- D. Edson Clark
- William Crittenden
- Cynthia Mitchell
- Steven J Dixson
- Judith A. Endejan
- George Erb
- Mike Fancher
- Katherine George
- Shelley Hall
- Jerry Handfield
- Michele Earl-Hubbard
- Barbara Levette
- Jason Mercier
- Walter Neary
- Toby Nixon
- David Seago
- Patience Rogge
- David Roland
- Larry Shannon
- Eric Stahl
- Sam Pace
- Rep. Gerry Pollet
- Peggy Watt
- Bill Will
D. Edson Clark, CPA, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Washington in 1977. He obtained his license to practice in the State of Washington as a certified public accountant in 1980. After several years as a tax partner in a multiple partner local accounting firm, Ed co-founded Clark, Raymond & Company in 1991, where he continues to serve as the executive professional.
During his years in public accounting, Ed has been the engagement principal on numerous client engagements that involve the preparation of audited, reviewed, or compiled financial statements, and has extensive experience providing commercial and personal income tax advice. Ed also has extensive experience in the estate taxation and estate planning arena.
Ed is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Washington State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ed was a founding Director and former Board Chair of the Rotary Wishing Well Foundation and a former Board member of the Make A Wish Foundation of Washington.
Ed recently received a Key Award from the Washington Coalition For Open Government in recognition of his success in unlocking government secrets related to the improper regulation of the accounting profession in the State of Washington and currently is a Board member of the Coalition.
William Crittenden is an attorney in private practice. Mr. Crittenden represents parties in litigation and appeals involving freedom of speech and access to public records. He is also Of Counsel to Groff Murphy, PLLC where he represents developers, builders, owners and other interested parties in litigation and in administrative and legislative land use matters. Mr. Crittenden has represented WCOG and the League of Women Voters as amicus curiae in cases involving public records and voting rights. He is a member of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association. Before entering private practice Mr. Crittenden served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Barbara Durham of the Washington Supreme Court and Judge William W. Baker of the Court of Appeals. Mr. Crittenden is a 1992 graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.
Steven J. Dixson is an associate attorney with Witherspoon Kelley, P.S., in Spokane, Washington. Mr. Dixson has been with the firm since 2006, focusing on general civil and business litigation with an emphasis on access to open government. Witherspoon Kelley is active in its representation of various Inland Empire media outlets and organizations, as well as several state-wide open government groups. Mr. Dixson has personally presented at numerous state-wide Continuing Legal Education programs for open government and access to public records, and has participated in advocacy on behalf of open government interests at the Washington State superior court, appellate, and Supreme Court levels, the United States District Court and Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
For over two decades, Judy has served communications-related clients after working as a professional journalist. Her background is a unique blend of private practice and in-house experience. She has assisted media clients on a variety of content and newsgathering issues and has litigated public records and access cases. During 2006, Judy took off a year from private practice and worked as General Counsel for Fisher Communications, Inc., a major Northwest broadcast corporation. Judy also spent ten years with GTE Corporation (now Verizon) in the Northwest and California. During that time she acquired substantial experience in public utility regulation and administrative law. She has broad experience litigating communications issues before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Judy has been a board member for numerous professional and community organizations, and was a founding member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. She earned her law degree and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.
George Erb, Managing Editor, Puget Sound Business Journal
Co-Chair, Board Development Committee
801 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone (206) 447-8505
George Erb is editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal. He has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Washington state since 1983. Mr. Erb has a Bachelors degree in History from Hanover College and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. He is a past chapter president for the Society of Professional Journalists a member of the state Bench-Bar-Press Committee. Mr. Erb is also the editor of two editions of "Access; a guide to government information," an open-government manual published by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Former Executive Editor, The Seattle Times
Vice President; Chair, Awards Committee
3774 W. Commodore Way
Seattle, WA 98199
Phone (206) 285-4699
Mike Fancher retired from The Seattle Times in 2008 after 20 years as executive editor. Fancher served as a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow in the Missouri School of Journalism. He received a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1968 and a Masters degree in Communication from Kansas State University in 1970. He received his MBA degree from the University of Washington in 1986.
Fancher currently serves as chairman of the ethics committee of the American Society of News Editors. He serves on an advisory committee to the Fordham University Graduate School of Business and is a member of the board of directors of the University of Oregon Alumni Association. In 2009, he was a consultant to the Knight Foundation Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy and to the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society. Also in 2009, the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented Fancher its award for Distinguished Service to Journalism. He was inducted into the University of Oregon’s Journalism Hall of Achievement in 2002.
He and his wife, Elaine Bowers, live in Seattle.
Katherine George, Attorney, Harrison, Benis & Spence LLP
Chair, Legal Committee
2101 Fourth Avenue, Ste 1900
Seattle, Washington 98121
Katherine George is a public interest attorney. She helps citizens obtain public records from local, state and federal governments through litigation and appeals. She also helps parents obtain special public school services for children with disabilities. As a lawyer and volunteer, Kathy has worked to protect the environment from pollution and land-use violations. Kathy is of counsel at Harrison, Benis & Spence LLP in Seattle. She started her law career as a clerk to then-Chief Justice Gerry Alexander of the Washington Supreme Court. Before practicing law, Kathy worked for 15 years as a reporter and assistant city editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and also was a reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune. As a journalist and attorney, Kathy has been dedicated to promoting the free exercise of First Amendment rights and the right of the people to know what their governments are doing.
Shelley Hall, Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union
1420 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3000
Seattle, WA 98104
Shelley Hall has experience in disputes involving access to public records, as well as other newsgathering, privacy, and defamation issues. Shelley has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for First Amendment law each year since 2009. She received her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law and a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. In her life prior to law, Shelley produced daily newscasts for KING-TV.
Former, Washington State Archivist
Handfield, who served as Indiana State Archivist until he accepted his position as State Archivist, joined the state of Washington with more than 25 years of experience in archives, history, and records management.
As State Archivist, he was responsible for documenting the history of state government and ensuring records created by Washington's state and local government offices were efficiently managed and stored.
Handfield has also served on the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators and as a State Coordinator for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which encourage and improve the documentation of United States History.
Michele Earl-Hubbard is the President and a media law attorney at Allied Law Group LLC in Seattle. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for First Amendment Law every year since 2007 and for First Amendment Litigation since 2012, and has been named a “Super Lawyer” since 2007. Her law firm Allied Law Group LLC which she co-founded in 2007 has been named a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News and World Report for Media and First Amendment Law every year since the rankings began in 2010. Ms. Earl-Hubbard represents clients in appeals, defamation, privacy, advertising law, copyright, prior restraint, reporter's privilege, media antitrust matters, public records, open meetings, and open courts and runs several newsroom hotlines for newspapers throughout the Pacific Northwest. She serves on the Prepublication Review Committee of the Media Law Resource Center in New York City. She is a Senior Editor and an author of the Washington State Bar Association’s Public Records Act Deskbook. Ms. Earl-Hubbard serves as a Washington State Freedom of Information Delegate for the Society of Professional Journalists and is a former member of the Board of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and a founding board member and former President of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. She obtained her J.D. from Northwestern University in 1996 where she was appointed to the Order of the Coif and served as Articles Editor on the Law Review. She holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism.
League of Women Voters of Washington
Co-Chair, Revenue Committee
PO Box 427
Union, WA 98592
Phone (360) 490-8355
Barbara Levette currently serves on the Board of Directors for the League of Women Voters Mason County. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Black Hills State University in 1979 and a Masters degree in Public Administration from University of South Dakota in 1981.
Levette previously served as the Assistant Director of the Minnesota OSHA Program before moving to Washington state and becoming the Executive Director of the West Region EMS Council, where she managed a 50-member council in the initial development of a comprehensive regional emergency medical services care plan for a five-county area of one million residents. Levette then worked as a self-employed contractor, providing strategic planning and management consulting for ten years. She most recently served as the Public Involvement Manager for Skillings Connolly Engineering, managing public involvement requirements for civil engineering projects.
Levette is currently the president of the Executive Advisory Board for Port of Hoodsport, and has been the secretary/treasurer on the Madrona Homeowners Association Board of Trustees for 10 years.
Jason Mercier, Washington Policy Center
PO Box 3643
Seattle, WA 98124
Phone (360) 485 - 2485
Jason Mercier is Director of the Center for Government Reform for the Seattle-based Washington Policy Center. Among the Center's priorities is public records reform. Prior to joining WPC, Jason worked on public records issues for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. He also serves as a voting member on the American Legislative Exchange Council's Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is a contributing editor of Heartland's Budget Tax News. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Washington State University. Jason and his wife Kristen make their home in Lacey.
Cynthia Mitchell, Central Washington University, Department of Communication
400 E. University Way, MS: 7438
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Phone (509) 963-1063; Fax (509) 963-1060
Cynthia Mitchell spent 14 years as a full-time daily newspaper reporter and editor before deciding to turn her career from the newsroom to the classroom. She's now a tenured, associate professor of journalism at Central Washington University, where she is the director of the print journalism sequence. She is also the faculty adviser to Central's weekly student newspaper, The Observer, as well as to the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She's also served as president of the Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators.
Her professional experience includes 10 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, four years at The Wall Street Journal and internships at the Associated Press, The Courier-Journal, the Dallas Morning News and the Los Angeles Times. Her investigative and business reporting has won top honors from the National Association of Black Journalists, Cox Newspapers and the Georgia Associated Press. She received a journalism degree at Western Kentucky University, and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. Her research and service passion at Central is First Amendment education. To that end, she chaired a yearlong First Amendment Festival at Central in 2006-2007, which featured 17 events and workshops. She's on sabbatical in the 2011-2012 school year to plan and raise funds for another festival in the 2012-13 school year.
Walter Neary served on the Lakewood City Council from 2004 through 2011. Walter holds an Advanced Certificate for Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities. Walter, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, was a newspaper reporter and editor for 15 years. He was night city editor for The Salinas Californian, editor of the weekly Lakewood WA Journal and business and technology editor at The Olympian. Walter received a number of awards from the California and Washington Newspaper Publishers Associations and other organizations for investigative reporting and editorial writing. Walter then became a science writer and assistant director for the University of Washington’s health sciences public information office and currently works as communications director for Comcast, managing sponsorships, traditional media and social media relations and other community communications initiatives. Walter also serves on the boards of the Lakewood Historical Society, Auburn Youth Resources and Fort Steilacoom Museum. He is a co-author of the book “Images of America: Lakewood.”
Toby Nixon, Kirkland City Council
Senior Standards Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
President; Chair, Government Committee
12113 NE 141st Street
Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone (425) 823-9779
Toby Nixon is a member of the Kirkland City Council. He previously served as a fire commissioner, and in the Washington State House of Representatives from 2002 through 2006 where he was ranking member of the committee which has responsibility for overseeing Washington's open government and election laws. He is the 2012 inductee to “Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame” by the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2006, he received the "Freedom's Light Award" from Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in recognition of his work to protect and advance First Amendment interests in Washington. He's a member of the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board, and serves as an officer and board member of a number of local non-profit organizations. Toby has worked in the computer industry for over 35 years, currently in the Windows group at Microsoft where he manages relationships with other companies in the computer industry and represents Microsoft in technical standards development organizations.
Sam Pace, Association of REALTORS®
29839 - 154th Ave. SE
Kent, WA 98042
Phone (253) 630-5541
Sam Pace is a REALTOR® with Executive Real Estate and a contracted Housing Specialist for the Seattle-King County Association of REALTORS®. He is a Past President of the Washington REALTORS® and has been honored as King County's REALTOR® of the Year. Mr. Pace served as the founding chairman of the South Sound Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition and has served on the boards of more than a dozen community and professional organizations. Prior to his career in real estate Mr. Pace was a partner in the Springfield, Oregon, law firm of Harms, Harold, Leahy & Pace where a significant portion of his practice involved litigation and municipal law. He received his bachelor's degree (double major in urban and regional government, and political science) and MBA from Willamette University, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon School Of Law.
Rep. Gerry Pollet, State Representative, 46th District; Executive Director & Legal Counsel, Heart of America Northwest Secretary
1314 NE 56th St. #100
Seattle, WA 98105
Gerry Pollet is Executive Director and legal counsel for Heart of America Northwest, a 16,000 member citizens' group dedicated to "advancing our region's quality of life." Heart of America Northwest is the region's largest citizens' watchdog group for the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the most contaminated area in North America. Gerry also serves as Executive Director and general counsel for Legal Advocates for Washington, which provides legal advice on non-profit; open government (public records / FOIA / open meetings); electoral; and, hazardous waste law to non-profit organizations. Gerry chaired the "Protect Washington" campaign for Initiative 297 in 2004, to stop Hanford from being used as a National Radioactive Hazardous Waste Dump and to end dumping of waste in unlined trenches. Gerry has been honored as the "National Grassroots Activist of the Year" by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability; and, the 2006 Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Paul Beeson Peace Award. Gerry was involved in drafting and passing Washington laws to protect state and local government whistleblowers.
Patience Rogge, Private Citizen
Chair, Events Committee
696 Woodland Drive
Port Townsend, WA 98368
Phone (360) 385-6975
Patience Rogge joined the WCOG Board of Directors in 2005. She now chairs the WCOG Events Committee. In this role, she has organized more than a score Public Records and Open Public Meetings Laws Forums in various cities across Washington, and has been instrumental in planning the organization’s awards events, conferences and Sunshine Week activities. In 2011, she was awarded the coalition’s James Andersen Award for her work in advancing the mission of WCOG. During her 11 years as a trustee of the Jefferson County Rural Library District, Patience was active in the Washington Library Association, serving as board member and chair of the Washington Library Friends and Trustees Association and Grassroots! interest groups, as well as representing the association on the board of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. She was recognized by the American Library Association for her work in advocating for libraries.
Prior to moving to Washington, she was involved in nature education, agricultural land preservation efforts, arts administration, and the California Democratic Party. She holds a BA in American Government and a Master of Library Science from the University of California Berkeley. She currently directs the Fort Worden Oral History Program, serves on the board of the Fort Worden Conservancy, the Fort Worden Advisory Committee, and chairs the Jefferson Higher Education Committee. Her “Profiles” column is a regular feature in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Newsletter.
Director of the Theodore L. Stiles Center for Liberty
David Roland is the Director of the Theodore L. Stiles Center for Liberty where he manages litigation for the Freedom Foundation. Dave earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Biblical Studies at Abilene (TX) Christian University before studying law and religion at Vanderbilt University, where he received his law degree and a Master's in Theology in 2004. While at Vanderbilt, Dave wrote a series of essays for the Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center about the First Amendment and public education, and he clerked for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC. Following law school, Dave spent more than three years in the nation's capital as an attorney with the Institute for Justice, where he litigated school choice, economic liberty, and property rights cases in state and federal courts. He next spent several years in Missouri, first with the Show-Me Institute in St. Louis, Missouri, and more recently with the Freedom Center of Missouri, a non-profit organization he co-founded with the purpose of pursuing constitutional research and litigation in support of individual liberty and limited government. Dave's research and cases have been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, SCOTUSBlog.com and on Fox News and MSNBC, as well as other major media outlets nationwide. He has been licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Tennessee and Missouri, and he is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court. He and his wife, Jenifer, live in Lacey, Washington, with their daughter.
Retired Editorial Page Editor, The News Tribune
Co-Chair, Board Development Committee
4405 N. 34th St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
Phone (253) 761-0709
Retiring in July 2008 as editorial page editor for The News Tribune, David Seago ended a 40-year career with the newspaper. He began with the TNT as an office boy, fetching mail and filling paste pots, then graduated to a reporting job during summers while attending Stanford University. He earned a masters degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism, then began working full-time as a reporter in 1972. After beat reporting on consumer affairs and education, he filled several newsroom editing positions, including city editor, before becoming an editorial writer in 1983. He was named editorial page editor in 1995. The editorial page under Seago consistently supported the cause of open government and the disclosure of public records in particular.
Seago continues to serve on the boards of two nonprofit groups that tutor elementary students in reading and provide services for the disabled, respectively. He also serves on an advisory committee promoting education in ethics at Tacoma Community College.
Larry Shannon - Government Affairs Director
Washington State Association for Justice
Formerly known as Washington State Trial Lawyers Association
1511 State Ave. NE, Olympia WA 98506
360 786-9100 (O)
206 551-6558 (C)
Larry Shannon is the Government Affairs Director for the Washington State Association for Justice, and has served in that role since 1994. He serves as director of all legislative, electoral, and public affairs activities of the organization. Previous to serving in this position, he served as a lobbyists, Development Director and Public Affairs Director for WSTLA/WSAJ. Prior to his directorships at WSTLA, he spent six years working in the consumer protection division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office.
He served as special liaison on the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors from 1994 to 1998. Larry is a board member of Washington Community Action Network, Washington CAN, the largest consumer organization in the state for over 20 years, and is also involved in numerous community groups, including as a new board member for Washington Coalition for Open Government. Larry is also the national chair of the Public Affairs Education Programs for the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives, and is an Executive Officer of their Justice Research Center. He was recognized in 2005 by Washington "Law and Politics" magazine as one of the top five lobbyists in the state. He has also written articles, which have been published in numerous consumer and political publications on legal and political affairs.
For his efforts on behalf of consumers and the Civil Justice System, Larry has been recognized with the prestigious Washington State Trial Lawyers Association President’s Award (1997), Washington Community Action Network (WA CAN) Board Member of the Year (2002), and a recipient of the WSAJ Pillar of Justice Award (2007).
A native of the Seattle area, he is a UW Husky with a degree in political science and history. Larry is married to Jan Simonds and they have three gorgeous children. Before sending his children off to college, Larry has been involved as a boy's baseball and girl's soccer and basketball coach from the little leagues to the high school and AAU level in the Seattle area. He was President and founder of the Ballard American Legion athletic program.
Eric Stahl is a media and intellectual property attorney and partner with the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine. He represents news organizations, journalists and others in public records, First Amendment and intellectual property matters. He spent five years as a newspaper reporter before attending University of Washington School of Law, where he graduated in 1997.
Peggy Watt is an associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University. She has degrees in journalism and political science from Western, and worked as a reporter at several newspapers in the Pacific Northwest before moving to California, where she covered Silicon Valley for about 20 years. She remains a contributing editor to PC World magazine, where she previously was online news editor.
Ms. Watt completed a master's degree at Stanford University with a thesis on traditional journalism's role in new media. She is a longtime member of the Society of Professional Journalists and National Federation of Press Women, as well as the Online News Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Bill Will, General Manager,
Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
Co-Chair, Communications Committee
12354 30th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98125
Phone (206) 634-3838
Bill Will is the General Manager of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. He has worked for WNPA since 1997, where he helps reporters and editors with access and legal questions and monitors First Amendment issues in the Legislature and the courts. Will has more than 20 years of experience in the newspaper business. After graduating from the University of Idaho in 1982, he worked as a reporter at the Newport Miner and worked briefly as sports editor of the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake, Washington. From 1984-88 he was a reporter, copy editor, and later assistant managing editor at The Daily Idahonian/Pullman Daily News (now the Moscow-Pullman Daily News). In 1988-89, he was managing editor of The Sparks Tribune in Sparks, Nev. and helped convert the newspaper from twice-weekly to daily publication. From 1989-1995 he worked as a copy editor at Outdoor Empire Publishing Company in Seattle. He worked as a contract employee at Microsoft Corp. for two years on the launch of Microsoft Network News and MSNBC on the Internet before joining WNPA.