Board of Directors

Oklahoma Watch’s board is made up of the following individuals:

Co-Presidents

Jim East

A Muskogee native, Jim East spent more than two decades working for newspapers in his hometown, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and upstate New York, covering crime, the judiciary and politics. After the fourth afternoon newspaper he worked for closed its doors, he went on to multiple careers in municipal government, architecture and governmental relations. Since 2010 he has been a consultant to the George Kaiser Family Foundation. His work for the foundation allowed him to be a founding member of Oklahoma Watch. East also is on the executive board for Nonprofit Quarterly, a national online and print publication covering the non-profit sector.

Bob Ross

Bob Ross serves as president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.  He previously was employed as an attorney with the Oklahoma City law firm McAfee & Taft.  Ross is a member of the following boards of directors: Colorado College, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Watch, John W. Rex Elementary School, OU College of International Studies Board of Visitors, OU Foundation, Roff Oil & Gas, Smart Start Central Oklahoma, State Board of Education, Sunbeam Family Services, Tulsa Educare, Teach for America-Oklahoma City and Westminster School. Ross was presented with the 2011 Plaza District Association’s Urban Pioneer Award; the 2012 OKC Beautiful Mayor’s Award for Distinguished Service; the 2013 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits’ Visionary Impact Award; and the 2015 United Way of Central Oklahoma’s John Rex Community Builder Award.

Members

Sue Hale

Sue Hale is the senior journalism consultant for Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.  She is the former executive editor of The Oklahoman and spent the majority of her journalism career at newspapers in Kansas and Oklahoma. Hale served as president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and helped found Freedom of Information Oklahoma. She also chaired the First Amendment Committee of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She was inducted into The Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2005.

Gerald Adams

Gerald Adams is a consultant at the Henry-Adams Companies LLC. Adams was a reporter, columnist and editor at the Shawnee News-Star before managing Robert Henry’s successful campaign for attorney general of Oklahoma in 1985. Adams subsequently served three Oklahoma attorneys general in communications and policy positions for a total of 15 years before joining the administrative staff of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. In 2002, Gov. Brad Henry asked Adams to become his chief of staff, a position he held throughout the governor’s two terms. Following completion of the final term, Gov. Henry and Adams established the Henry-Adams Companies LLC, a consulting firm headquartered in Norman.

Ed Kelley

Ed Kelley serves as interim dean of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma. He is a veteran news executive, coming to OU from Salt Lake City, where he was senior contributing editor at the Deseret News. He also has served as editor of The Washington Times in Washington, D.C. and The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. Kelley has held a variety of other news positions in his career, including that of Washington bureau chief, managing editor and editorial page editor. He was named Editor of the Year in 1996 by the Washington-based National Press Foundation for overseeing The Oklahoman’s coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Vince LoVoi

Vince LoVoi is publisher of This Land Press LLC, a new media company, founded in 2011. This Land Press was noted as “probably the best for-profit local journalism startup in the country” by the Columbia Journalism Review. This Land Press also operates This Land Films, a film production company that was invited to premiere its first feature-length documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. LoVoi also serves as managing partner of Mimosa Tree Capital Partners LLC, an investment firm in Oklahoma focused on socially responsible startups and turnarounds.

Brett Wesner

Brett WesnerBrett Wesner is the founder of Wesner Publications Co., which publishes 10 newspapers and two magazines in rural communities across Oklahoma and Texas. He previously served as a press officer for OU President David Boren’s 1984 U.S. Senate campaign in Oklahoma. Following Boren’s landslide election, Wesner joined Boren’s Washington press office, becoming press secretary in 1987, at the start of the senator’s service as chairman of the Senate select committee on intelligence and as a member of the special committee investigating the Iran-Contra scandal. A native of Cordell, Wesner returned to Oklahoma in 1990 to serve as executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.