Citizen Resources
Speakers Bureau

Is finding speakers for meetings, conferences, and conventions getting to be a hassle? Are your members demanding information on topics like retention of public records and access to public records and meetings?

The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) now offers you an easy and inexpensive way to avoid that headache. We have developed a roster of knowledgeable speakers who can provide enlightening and entertaining programs that will answer your members’ questions on perplexing issues concerning public records and open public meetings. Since 2002, WCOG has presented programs across Washington that have reached thousands of citizens and public officials. With the inception of this Speakers Bureau, we intend to reach community leaders, the men and women who belong to your organization.

To request a speaker for an event, just fill out the Speaker Request form below and email, fax or mail it to the WCOG office. WCOG will match presenters to requesters based on criteria such as location, expertise required, and timing.

Our standard honorarium is $250.00; however, we will negotiate a lower amount if that is prohibitive for your organization. Payment may be made by cash, check, or credit card via PayPal. Please contact WCOG Executive Director Elly Snow info@washingtoncog.org for details.

Speaker Request Form (.pdf, .doc)
Return your completed form to the WCOG office:

6351 Seaview Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
info@washingtoncog.org
Fax: 206.623.4474

Members of the WCOG Speakers Bureau:
Click on the speaker’s name to view their Speaker Profile

Ed Clark – Clark, Raymond & Company
William John Crittenden – Attorney at Law
Mike Fancher – American Society of News Editors
Frank Garred – Sunshine Committee Member
Kathy George - Attorney, Harrison Benis & Spence LLP
Toby Nixon – Former State Representative, 45 th District
Sam Pace – Association of REALTORS®
Gerry Pollet – Executive Director, Heart of America Northwest
Patience Rogge – Sunshine Committee Member
Bill Will – Washington Newspaper Publishers Association


Ed Clark, Clark, Raymond & Company
Areas of Expertise:
- Public Records Access

Biographical Information:
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 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 John Crittenden, Attorney at Law
Areas of Expertise:
- Public Records
- Appeals
- Land Use Regulation

Biographical Information:
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. 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.


Mike Fancher, American Society of News Editors
Areas of Expertise:
- Journalism
- Journalism Ethics
- Investigative Reporting
- Open Government in democracy

Biographical Information:
Mike Fancher retired from The Seattle Times in 2008 after 20 years as executive editor.  He started as a general assignment reporter in Seattle and was promoted to managing editor after three years.  During his tenure as executive editor The Times won four Pulitzer Prizes and was a Pulitzer finalist 13 other times.

He began his career as an intern for The Kansas City Star, after getting a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a Masters degree in Communication from Kansas State University. He received his MBA degree from the University of Washington in 1986, the year he became Seattle Times executive editor.  

Fancher served as a 2008-2009 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow in the Missouri School of Journalism.  He devoted his Fellowship year to the question, “What is the Journalist’s Creed for the 21st Century?”  His research explored how shifting elements, such as the relationship between journalists and the public, affect the values and principles of journalists today and in the future.  

Fancher is 2009/2010 chairman of the ethics committee of the American Society of News Editors.  He is vice president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. He serves on an advisory committee to the Fordham University Graduate School of Business and is a frequent speaker at journalism, civic and academic gatherings.

In 2009, the Western Washington Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presented Fancher its award for Distinguished Service to Journalism.

He and his wife, Elaine Bowers, live in Seattle.


Frank Garred, Sunshine Committee Member
Areas of Expertise:
- Public Meetings
- Public Records Access

Biographical Information:
Frank Garred is former editor/publisher of the Port Townsend Jefferson County (WA) Leader; former publisher of the Sequim (WA) Gazette and Forks (WA) Forum ; past president of Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, National Newspaper Association, International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors; graduate of the University of Washington with a journalism degree (1958); served seven years on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications; was interim founding-executive director of the Washington Coalition for Open Government; serves on the Washington State Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee as the governor’s appointee, and worked many years as a reporter and editor for daily and community newspapers. Over the past six years he has been a Journalism instructor at Western Washington University and Peninsula College.


Kathy George, Attorney, Harrison Benis & Spence LLP
Areas of Expertise:
- Public Records Act
- Freedom of Information Act
- Constitutional Free Speech Protections
- Records Request Litigation

Biographical Information:
Holding public agencies accountable is the focus of my law practice. I represent organizations and individuals in trial and appellate courts with issues under the state Public Records Act, the federal Freedom of Information Act, and constitutional free-speech protections. I also appeal public schools’ decisions about services for children with disabilities, and deal with cities and counties on environmental and land-use issues. I am of counsel at Harrison Benis & Spence LLP in Seattle.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked for 15 years as a reporter and assistant city editor at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, focusing on government and political coverage. I also worked at the Tacoma News Tribune covering county government and police news.


Toby Nixon, Former State Representative, 45 th District
Areas of Expertise:
- General principles of open government
- Basics of Public Records Act and Open Public Meetings Act and how to use them
- Open government legislation
- Activities of the Washington Coalition for Open Government

Biographical Information:
Former State Representative, 45th District (2002-2007); served as ranking member of the State Government Operations and Accountability Committee, which, among other topics, had responsibility for overseeing Washington's open government and election laws. Member of the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board. 2006 recipient of the "Freedom's Light Award" from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, in recognition of his work to protect and advance First Amendment interests in Washington. Standards program manager in the Windows group at Microsoft, focusing on networked devices and "smart home" technology, with particular interest in security and privacy issues. Has worked in the computer field for over 30 years, and holds five patents related to computer communications technology.


Sam Pace, Association of REALTORS®
Areas of Expertise:
- Litigation and Municipal Law

Biographical Information:
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.


Gerry Pollet, Executive Director, Heart of America Northwest
Areas of Expertise:
- Advising citizen groups how to use public records and open meetings laws in organizing, including WA State and federal laws.
- How public records and open meeting laws can be used in local land use, environmental or other organizing efforts. How WA open government laws can assist in preparing for public hearings and commenting on proposals.
- How WACOG can help citizens and local groups.

Biographical Information:
Gerry is an attorney and Executive Director of Heart of America Northwest (“The Public’s Voice for Hanford Clean-Up”) and Legal Advocates for Washington. He has many years of experience combining legal and organizing strategies on local and statewide issues using Washington’s Public Records Act, Open Public Meetings Act, and the federal Freedom of Information and Federal Advisory Committee Acts.

Gerry has been a leader in advocating “openness” policies for the notoriously secretive US Department of Energy, as well as a leader in neighborhood and growth management/land use efforts for citizen groups relying on public records and open meeting laws.

Gerry serves on the Board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government as Secretary, and also on the Legal Committee.


Patience Rogge, Sunshine Committee Member
Areas of Expertise:
- Planning
- Fundraising
- Publicity

Biographical Information:
Patience Rogge holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Government and a Master of Library Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked in academic, school and public libraries in Delaware, California, and Saudi Arabia. She has served on the Jefferson County Rural Library District Board of Trustees, the boards of the Washington Library Association, the Pacific Northwest Library Association, and Friends of the Washington State Library. She has chaired the Washington Friends, Foundations and Trustees Association and the Grassroots interest group of the Washington Library Association.

In 2001, she received the Trustee Award from the Washington Library Association, and in 2005 she received the Association's Honorary Lifetime Award and was named to the American Library Association's National Advocacy Honor Roll. In addition to her library-related activities, she has been active in environmental, political and educational efforts in California and Washington. She currently directs the Fort Worden Oral History Program at Fort Worden State Park Conference Center in Port Townsend and is vice president of the Friends of Fort Worden.


Bill Will, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association
Areas of Expertise:
- Public Record Act
- Open Public Meeting Act
- Newsgathering and First Amendment issues

Biographical Information:
Bill Will is the General Manager of Washington Newspaper Publisher Associations. He has worked for Washington Newspaper Publishers Association 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.




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Request a Speaker!
Need a speaker for your next meeting or event? The Washington Coalition for Open Government (WCOG) now offers a roster of knowledgeable speakers who can provide enlightening and entertaining programs that will answer your members’ questions on perplexing issues concerning public records and open public meetings. To learn more and request a speaker, please visit our Speakers Bureau webpage.
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