2015 FOI Summit

Speakers and Presenters


The National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition convened the 2015 FOI Summit on Friday, October 9th, and Saturday, October 10th at The Curtis hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado.






9:30 am – 11:30 am – NFOIC Board Meeting (Board members only)


1:15 pm – 2:30 pm – 2015 State Legislative Sessions – 

  • Recap – member survey results – Successes and (new) challenges

Presentation: NFOIC member survey results

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Gaining Supporters/Serving Constituents  

Meet with NFOIC members and peers and share ideas and best practices about building your organization’s membership and supporters. Discuss education and training; program development; social media strategies for engaging constituents, advocacy groups, public employees, elected officials, and news media.


4:15 pm – 5:30 pm – Building a Financial Base

Collaborate with NFOIC members to develop plans and strategies to build your organization’s financial base. Identifying appropriate grants and foundations; how to prepare and request financial assistance with strong messaging that resonates among your donors, contributors and funders. Talk about successful fundraising events and campaigns with small budgets.  


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Reception

Host: Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition




8:30 am – Breakfast Buffet


9:00 am – 10:00 am – NFOIC Annual Membership Meeting

Welcome: Honorable John Hickenlooper, Governor, Colorado (recorded video – pw: sunshine)

  • President’s Report
  • Financial Summary
  • 2015 Budget Proposal
  • Elections of Officers
  • Nominations for Board.


10:15 am – 11:45 pm – Breakout Session #1

Policing the Police:  Should police body-cam videos be publicly available? Do citizens have the right to record police conduct? What redaction policies and procedures should occur? What are the challenges to store and maintain the digital files? Can the public access police internal affairs reports? When do records become public during/after an investigation and why?   

Moderator: Jeremy Jojola, @jeremyjojola Investigative Reporter, 9NEWS/KUSA Denver


  • Denise Maes, @ACLUofColorado public policy director for the ACLU of Colorado.
  • Rick Brandt, chief of the Evans, CO, police department and president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.
  • Mike Wagers, @MikeWagers Chief Operating Officer (COO) Seattle Police Department
  • Hyde Post @hydepost – Past president of NFOIC and Georgia First Amendment Foundation, Hyde.Post Communications 


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Hall of Fame Luncheon (sponsor: the Associated Press)

Each year, the NFOIC and the Society of Professional Journalists recognizes a “Hero of the 50 States”: an individual who has left a legacy at the state and local level for their service, accomplishments and contributions to keep state and local government records and meetings open and accessible to residents.

  • 2015 State Open Government Hall of Fame Inductee: Pete Weitzel, veteran newspaper journalist and editor, and Sunshine Week pioneer   
  • Hall of Fame Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Karen Kaiser, @KarenKaiser_AP SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at The Associated Press. Introduction of Ms. Kaiser by Sarah Nordgren, NFOIC Board Member. 


1:45 pm – 3:00 pm – Breakout Session #2

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow:  What use is a robust public records act if the emails, texts, and other digital records “self-destruct” before the public can even ask to see them?  Or where shoddy record keeping puts a financial burden on the petitioner to access and view these records? If the digital files are stored outside of government servers, what rights do citizens have to access those public records?  How can you challenge a denied response where the records custodian claims their search turned up nothing to meet your criteria? Why the inconsistencies across jurisdictions for the same type of records requests?

Moderator: Steve Zansberg, President, Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition


  • John Kaehny, @JohnKaehny Executive Director, Reinvent Albany
  • Peg Perl, @Peg_Perl Senior Counsel, Ethics Watch Colorado
  • Kel McClanahan, @NatlSecCnslrs Executive Director, National Security Counselors
  • Todd Shepherd, @angrytodd Investigative Reporter, The Independence Institute 
  • Elizabeth Perkes, @RecordsKeepers Electronic Records Archivist, Utah State Archives


3:15 pm – 4:30 pm – Breakout Session #3

OpenData:  No Need to Ask: FOI and OR requests are expensive, time-consuming and often frustrating –sometimes for both sides.  Proactive open data policies and procedures can make access to public information cheaper and easier for everyone. A consistently applied definition of a ‘data set’ including what is available right now from public agencies, to what is being (digitally) generated each day by agencies and organizations, determining what data should be public and how it should be made more accessible will take a dedicated effort from public organizations and members of the public. The need to work together on policies and practices that create and complement best practices to collect, organize, manage and report public information can result in win-win results for both record custodians and record petitioners. Both public organizations and the FOI community must share an understanding of what open data is most useful and how to make it cost- and time-affordable for the public to access it.


  • Brian Gryth, @briangryth CivicData.com Senior Product Manager, Accela


  • Becky Boone, @boonrs Senior Fellow, Code for America
  • Ken Snyder, @theplacematters CEO, Place Matters
  • Cori Zarek, @corizarek Senior Advisor for Open Government at the White House and the DC Open Government Coalition


NFOIC Open Data (Gryth)

Open Data (Snyder)