About the Coalition

We are a nonprofit alliance formed to promote expanded access to government records, meetings and other proceedings at the state and local level. Our efforts are focused solely on local/state information access. While we do some lobbying (within limits imposed by IRS rules), our primary work is educational. The Coalition was formed in 1996, after a year-long organizing effort. Our board of directors represents the state's access activists and friends of open government, including Virginia's librarians, genealogists, broadcasters, newspapers and the public at large. Start-up funding was provided by the Virginia Press Association, the Virginia Association of Broadcasters, Media General, the Landmark Communications Foundation, America Online, all of the major in-state newspapers, public radio and television stations, a number of commercial stations and other friends of open government. Supporters also include Dominion, Appalachian Power, SunTrust, LexisNexis, Christian & Barton, Conservation Voters League, Woods Rogers, Gentry Locke.

Click here for our bylaws. (Microsoft Word document)

Founding or current members include USA Today, Associated Press, the Freedom Forum, the Virginia Genealogical Society, Library of Virginia, Roanoke Office of City Attorney, journalism schools, student newspapers, First Amendment lawyers, the League of Women Voters, the Virginia Library Association, the Association of Law Librarians, Lexis/Nexis and some 75 interested individual citizens and public officials. Click here for a roster of current members

Dues are $30 for individuals ($10 for students); $110 for nonprofit groups. (Please contact us for other categories.)

VCOG is registered under section 57-49 of the Virginia Sollicitation of Contributions Law. Our financial statement is available on written request from the Office of Consumer Affairs.

As a tax-exempt 501c3 organization, our IRS 990 form for the past 3 years is available for public inspection. Our reports are also posted at the Guidestar site.

Our board of directors:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, VIRGINIA COALITION FOR OPEN GOVERNMENT

PRESIDENT: Craig T. Fifer, Communications Director, City of Alexandria
EMAIL craig.fifer@alexandriava.gov
PHONE 703.746.3965
ADDRESS 301 King Street, Box 3230, Alexandria VA  22314

VICE PRESIDENT: Dick Hammerstrom, local news editor, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
EMAIL rhammerstrom@freelancestar.com
PHONE 540-374-5414
FAX 540.373.8455
ADDRESS 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401

SECRETARY: Olga Hernandez, former president, Virginia League of Women Voters; Centreville
EMAIL OlgaHrdz@cox.net
PHONE 703-815-1897
ADDRESS P.O. Box 621, Centreville VA  20122

TREASURER: Paul Casalaspi, Director, Information Technology, Library of Virginia
EMAIL paul.casalaspi@lva.virginia.gov
PHONE 804.692.3756
ADDRESS 800 East Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Dorothy Abernathy, chief of bureau, The Associated Press
EMAIL dabernathy@ap.org
PHONE 800.552.9935
ADDRESS: 300 E. Franklin St., First Floor, Richmond, VA. 23219

Brian Eckert, Executive Director of Communications & Public Relations, Washington & Lee University
EMAIL beckert@wlu.edu
PHONE 540-458-8459
ADDRESS 204 W. Washington St., Lexington VA  24450

Lou Emerson, Publisher, FauquierNow.com
EMAIL LKE@FauquierNow.com
PHONE 540-359-6574
ADDRESS P.O. Box 3090, Warrenton VA  20186

Paul Fletcher, Publisher and Editor, Virginia Lawyers Weekly
EMAIL paul.fletcher@valawyersmedia.com
PHONE 804-783-0770 x 14016
ADDRESS 707 E. Main St., Ste. 1750, Richmond VA  23219

Chrisopher Gatewood, Threshold Counsel
EMAIL chris@thresholdcounsel.com
PHONE 804-677-0947
ADDRESS 1905 Huguenot Rd., Ste., 200, Richmond VA  23235

Bob Gibson, director, the Sorensen Institute
EMAIL bob.gibson@virginia.edu
PHONE (434) 982-4998
ADDRESS P.O. Box 400206, Charlottesville  22904-4206

Mark Grunewald, professor of law, Washington & Lee University
EMAIL grunewaldm@wlu.edu
PHONE 540.458.8526
FAX 540.463.8488
ADDRESS School of Law, Lexington, VA 24450

Stephen Hayes, General Manager, WTVR
EMAIL shayes@wtvr.com
PHONE 804-254-2613
ADDRESS P.O. Box 11064, Richmond VA  23230

Wat Hopkins, professor, communications studies, Va. Tech
EMAIL whopkins@vt.edu
PHONE 540.231.9833; cell 540.230.7833 
FAX 540.231.9817 
ADDRESS Dept. Of Communication Studies, 101 Shanks Hall, Va. Tech, Blacksburg 24061

Forrest M. "Frosty" Landon, retired VCOG founding director
EMAIL flandon1@cox.net
PHONE: 540.354.8918
ADDRESS: 1603 Deyerle Rd., SW, Roanoke  24018

Jim LeMunyon, House of Delegates
EMAIL: DelJLeMunyon@house.virginia.gov
PHONE: (703) 264-1432
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 220962, Chantilly 20153-0962

Jeff Lester, News Editor, Coalfield Progress
EMAIL: jlester@coalfield.com
PHONE: 276-679-1101, ext. 235
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 380, Norton, 24273 

Pam Luecke, Reynolds Professor of Business Journalism, Washington & Lee
EMAIL lueckep@wlu.edu
PHONE: 540.458.8435
ADDRESS: Lexington, VA 24450-0303

Lawrence McConnell, Roanoke; editor, Roanoke Times
EMAIL lawrence.mcconnell@roanoketimes.com
PHONE 540-981-3210
ADDRESS: 201 W. Campbell Ave., P.O. Box 2491, Roanoke VA  24010-2491

Patricia O'Bannon, Henrico County Board of Supervisors
EMAIL tuckahoe@co.henrico.va.us
PHONE 804.501.4208
ADDRESS P.O. Box 27032,   Richmond, VA 23273-7032

Melody Scalley, 1330 AM, 103.3 WESR FM & RFCradio.com, Eastville
EMAIL melody.scalley@gmail.com
PHONE 757-678-7200
ADDRESS P.O. Box 1005, Eastville, VA  23347

Nancy Kent Smith, VP/News WWBT-TV
EMAIL nkent@nbc23.com
PHONE 804.230.1212
ADDRESS Box 12, Richmond, VA 23218

Jeff South, Associate Professor, VCU School of Mass Communications
EMAIL jcsouth@vcu.edu
PHONE 804-827-0253
ADDRESS 901 W. Main St., #2216, Richmond VA  23284-2034

Michael Stowe, Managing Editor, The Roanoke Times
EMAIL: michael.stowe@roanoke.com
PHONE: 540-981-3207
ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2491, Roanoke VA  24010

Jonathan Williams, Deputy Executive Director, Virginia Association of Broadcasters
EMAIL jonathan.williams@easterassociates.com
PHONE 434.977.3716
FAX 434.979.2439
ADDRESS: 250 W. Main St., Ste. 100 Charlottesville, VA 22902
EX OFFICIO MEMBER
Ginger Stanley, executive director, Virginia Press Association
EMAIL gingervpa@aol.com
PHONE 804.521.7575
FAX 804.521.7590
ADDRESS: 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059

EX OFFICIO MEMBER
Doug Easter, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Broadcasters
EMAIL peter.easter@easterassociates.com
PHONE 434.977.3716
FAX 434.979.2439
ADDRESS: 250 W. Main St., Ste. 100 Charlottesville, VA 22902  

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Megan H. Rhyne
EMAIL: mrhyne@opengovva.org
PHONE: 540.353.8264
ADDRESS: Box 2576, Williamsburg VA 23187

 

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