Board of Trustees
Duane Pohlman, President
Duane Pohlman is widely considered one of the premier television investigative reporters and respected anchors in the country. Over the past 20 years, his award-winning investigations at television stations around the country have uncovered the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, government corruption, nuclear security cover-ups, slaughterhouse violations, treated wood poisonings, injustices at coffee plantations, stolen babies in Guatemala and list goes on. Many of his investigations have triggered major changes, including Congressional investigations and local prosecutions. Duane has won more than 100 national, regional and state awards – including Emmys, Murrows, SPJ and AP awards, had he has been named Reporter of the Year five times in three states. He is also a leader, having served as a board member, treasurer and vice president on the board of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and a board member for NATAS (Emmy) Lower Great Lakes Chapter. Duane is currently an anchor and investigative reporter at WCMH in Columbus, Ohio and is recommitting his strong journalistic background and storytelling abilities to reinventing as a leader in the emerging new media landscape and non-profit news world.
Dorian Barrett was a Senior Investigative Producer & Special Projects Coordinator at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, a position in which she managed and directed a team of six specialized journalists. In her nearly six years with the station, Barrett also spent time enterprising and researching stories for in-depth investigations and special reports. Her work earned her an EMMY and several Ohio SPJ, Press Club of Cleveland and Ohio Associated Press awards and nominations. Prior to WEWS, Barrett was an Associate Producer and Field Producer at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia, working primarily with the documentary series, CNN Presents and biography series, People in the News. She also contributed extensively to CNN’s coverage of 9-11 and related news events and stories thereafter. Barrett also has experience in public relations, marketing and digital media. Barrett has a bachelor’s degree in Communications (Broadcasting) from Ohio Northern University. She currently works in sales.
Karl Idsvoog, Secretary
Karl Idsvoog is a multimedia trainer and consultant who has completed highly successful media development missions for the U.S. Department of State, the International Center for Journalists, Internews, Radio Free Asia and IREX. Having worked as an investigative reporter, producer and manager in local, network and syndicated television and online journalism, Karl moved into training and education following the bankruptcy of APBnews.com. At APBnews.com, he oversaw usability testing and managed the site’s most successful interactive applications. He partnered with attorney Dave Marburger to write a book on Ohio’s public records laws, Access with Attitude. Karl has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He currently teaches a range of multimedia journalism courses at Kent State University.
Warner Mendenhall is one of Ohio’s leading public interest attorneys. His interest in local government law began in the early 1990s when he served two terms on Akron’s City Council, then later obtained his law degree. His practice has centered on stopping government abuses, protecting civil rights, representing whistleblowers as well as home owners and businesses against eminent domain actions. He’s also explored abuse of government funds related to military contractors and Medicare and Medicaid. His areas of expertise include the Federal False Claims Act, eminent domain defense and local government law. Warner has a long history of helping citizens gain access to public records and helped develop language for Akron’s City Charter.
Karen Olstad joined WOSU Public Media in Columbus, Ohio as its Chief Operating Officer in 2009. Karen came to WOSU from Alaska Public Telecommunications in Anchorage, Alaska, where she was Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer. In addition to her position at Alaska Public Telecommunications, she worked for 19 years for Washington State University’s joint NPR/PBS licensee, rising to the position of Associate General Manager and Chief Financial Officer and serving two years as Acting General Manager. Over the years, she has served on numerous committees in public media and as chair of the Public Broadcasting Management Association (now PMBA). She is currently the President of Ohio Public Radio and Secretary of Public Radio in Mid America. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Washington State University and is a member of the Board of Directors of its Alumni Association.
Board of Advisors
Walt Bogdanich became the investigations editor for the Business and Finance desk of The New York Times in January 2001. He was named an assistant editor for the paper’s newly expanded Investigative Desk in 2003. Before joining The Times in 2001, he was an investigative producer for “60 Minutes” on CBS and for ABC News. Previously, he worked as an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York and Washington. He also worked for The Cleveland Press and The Plain Dealer. Born in Chicago on Oct. 10, 1950, Mr. Bogdanich graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975 with a degree in political science. He received a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University in 1976. In 2008, Mr. Bogdanich won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for the series “A Toxic Pipeline,” which tracked how dangerous and poisonous pharmaceutical ingredients from China have flowed into the global market. Mr. Bogdanich also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for National Reporting for his series “Death on the Tracks,” which examined the safety record of the U.S. railroad industry, and in 1988 for Specialized Reporting, for his articles in The Wall Street Journal on substandard medical laboratories.
Edward “Ed” Esposito is Vice-President of Information Media for the Rubber City Radio Group in Akron, Ohio. He oversees the award-winning news department of radio stations WAKR-AM, WONE-FM, WQMX-FM in Akron, Ohio and WNWV-HD in Cleveland, Ohio as well as www.AkronNewsNow.com, a four-time national award-winning news website. Esposito is also a panelist and contributor to “Feagler & Friends” on Ideastream/WVIZ-TV in Cleveland. Esposito serves as Trustee and Treasurer of the Radio Television News Directors Foundation (RTNDF) following a term as chair of RTNDA 2008-2009 and chair of RTDNF 2009-2010. RTDNA service included two years as chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Executive Committee. He also represents broadcasters as a member of the Ohio Newspaper Association’s Ohio Coalition for Open Government and serves on Northeast Ohio AMBER Task Force. He has served as President of the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters and as a board member of the Akron Press Club. Prior to joining Rubber City Radio Group in May 1998, Esposito worked for Cleveland radio stations WWWE (now WTAM), WLTF (now WMVX), WDOK and WRMR. While in Cleveland, Esposito also hosted “America’s Work Force”, a daily talk program produced for the Cleveland AFL-CIO. He has written video presentations for a variety of labor unions in Northeast Ohio. Other experience includes radio and television positions in Cincinnati and various markets in West Virginia. Esposito has served as a panelist and lecturer for the University of Missouri School of Journalism programs in Kunming, China and Nanjing, China. He was also part of a seven-journalist delegation in 2013 visiting Pakistan as part of a program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists and U.S. Department of State.
Tom Ford is a veteran of 22 years as a journalist, editor and reporter in Ohio, earning awards for individual and team investigative reporting on massive “pill mill” clinics, veterans identity scams, the search for elusive murder suspects, and energy and environmental disasters. He also earned praise for social justice and business reporting on the federal welfare reform and for investigations of casino gambling. He has served on editorial boards, and reported on education, and politics at major Ohio newspapers, and spent ten years in government as a senior public information officer for county government in Ohio’s largest county. He also led special projects that resulted in creation of a county-wide system of services to reduce recidivism in prisoners returning to the community, and a massive reform of the criminal justice system to assure adequate representation, and speedy administration of justice. Recently he has served as and the last several years as a communicator in higher education, where he has worked to promote the participation of young voters in public policy and leadership.
Jonathan Greene spent more than fifteen years in broadcast and cable news, earning his first Associated Press award for spot news as a part-time reporter at WSYR-AM in Syracuse, NY. He went from there to producing newscasts at TV stations in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Long Island, and New York City, Columbus OH, Raleigh-Durham NC, and Providence RI. He returned to Rochester as News Director of WROC-TV, went on to Court TV as ND of the syndicated strip INSIDE AMERICA’S COURTS, then became the first news director of Bay News 9, Tampa Bay’s 24-hour cable news channel. From there he returned to Court TV, producing hour-long documentaries for the program CRIME STORIES and earning a Columbia-DuPont Award for “The Interrogation of Michael Crowe.” Greene’s current career scripting television drama began with an eleven-year stint as writer and, eventually, Co-Executive Producer of the still-running NBC hit series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” His episodes earned the show several Emmy nominations and one win, and he’s been a finalist for both the Humanitas Prize and the Edgar Award. He held the same position on the CBS medical drama “A Gifted Man” during the 2011-2012 season. Greene is also the co-author of two novels, Kill Switch(published January 2012) and Kill Again, scheduled for publication in 2014. A native of the New York City suburbs, he lives in Los Angeles.
Doug Haddix is assistant vice president for Editorial Communications at The Ohio State University. He leads a 20-member team of writers, editors, reporters and photographers. He’s also the director of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Reporting, one of the nation’s leading journalism fellowships for social media and digital reporting tools. Previously, he worked as a training director for Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and as projects editor at The Columbus Dispatch, where he directed investigations and computer-assisted reporting.
Brant Houston is the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting and teaches investigative and advanced reporting in the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois. He is a founder and chair of the board of directors for the Investigative News Network, a consortium of nonprofit investigative news organizations. Houston formerly worked as executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors, a 4,000-member organization, and as a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Before joining IRE, he was an award-winning investigative reporter at daily newspapers for 17 years. During 14 years at IRE, Houston oversaw the creation of numerous training programs nationally and internationally and also helped it strengthen and increase its membership. Houston is the author of three editions of the textbook, “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide,” and co-author of the fourth edition of “The Investigative Reporter’s Handbook.” Houston co-founded the Global Investigative Journalism Network in 2003.
David Knox became managing editor of The (Medina County) Gazette in July 2012, to round out a nearly four-decade decade career in Ohio newspapers. Starting in the ‘70s at a weekly in an ethnic Cleveland neighborhood, Knox next spent 10 years at The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, where he won numerous awards as a reporter and left as city editor. In 1991, he joined the Akron Beacon Journal. He was one of the reporters involved in a yearlong examination of the state of the black community awarded the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for public service. In 1999, he was named the Beacon Journal’s first computer-assisted reporting manager. He was senior reporter on the 2008 series, “The American Dream – hanging by a thread,” which was grounded in research Knox did as a 2007 fellow of the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism, at Ohio State University.
Hagit Limor serves as a national award-winning investigative reporter as well as an Electronic Media professor at the University of Cincinnati. Hagit also has led the Society of Professional Journalists as its national president, representing 8,000 journalists across the United States and continues to serve as chair of the SPJ Legal Defense Fund and as a member of its Ethics Committee. Hagit sits on the national board of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, which promotes excellence and ethics in journalism through educational programs and grants for journalism-related projects. Hagit has won dozens of national, regional, state and local awards including ten Emmy Awards, three national Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a National Headliner Award, and national finalist for the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association.
Sarah Reinbolt is an Integrated Marketing professional who has focused on building audience awareness and engagement for early adopter, tech, and arts and cultural entities in NEO for over 12 years. She is known as a branding engagement expert, using both traditional and emerging digital methodologies to integrate strategic communication channels. She received her BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University. Her dual MBA is in Marketing and Technology from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management.
Zach Schiller is research director at Policy Matters Ohio, a non-profit think tank that covers economic and legislative policy issues. Prior to coming to PMO in 2001, Zach had more than two decades experience researching and writing about the Ohio economy as a business reporter for The Plain Dealer and Business Week. His education includes a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. For Policy Matters, Zach has written about foreclosures, economic development, job growth, unemployment insurance, tax policy and other issues. He is a member of the board of manager of the Ohio Poverty Law Centers.
Jim Scott is a broadcast/news veteran whose career has crossed several decades in news management as well as on-air radio and television reporting and anchoring. Jim served in the Marine Corps in intelligence and strategic planning after attending Cheyeny University in Pennsylvania. His broadcast career began at radio station WKRS in Waukegan, Illinois. He soon was hired into the Westinghouse broadcasting family; first at WOWO Radio in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and then to KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh. He went on to work at NBC News and was the first-ever network correspondent to be assigned out of a newly created Pittsburgh bureau. He also was a familiar face on local Pittsburgh television at WPXI. Jim’s television career would take him to Boston, Washington, D.C., and Columbus Ohio before he transitioned into station management. At KDKA TV in Pittsburgh, he was executive producer for evening news, and executive producer of Special Projects. In the fall of 2006, he became managing editor at WEWS TV in Cleveland, Ohio. There he managed a staff of nearly 100 and a multi-million dollar budget. Jim’s career includes awarding-winning investigative work on Ford cars sliding into reverse, coverage of national conventions, one-on-one interviews with heads of state, and hosting the “The Scott Report” on the Odyssey cable channel.
Randy Walk is a multimedia storyteller with a passion for cinematic narratives. He is currently a multimedia producer at The Ohio State University. Before transitioning to higher-ed in 2010, Randy was a multimedia journalist for The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio. For 14 years, he was a video editor on live sports broadcasts for various clients including: FOX, ABC and ESPN. His work has been recognized by: the Associated Press, the Ohio News Photographers Association, The Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association and The Press Club of Cleveland. Randy has conducted multimedia workshops for various organizations including: the Ohio Newspaper Association, Ohio News Photographers Association, the Columbus Association of Black Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Kiplinger Program at Ohio State. He has a bachelor’s degree in radio and television from Kent State University and a master’s in information science also from Kent State.
Lori Ashyk, Founder
Lori Ashyk is a veteran journalist and non-profit professional. Her career began at Crain’s Cleveland Business, where she covered the steel, automotive and manufacturing industries and healthcare. Her work in uncovering issues such anti-trust violations in steel company mergers, plant closings, employment discrimination, insurance fraud and massive shifts in the economy led to numerous awards for investigative and enterprise journalism, breaking news and feature reporting. She also led special projects related to education and the arts while at Crain’s and served as special sections editor. Her non-profit career included development work and strategic planning that led to increased services for youth and the elderly in Cleveland. She has served in many capacities on non-profit boards.