Oklahoma Watch’s board of directors includes the following individuals:

Chair

Joe Hight is the Edith Kinney Gaylord Endowed Chair of Journalism Ethics at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is also a columnist, writer, consultant and an independent bookstore owner. His newspaper career as an editor, director, managing editor or reporter spanned 35 years. He was editor when The Gazette in Colorado Springs won the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting for its multimedia series, “Other Than Honorable.” He also led or was involved in efforts that won various national awards at The Oklahoman. He was named to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013 and was selected as its director in May. He also serves on advisory boards for the Oklahoma Center for the Book and the Ball State Communication School. He has been president of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and a board member for Associated Press Media Editors. His book “Thou Art Thy Destiny/The True and Tragic Story of the Tormented Priest’s Mind,” will be published in early 2018. He owns Best of Books in Edmond with his wife, Nan, and daughter, Elena.

Directors

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.

Gregory Anderson is the Residential Life Specialist for the Bureau of Indian Education—Tribally Controlled Schools. He has previously served as Chief of Staff and Secretary of Education for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of the Interior- Bureau of Indian Education in Washington, D.C., and Superintendent of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation- Eufaula Dormitory in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Mr. Anderson has been involved in Indian education for almost four decades and has served on numerous federal and state councils, boards and committees for improvement and reform in Indian Education. He is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in Oklahoma.

Mr. Anderson was appointed in October 2001 and commissioned in April 2002 by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and was re-appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to continue his service on NACIE. He served 11 years as a presidential appointee. The NACIE members are appointed and commissioned by the President of the United States and advises the U.S. Secretary of Education and Congress on issues such as funding, administration and the development of regulations and administrative policies related to American Indian and Alaska Native education.

He was appointed in 2002 by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to serve on the U.S. Department of the Interior-Bureau of Indian Affairs Regulatory Negotiations Committee. He served as co-chairman for the committee which developed recommendations and regulations for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110). He was appointed in January 2010 by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to serve a second two-year term as co-chairman for the NCLB School Facilities and Construction Regulatory Negotiation Committee convened by the U.S. Department of the Interior and United States Congress. The Secretary of the Interior and Congress established the regulatory committee for purposes of preparing a catalog of deficiencies, funding formulas, and reports regarding the physical conditions of Bureau-funded schools and BIA facilities and to revise national home living (dormitory) standards for federally funded programs.

In July 2010 Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry appointed Mr. Anderson to the inaugural Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education and was re-appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to continue his service on the Council. The OACIE was created to promote equitable and culturally relevant learning environments, educational opportunities and instructional material for Native American students enrolled in public schools in the state of Oklahoma and advises the Governor and Oklahoma State Superintendent of Education.

He served as an elected public official for the City of Eufaula as mayor, vice-mayor, city treasurer, council president and city councilor. He concluded his career in municipal government in April 2015 after serving 16 years in public office for the City of Eufaula.

Mr. Anderson was the recipient of the University of Oklahoma- Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication- 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor given by the Gaylord College Board of Directors of Jay Mac, the college’s alumni organization. Mr. Anderson serves as the alumni representative on the University of Oklahoma Athletic Council which oversees the university athletic programs and student athlete services.

Mr. Anderson is a graduate of Eufaula High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s degree in Education Administration from East Central Oklahoma University and his Superintendent’s Certification (K-12) from East Central Oklahoma University and the Oklahoma State Department of Education. He and his wife Becky reside in Norman, Oklahoma. They have two children, son Brett, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and daughter Alex, who is the Associate Director of the Varsity O Club and Alumni Engagement at the University of Oklahoma.

Mr. Anderson enjoys all outdoor activities and attending University of Oklahoma sporting events. He is involved in alumni activities at the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications and enjoys traveling with his family and friends.

Phil G. Busey, Sr. is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Delaware Resource Group of Oklahoma, LLC. The Oklahoma City-based global aerospace contractor was founded in 2002 by Phil and his wife Cathy. Busey is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Delaware Tribe. He was born and resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Busey has been married to Cathy Callaway Busey for 44 years. They met at Oklahoma City University and were married in the OCU Bishop Angie Smith Chapel. Together they have three (3) children: Philip, Brian and Emily, two daughters-in-law, Heather and Janie, future son-in-law Griffin and four (4) grandchildren. Family is a priority. Busey is an advocate for minority, small business and Native American tribal economic partnerships and cultural unity. A focus is workforce development. He is a strong supporter of development of the aerospace and defense industry.

Busey received his Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma City University and his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University School of Law. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and a member of the OBA and ABA. His practice areas include commercial and corporate law, Native American law, Federal Law and Regulation, government contracting, and financial transactions. He served as a Trustee of OCU for 8 years. He has been a Distinguished Professor at OCU School of Law, a Professor Lecturer at American University in Washington, DC on tribal economic development and is a Professor Lecturer for the OU Aerospace and Master’s Degree Program. In 2013, OCU awarded Busey with the Chairman’s Award and he was inducted into the Oklahoma Commerce and Industry Hall of Honor. DRG’s mantra is, “a profit with a purpose.” He is a member of The Oklahoma City Downtown Rotary Club and has received numerous business and community awards.

Cathy and Phil established El Sistema Oklahoma, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, after-school music program, now in its 8th year. The purpose is social change through music. El Sistema Oklahoma serves 240 underserved students and partners with Carnegie Hall. The first seniors graduated this year after seven years in the program. These seven graduates tey were collectively awarded $660,000 in scholarships. Most are the first to attend college in their families. The Busey’s and DRG support a number of non-profits and community programs as well as their church.

Susan Ellerbach was the managing editor of the Tulsa World from 1995 to 2014 and the executive editor from 2014 to 2020. She joined The World in 1985 as a business writer before being promoted to business editor, state editor, and Sunday editor in 1994. She was a reporter and editor at the Tahlequah Daily Press and managing editor of the Tahlequah American in 1983. Born in Atlanta, she graduated from high school in Shawnee Mission, KS, and earned a journalism degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. Her career began with a group of Kansas community newspapers in Baldwin City, KS, including the Wellsville Globe. She was a member of APME and AP/ONE, where she served as president. She remains active in Leadership Oklahoma and has served on the boards of Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s Caring Program for Children and the Child Abuse Network. Columbia Journalism Review featured her in “Moms Who’ve Made It.” She was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2010.

Craig Freeman is the Director of the School of Media & Strategic Communications at Oklahoma State University. He also serves as the Assistant Dean – Senior Inclusion
Officer for the College of Arts and Sciences at OSU. He teaches a variety of classes, including Reporting, Data Journalism, Media Law and Media Ethics. Craig is a practicing attorney, with experience litigating Constitutional issues in both state and federal courts. Prior to teaching, Craig worked as a producer and assignment editor for a television station in Philadelphia. He also worked as an editor and reporter for several trade magazines and weekly newspapers.

Sue Hale is the senior journalism consultant for the Inasmuch 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.

Lonnie Isabel is a journalist, educator, press freedom advocate and writer who lives in Broken Arrow. He has worked as a news reporter and editor in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York.  Isabel has led coverage of presidential campaigns, the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Second Gulf War and other major stories.  He has been a feature writer, an investigative reporter, an assignment editor and a deputy managing editor.  Isabel has also taught journalism at the Columbia Journalism School and several other universities and has developed a program to provide fellowships for international journalists who are under attack as a result of their work.

Dr. Mautra Staley Jones is known as a thought leader in Oklahoma and across the nation. She advances and elevates each institution she touches. Dr. Jones currently serves as President of Oklahoma City Community College. Dr. Jones is also a board director for BancFirst.

Married to United States District Judge Bernard M. Jones II, with three children—Bernard III, Kennedy, and Brendan—Dr. Jones holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, an MBA from the University of Phoenix at San Diego, and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s prestigious Peabody College of Education, where she earned a Doctorate of Education.

Active in the community, Dr. Jones provides leadership to various civic and philanthropic groups. She currently serves as a board director for the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, StitchCrew, Oklahoma Watch, Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs, American Mothers, Inc., Oklahoma Philharmonic Society, Inc., Civic Center Foundation and the Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association. Dr. Jones is also a member of VEST Her, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the board of advisors for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Salt and Light Leadership, Leadership Oklahoma City, Class XXIX, and the MSI Aspiring Leaders program at Rutgers University.

In recognition for her service to the community, Dr. Jones has been honored by The Journal Record as a 2022 Book-of-Lists Power Player, its 2020 Woman of the Year, and a 2020 inductee into its Circle of Excellence. She also holds the distinction of being named both the 2021 National Mother of the Year and the 2021 Oklahoma Mother of the Year by American Mothers, Inc. Dr. Jones is a 2022 Hundred Magazine honoree, as well as the 2020 recipient of the HBCU Philanthropy Advancement Leader Award. In 2018, she was named the 2018 Woman of the Year by Perry Publishing and Broadcasting.

Ed Kelley serves as 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 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.

Adam Nemec founded Tulsa-based New Medio in 2000, and the company has grown from a start-up, website-development firm into a broader software development and design company. As chief executive officer, he focuses on business development and managing client relationships, remaining involved in all client projects. Before founding the company, he built and managed the interactive arm of an agency and worked with companies such as Universal Studios Orlando and Broadcast.com. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and one of the founders of software products such as Mobicentric and Reach CRM.

Elizabeth Payne is the founding director of the Center for Sovereign Nations at Oklahoma State University. She developed the center based on input from tribal governments in Oklahoma, and since 2015, 99% of center students have graduated, and 41% have earned graduate degrees. A licensed attorney and an advocate for inclusive opportunity, Payne was invited to present her center concept at the White House and at Harvard. Prior to her career at OSU, Payne was in executive management at The Oklahoma Publishing Company, and at technology start-up Advanced Financial Solutions. She has served on many boards in the academic, private, and public sectors, including United Way, Oklahoma City Food Bank, Oklahoma Allied Arts and Green Box Arts Foundation.

Suzanne Schreiber is president of the Tulsa Public Schools board of education representing District 7. She was elected in 2014. She is also a program officer with Tulsa Community Foundation, where she works closely with George Kaiser Family Foundation on various projects, including fundraising for A Gathering Place for Tulsa, issue advocacy at the state and local levels, fostering strategic community partnerships and staffing special projects. Suzanne is a native New Mexican who came to the University of Tulsa at age 18 and remained in the city. Before joining TCF, Suzanne worked as an attorney and as a federal law clerk for district and appellate courts. She twice took leave from her legal career to work on her mother’s political campaigns for lieutenant governor and governor of New Mexico and has worked on many other campaigns and civic initiatives.

Nathan Shirley is the chief financial officer for Cemplex Group, a regional specialty construction contracting firm based in Oklahoma City. Prior to Cemplex, Nathan worked for 15 years with Accenture, a global IT consulting firm.  He spent five years with the firm’s federal government practice in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Asia to support the firm’s regional practice.   Nathan was based in China, Australia and Singapore and traveled extensively throughout the region. He grew up in Blackwell and went to high school in Bartlesville.  He received his B.S. from Oklahoma State University and worked in Oklahoma City before attending Georgetown University’s MBA Program.  While in Washington, Nathan helped to develop and launch a nonprofit restaurant to train homeless individuals and assist them with finding permanent jobs in the industry. He is an active parishioner at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Oklahoma Cityand participates in the monthly “Feed the Hungry” ministry.  He is a board member of the American Red Cross (Central Oklahoma).