Maryland Farm & Harvest

Meet the Team

Joanne Clendining, Host

joanne.jpg Joanne could be described as a natural to host Maryland Farm & Harvest. A veteran actress with numerous credits to her name, Clendining has also spent years running a farm and is just as comfortable driving a tractor or forklift as she is when the director says, “Action.”

This is not the first time in her career that Clendining has married her off-camera pursuits with the on-stage career. Her experience as a physical therapist translated into appearances in corporate films and advertising for Quest Diagnostics, GlaxoSmithKline, Horizon BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey, and Shire, a pharmaceutical company. Other commercial and corporate appearances include spots for Costco Wholesale, Insight Communications, KPMG, and PrimoHoagies. She has also had roles in several feature films and shorts.

Her varied interests include volleyball, country line and ballroom dancing, golf, and weight training. When not in front of the camera, Joanne is frequently behind the microphone singing and playing guitar in her band.

In 2014, Joanne earned an Emmy® Award from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences in the “Program Host/Moderator” category of the annual competition for her work on Maryland Farm & Harvest.

Sarah Sampson, Series Producer/Director

sarah.jpg A graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at University of Maryland, College Park, Ms. Sampson has worked as an award-winning news reporter in Maryland and New York prior to joining MPT.

While still in school, Ms. Sampson was a freelance reporter in The (Baltimore) Sun’s Harford County Bureau and worked as an associate producer/assignment editor at WBAL-TV. Following graduation, she served as a reporter and weekend anchor at WHAG-TV in Hagerstown where, among other activities, she contributed stories on the Maryland General Assembly. She left Maryland for two years to be a reporter and producer at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York, before returning as a freelance reporter for WBAL-TV. She is also an adjunct instructor at Hood College, teaching broadcast reporting and writing.

Along the way, Ms. Sampson was singled out for recognition by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Award for her work on a feature story for WGRZ-TV and was nominated by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association for its rising star award in 2011. As part of the WGRZ-TV team in Buffalo, she earned a national Edward R. Murrow Award for overall excellence.

Al Spoler, Contributing Editor

al.jpg Al has spent nearly 40 years in public broadcasting, working extensively in television and radio. A former producer/director at MPT, he also has been the co-host of WYPR-FM’s “Cellar Notes” and “Radio Kitchen” programs. By virtue of these programs, he developed a keen interest in locally produced food and wine. In 2010 he examined the “eat local” movement in The Maryland Harvest, a documentary about Free State farmers and the support they receive from topflight restaurants. A frequent visitor to Baltimore’s farmers markets, Mr. Spoler has built up close relationships with farmers all over the state. In addition to The Maryland Harvest, he produced and hosted Chesapeake Wine Country and Brewed on the Bay for MPT. He also has produced numerous stories for MPT’s flagship program Outdoors Maryland. An avid supporter of Maryland wines, he is the director of the Maryland Governor’s Cup Wine Competition.

Stefanie Robey, Segment Producer

stefanie.jpg Stefanie first developed a love for nonfiction content as a longtime volunteer with the then-named Silverdocs documentary festival (now AFI DOCS) in her hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. She began to pursue documentary storytelling professionally while a student at the University of Chicago, working as a videographer/editor with the Chicago Multimedia Initiatives Group; as post-production assistant with AnswersMedia; and as intern with CNN’s long-form documentary unit. She has also worked on a number of feature-length documentary projects, including Count Me In, a film about participatory budgeting initiatives in Chicago, and Freedom House, the story of the origins of emergency medicine in Pittsburgh. In 2012, she was awarded the university’s Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant and spent three months in India filming three 20-something Americans in their efforts to launch a burrito chain in Bangalore. After graduating in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, she freelanced in video production in the Washington, D.C. area before joining the team at Maryland Farm & Harvest.

Harpreet Kaur, Segment Producer

harpreet.jpg Harpreet Kaur, an award-winning filmmaker, storyteller and founder of Sach Productions, brings a wealth of experience to Maryland Farm & Harvest.

Over the last decade, Harpreet has captured audiences with her ability to effectively, creatively and honestly tell stories that convey a strong sense of the people and places she covers. Her award-winning feature documentary, The Widow Colony - India's Unsettled Settlement, has been screened by members of the United States Congress and members of Parliament in Canada and the United Kingdom, and has been endorsed by various human rights, civil rights and social welfare organizations around the world. Her most recent film, A Little Revolution-- A Story of Suicides and Dreams has seen similar success.

Harpreet is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She started her career as a news reporter in the DC metropolitan area.

Nick Caloyianis, Videographer

nick.jpg Nick graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland and in 1974 he was awarded his first post-graduate grant to study and film “sleeping” shark behavior off Isla Mujeres, Mexico, with Eugenie Clark, Ph.D.. During his post-graduate research there, he befriended a renowned filmmaker, Ramon Bravo, who taught him the finer aspects of filming marine life and wild pelagic sharks for documentaries and Hollywood. These initial experiences would later inspire Nick in his career as an extraordinary underwater and topside filmmaker.

Over a span of 30 years, Nick's artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar, Primetime Emmys and a NOGI in the Arts. He has directed and produced films for National Geographic and Discovery Channels, has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens and still continues to collaborate with marine scientists not only to record their work, but to help them make their groundbreaking discoveries. He was the first to film the bizzare Greenland shark in Arctic waters. At the time (1995), not much was known about this polar creature.

Also an accomplished underwater photographer, Nick’s still pictures have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications and is co-author of a highly popular summer read, “The Shark Handbook”, by Greg Skomal, Ph.D.

An avid conservationist, Nick has used his visuals to help in lobbying for the protection of sharks, the creation of undersea parks (e.g. Ras Mohammed Park in the Red Sea), as well as sanctuaries (for nurse shark mating areas in the Dry Tortugas). Additionally, Nick’s company has been instrumental in raising awareness and much needed funding (for the highly successful Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative) to help restore marine habitats in denuded areas through placement of low-lying cleaned structures in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean waters. More recently, his visuals have helped raise awareness for much needed Federal protection of vital natural reefs, located in our mid-Atlantic waters offshore.

Nick has had a keen interest in the interconnectivities found in the underwater natural world and now has turned his attention to those found in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Tanya Spann Roche, Editor

tanya.jpg Tanya is an award-winning non-linear editor, writer and producer with more than 20 years’ experience in film and video production. After working in post-production at Nickelodeon Studios in Florida and running the U.S. Department of Justice Multimedia Section, she is now co-owner of Think Speak Act, LLC, a “green” video production company. In 2004, Ms. Roche produced and edited the award-winning documentary Your Right To Lose, and she regularly edits for PBS shows, including the Emmy®-nominated My Generation, as well as for Life Reimagined with Jane Pauley on the Today Show. She holds a bachelor’s degree in film theory from the University of Florida and earned an MFA degree in film and video production from Florida State University. Her work has been honored with Telly and CINE awards, as well as Communicator awards and TIVA-DC Peer awards (the premier film, video and media competition for the DCarea production community). Ms. Roche has served as adjunct faculty at both American University and the George Washington University Documentary Center, and she also teaches in her own editing workshops.

Abby Sussman, Assistant Producer

abby.jpg Abby first worked on Maryland Farm & Harvest in 2013 as an intern, before returning in 2015 as an assistant producer. In the meantime, she graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in creative writing and a film and media studies minor, produced a short film, and worked at the Independent Filmmaker Project as an Independent Film Week coordinator.

In her free time, Abby enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time outdoors. She has visited 45 of the 50 United States.