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 current 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.

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:

PRESIDENT: Jeff South, Retired from Robertson School of Media & Culture at VCU
EMAIL jcsouth@vcu.edu
PHONE 804-827-0253
ADDRESS 901 W. Main St., #2216, Richmond VA  23284-2034

VICE PRESIDENT: 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

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

TREASURER: Joe Fuentes
EMAIL joevirginia@yahoo.com
PHONE 757-565-3431
ADDRESS P.O. Box 428, Lightfoot VA  23090

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Craig T. Fifer, Communications Director, City of Alexandria
EMAIL craig@fifer.net
PHONE 703.505.9668
ADDRESS 120 Cameron St., Unit. 106, Alexandria VA  22314

Brian Colligan, Editorial Writer, The Virginian-Pilot
EMAIL brian.colligan@pilotonline.com
PHONE 757-446-2126
ADDRESS 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk VA  23510

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

Katy Evans, Local Government & Education Editor, Richmond Times-Dispatch
EMAIL  kevans@timesdispatch.com

Maria Everett, former director of the FOIA Council
EMAIL maria.everettjk@gmail.com
PHONE 804-387-8642
ADDRESS  8110 Ridge Rd., Henrico VA  23229

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, Academy for Civic Renewal, Cooper Center for Public Service
EMAIL bob.gibson@virginia.edu
PHONE (434) 982-4998
ADDRESS P.O. Box 400206, Charlottesville  22904-4206

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

Isaiah Knight, The Yummy Potato, Lynchburg

Forrest M. "Frosty" Landon, Roanoke, retired VCOG founding director

Lawrence McConnell, Retired from The Roanoke Times

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

Bruce Potter, Publisher, InsideNoVa
EMAIL bpotter@insidenova.com

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

Betsy Edwards, executive director, Virginia Press Association
EMAIL betsye@vpa.net
PHONE 804.521.7575
FAX 804.521.7590
ADDRESS: 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059

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

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