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Prime Time Lawmakers Staff

Scott Slade, Host

Scott Slade is host of Atlanta’s Morning News on WSB Radio, consistently one of the top-rated radio programs in metro Atlanta for twenty years in a row, and among the top-rated news-talk programs in the USA. Scott is a rare two-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as Best Radio Personality in America, in 2004 for Large Markets and 2006 for Major Markets. Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade has won numerous awards since its inception in 1991, including the national Edward R. Murrow Award as Best Radio Newscast in the nation. Scott initiated the WSB Radio Care-a-Thon for the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2000, raising nearly nine million dollars so far to fight children’s cancer and blood disorders. Scott has been with WSB Radio since 1984 as a producer, show host, and helicopter traffic reporter. His career includes all facets of media since 1970. He was won numerous news, programming and advertising awards since his broadcasting career began at the age of 15. He is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University.

Rahul Bali – Reporter

Rahul Bali is the newest member of the Lawmakers team. Rahul joins Lawmakers as the Capitol Reporter after taking a year and half off to raise his son. Rahul’s extensive resume includes working as a reporter, producer, editor at a number of news operations including WJBF-TV (Augusta, GA), WTOP Radio (Washington, D.C.), WSB Radio (Atlanta) and CNN Radio. Rahul’s experience with the Georgia Legislature comes from producing WSB Radio’s Local Politician Night from 2000 to 2005. Rahul is a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in economics. Rahul is from Columbia County in East Georgia. Rahul is a proud Army spouse.

Parker Wallace – Reporter

Parker Wallace joined GPB in 2012 after working as a general assignment reporter for CBS Atlanta. While working for CBS, she won an Associated Press award for Best Feature story. Parker covered Georgia’s 2012 legislative session from the state capitol for GPB and filed a number of nationally broadcast stories, including the federal challenge to Georgia’s Stand Your Ground Law. Parker started her career in Los Angeles as an assignment desk assistant at KTTV. Her first on-camera job was as a reporter for News 12 The Bronx, where she produced, shot and edited her own stories. Parker also was a freelance reporter for WTNH in New Haven. She is a nationally published author, with articles appearing in Shape Magazine and USA Today. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University with dual majors in Communications and Spanish. Parker also spent a semester studying in Spain at the University of Salamanca.

Bob Brienza – Executive Producer

Bob Brienza is an award winning journalist with years of network news experience including international media, hard and financial news as well as morning news and talk programs. As GPB’s Vice President of News and Sports he is tasked with redefining News and Sports programming in a multi-platform media company to fit the needs of the public broadcasting audience in the digital age. Bob has been a program consultant for the United Arab Emirates and for Canal 13 – Chile, served as Vice-President of Programming at CNN America, and worked at NBC in New York for the NBC Radio Network and the Today Show. Bob holds both a bachelors and a master’s degree from Fordham University in New York City, where he has taught writing for television as an adjunct professor.

Lisa Clark – Writer/Producer

Lisa Clark is an Emmy-award winning writer, producer and reporter. Her broadcast resume includes stints at WAGA TV-5 Atlanta, CNN, WebMD, and HGTV. A self-described political junkie, she’s worked with the Florida Legislature (her dad was a State Rep in the 1970’s) and has also spent time in Washington DC as a volunteer lobbyist for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Sammy Jones, Producer

Sammy Jones returns for his ninth season as a part of the Lawmakers team and his sixth season as Producer. He first joined GPB as a Lawmakers intern in 2006. Sammy is a native Georgian and a 2005 graduate of the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA.

Keocia Howard, Associate Producer

Keocia Howard returns as an Associate Producer this year after serving as a Capitol Report last session. Keocia graduated from Georgia State University in May of 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a minor in Sociology.

Lila Kate Cooley – Technology Intern

Lila Kate Cooley joins GPB and the Lawmakers team this session as Technology Intern. Lila Kate hails from Gainesville, Georgia and is in her third year at Georgia Tech studying Business Administration.

Jeanne Bonner – Contributor

Jeanne Bonner is an Atlanta-based reporter covering the state legislature and other statewide issues for GPB, including immigration and education. Before joining GPB in 2011, she worked as a business reporter for five years at the Morning Call, a daily newspaper in Allentown, Pa. There she covered residential real estate and high-tech, including a publicly-traded spinoff of Lucent Technologies. In 2008, Jeanne’s "Priced Out" story took first place from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Jeanne is based in Atlanta where she sits on the board of the Atlanta Press Club. Before launching a career in journalism, Jeanne worked as a translator and English instructor in Florence, Italy.

Jon Nelson – Contributor

Jon Nelson has been a television journalist based in Atlanta for more than twenty years. Nelson has covered high school sports for GPB as a host, correspondent, play-by-play announcer, and sideline reporter/anchor for 16 years. He has covered some of the most important events in sports, including Super Bowls, World Series, All-Star Games, the Summer Olympic Games, the Masters, and the US Open. He graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Political Science, minoring in Communications.

Adam Ragusea – Contributor from WMUM/GPB Macon

Adam Ragusea is the site director of GPB’s bureau in Macon, where he locally hosts NPR’s Morning Edition. He also coordinates GPB’s day-to-day involvement in the Center for Collaborative Journalism – a partnership between Mercer University, GPB, and the Telegraph of Macon – working with student journalists and exchanging material with Middle Georgia’s largest newspaper. Before coming to GPB, Adam worked at WBUR in Boston and WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana. A classical composer by training, Adam spends his spare time making music, gardening, and riding bicycles. He lives with his wife, author Lauren Morrill, and their dog Lucy in Macon’s Vineville neighborhood.

Orlando Montoya – Contributor from WSVH/GPB Savannah

Orlando Montoya is GPB’s Savannah-based news reporter. A native Floridian, he made his radio debut at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, where he graduated with a degree in Radio-Television in 1997. He moved to Savannah to work for GPB in 1998 and since then, his reporting has been recognized on many occasions by the Georgia Associated Press Broadcast Association. Orlando also is a licensed tour guide in the City of Savannah. An avid music fan, he has published a weekly music chart since 1992.

Maura Walz – Contributor from GPB’s Southern Education Desk

Maura Walz covers education for GPB and the Southern Education Desk. Before joining GPB, Maura covered the New York City public schools for the independent education news website GothamSchools. She has won four National Awards for Education Reporting, including recognition for her coverage of education in Georgia at GPB. Her coverage of charter schools around the United States for the Carnegie-Knight Foundation online journalism initiative News21 was also recognized as a 2010 Knight-Batten Award Notable Entry. Maura grew up in Richmond, Va., and is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Bruce Burkhardt – Contributor

Bruce Burkhardt is an award-winning reporter and documentary producer who wrote and produced the Emmy-nominated GPB original production, Augusta's Master Plan: From Sherman's March to Arnie's Army. Burkhardt spent 14 years as a CNN correspondent before embarking on a career as an independent film maker. Recognized for being a natural story-teller with a distinct "everyman" presence, Burkhardt has been honored with numerous awards including a National Emmy, two CableAce Awards and the National Headliner Award. He won a CableAce Award for a documentary titled "America's Cup" which he produced, wrote and hosted. Burkhardt also won a national Emmy award for his contributions to a documentary about the devastating Mississippi River floods of 1994. He was a contributor to CNN’s longstanding documentary series, CNN Presents, most notably as the host and reporter of a program titled "Summer of Fire" about the 2002 forest fires that consumed much of the West.

Don Smith – Contributor

A 2012 inductee into the NATAS Gold Circle, Smith hails from Quitman, GA. His broadcast career began there at a kilowatt daytimer, WSFB. Since then he has worked in local (WAGA) and network (CNN) television, winning 20 Emmys and broadcasting’s most prestigious award, The Peabody. Presently co-creator and Executive Producer of the GPB series Your Health Matters, he also produces pieces for Georgia Traveler and Lawmakers, and was writer/producer for Today in Georgia History.

Josephine Bennett – Contributor

Josephine Bennett was born in New York City and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended college at Brigham Young University, majoring in Journalism. After college she landed her first broadcasting job with KDYL Newsradio 1280 in Salt Lake City. She went on to produce an award-winning talk show for KSL Television, television documentaries, and corporate training films. In 1991 she moved to Macon, Georgia with her family, working as a freelance writer for Nickelodeon and TV Land.

Brian Roberts – Capitol & Field Photographer

Brian Roberts is a graduate of Clayton State University, class of 2012, with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications Studies. Brian got his start with GPB covering high school football. After working sports for two seasons, Brian started an internship with GPB’s “Georgia Traveler” working as the second camera operator. Brian also works as a sports photographer and videographer for the Department of Athletics at Clayton State University.