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. 

Click here for our current bylaws. (Microsoft Word document)

Click here for board meeting minutes since 2005 and our gift acceptance policy.

VCOG is registered under section 57-49 of the Virginia Sollicitation of Contributions Law. 

As a tax-exempt 501c3 organization, Tax ID 54-1810687, our IRS 990 forms and financial statements are available for review on request.

Dues are on a sliding scale, ranging from $30 for individuals; $110 for nonprofit groups; $250 for law firms, and so one. Click here to join, click here to donate.

We are also supported by two endowments. The Frosty Landon Endowment -- named after VCOG's founding executive director -- was established with matching funds from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and made possible by the National Freedom of Information Coalition. The Chip Woodrum Legislative Internship Endowment was made possible through the generous support of former Roanoke Delegate Chip Woodrum's family and friends.

Our board of directors:

  • PRESIDENT: Maria Everett, Former Director, Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
  • VICE PRESIDENT: Paul Casalaspi, Director, Information Technology, Library of Virginia
  • SECRETARY: Stephen Hayes, General Manager, WTVR
  • TREASURER: Joe Fuentes, Lightfoot
  • IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Jeff South, Retired from Robertson School of Media & Culture at VCU
  • Bobbi Bowman, retired journalist, Reston
  • Brian Colligan, Editorial Writer, The Virginian-Pilot
  • Katy Evans, The Washington Post
  • Craig T. Fifer, Washington, D.C.
  • Richard Gard, Editor, VIRGINIA Magazine
  • Christopher Gatewood, Threshold Counsel
  • Joshua Heslinga, Virginia IT Agency
  • Reynolds Hutchins, Editor, The Daily Progress
  • Amanda Kastl, Fairfax County government
  • Isaiah Knight, The Yummy Potato, Lynchburg
  • Lawrence McConnell, Retired from The Roanoke Times
  • Patricia O'Bannon, former member of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors
  • Bruce Potter, Publisher, InsideNoVa
  • Elliott Robinson, News Director, VPM
  • Jay Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center
  • Steve Stewart, Editor, The Smithfield Times
  • Christopher Tyree, Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism at WHRO
  • Sarah Vogelsong, Freelance journalist
  • EX OFFICIO MEMBER: Betsy Edwards, executive director, Virginia Press Association
  • EX OFFICIO MEMBER: Jonathan Williams, Executive Vice President, Virginia Association of Broadcasters

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

* board and staff information last updated April 11, 2024.