and cannot wait to see future opportunities.
Thalia’s presence will mean that Advoz will have a permanent case manager in the Restorative Practices department, which is vital in our work.
Having Thalia on the team will not only ensure we can communicate with our Spanish-speaking constituents in their language, but it will help us add vital perspectives to how we care for our Latin X community and clients.
Esther Nolt, Justice Initiative Intern
Esther is currently an undergraduate student at Elizabethtown College. She learned about Advoz through the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking at Elizabethtown College and wanted to get involved as she is passionate about making a positive impact in her local community. In her free time, Esther enjoys spending time outside in nature, reading books, listening to musical soundtracks, and getting together with friends.
Riley Sloat, Mediation Case Manager Intern
Riley Sloat is a senior at Elizabethtown High School who sought out Advoz because she thought it was a good opportunity to earn work-experience credit and interact with the field as a whole. Riley became interested in mediation after participating in a mock mediation in a law class, she took freshman year. She figured it would be a great path to discover possible solutions to an array of disputes that would otherwise go unfound while being very passionate about pursuing it. Apart from that, Riley enjoys roller skating, reading, and writing poetry. She is hard of hearing and wears hearing aids, so she asks you please be patient if she cannot understand you right away. Riley finds herself fairly easy to work with and can work under most circumstances. However, she has found that she works best when given direction in some capacity. Despite this, she can be creative and enjoy being given that liberty.
Jill Heine, Community Collaboration Graduate Intern
Jill has been drawn to restorative practices her entire life and began intentional study in 2021 with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. Before studying with CJP, she worked in business and educational settings for 28 years and is interested in helping organizations engage with conflict. She is passionate about helping people name power dynamics and working to create environments where people feel seen and valued. She thinks restorative practices have the potential to do this if systemic oppressions such as cisnormativity, heteronormativity, imperialist white supremacy, capitalism & patriarchy are recognized, as named by bell hooks and Laverne Cox. She enjoys reading, walking, and exploring small towns. She also enjoys sharing food and conversations with others.
Board of Directors
James Landis, Chair
Warren Taylor, Vice-Chair
Director of Development
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology
John Bomberger, Treasurer
Former CEO, Choice Books, Retired
Peter Faben, Secretary
Attorney at Barley Snyder
Vice President Credit Union Operations
Former Program Director,
Mennonite Central Committee
Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Messiah College
Education Administrator, Trainer, Retired
Magisterial District Judge