Craig Sechler Craig Sechler   Narrator, starting Season 7

Craig Sechler has done hundreds of documentary narrations for PBS, Discovery, and National Geographic, among others. He’s voiced programs about dinosaurs, exotic wildlife, alien solar systems, deserts and oceans, ancient civilizations, earthquakes and volcanoes, the human body, and rock stars. His on-camera work includes roles on HBO’s “The Wire” and “VEEP.” He was thrilled to be asked to collaborate with the very talented team who produce “Changing Seas,” and he wishes this important series many more years of educational and entertainment success!

Peter Thomas Peter Thomas   Narrator, Seasons 1-6

Peter Thomas is a well-known American narrator of television programs, including shows such as NOVA and more recently Forensic Files. Thomas is known for his crystal clear voice and precise diction. He has been a narrator for over fifty years. Thomas has received many awards for his work, but cites, as one of his best, the Oscar won by a documentary he narrated, One Survivor Remembers. The film, produced by HBO, chronicles the personal experience of Gerda Weissman Klein, who was interned at the Nordhausen Concentration Camp when she was a teenager. Thomas also participated in an HBO film on the battle for the Hürtgen Forest, in which he fought with the 1st Infantry Division (United States). He works out of his home in Naples, Florida and at recording studios all across the world. Prior to pursuing narration full-time, he was a New York anchor for CBS News. Peter Thomas has performed voice-overs for hundreds of television commercials, including spots for Coca-Cola, IBM, NBC, United Technologies, Burger King, and ESPN Monday Night Football.

 Alexa Elliott Alexa Elliott   Series Producer

Despite the fact that she is prone to seasickness, Alexa Elliott loves to scuba-dive and spend time on the water. So when she was asked to develop a new science series for WPBT2, she jumped on the opportunity to cover some of the exciting ocean research that is conducted in Florida and the Caribbean. Alexa has worked in public broadcasting since 1996, both in public radio news as well as in television production. She has produced television programs of various genres, but nature, science and environmental programming have always been her favorite. Alexa has received numerous awards for her work, including the prestigious Communication Award presented by the National Academy of Sciences, regional Emmy Awards, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an award from the Society of Environmental Journalists. She has two degrees in Broadcast Journalism – a BA from Morehead State University and a MA from the University of Florida.

 Sean Hickey Sean Hickey   Editor/Videographer

Emmy award-winning editor Sean Hickey traded in his snow skis for scuba fins when he moved to Miami from New Hampshire in 1990. After graduating from Barry University with a Batchelor’s degree in Sports Management, Hickey honed his skills as an underwater videographer and editor while working aboard a South Florida charter boat as a scuba instructor. Hickey started working at WPBT2 in 1997, working as a videographer and editor on many acclaimed productions. His diving experience make him a great asset to the Changing Seas series, for which he is the lead videographer and editor. Hickey and his wife Debbie enjoy spending time with their three dogs, two cats, a bird and a fish.

 Jeremy Nicholson Jeremy Nicholson   Editor/Videographer

Jeremy Nicholson came to WPBT2 in 2001, after he graduated from Liberty University with a BA degree in Television Production. Nicholson, an outdoorsman and lover of wildlife, began his television career as a studio camera operator. He quickly moved into the field as a videographer where his adventurous nature and keen eye captures the life underwater and the wildlife above, chasing that once in a lifetime shot.

 Allan Farrell Allan Farrell   Videographer

After a family trip to Mexico at age eight, Allan Farrell’s parents were surprised at the caliber of pictures he had taken when given the opportunity to get his hands on a real camera. He started at WPBT2 in 1979 as a production assistant and quickly progressed to associate producer. He then switched to cinematographer when a position opened and shot and edited with standard film for a brief period before the station converted over to video. Over the years, Allan has worked on numerous special projects; including the documentary series Common Ground, nationally broadcast Décor, Lady of the Glades and other award winning documentaries. Work with Comtel, WPBT2’s commercial arm, has included shooting for ESPN, Ford, promotional footage for Burt Reynolds and more. He has done aerial work from hot air balloons, helicopters, even a B-17 bomber. A certified scuba diver since age 16, Allan has worked on many underwater shoots, including shooting inside the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory, NOAA’s Aquarius. As an adjunct instructor at Palm Beach Community College, he has been teaching Editing and Post Production for the past ten years. Allan has won multiple Emmy Awards, a Telly Award, as well as First Place in The Florida Bar, 28th Annual Media Awards.

 Yoandy Vidal Yoandy Vidal   Videographer, starting Season 7

Yoandy Vidal came to WPBT2 in 2013 to work as a Production Assistant for art loft, a weekly series that showcases South Florida and national artists. He quickly became a key member of the team, transitioning to the role of lead Videographer/Editor for the show, winning a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award in the process. In addition to working on art loft, Yoandy also worked as a Videographer/Editor for programs such as Issues Reports and Check Please! South Florida and he was the Editor for the nationally-distributed pledge special Piano under the Stars, featuring Enrique Chia. He started shooting for Changing Seas in the spring of 2015.

 Norman Silva Norman Silva   Animation Design, starting Season 4

Mr. Silva received his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University, majoring in computer animation. Norman has been in the computer graphics industry for over ten years. He has shared his knowledge of graphics, drawing, painting, and sculpting for over ten years as an art educator and through his Color with Leo kid’s website. His sculptures and paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Baltimore and South Florida. His short animated films have won awards and screened in international film festivals.

 Kristin Paterakis Kristin Paterakis   Production Assistant, Season 9, Associate Producer, “Toxic Algae: Complex Sources and Solutions” & “Majestic Mantas”

Kristin’s passion for the ocean commenced at a young age growing up frequenting the National Aquarium, Ocean City and the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. She overcame her fear of scuba diving as a student at the Island School in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas, later inspiring her to become a scuba instructor to help others who have similar anxieties be able to conquer their own fears (above and below the surface). Kristin is a graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and recently completed her Masters in Anthropology at the University of Colorado Denver. She has spent the last two years conducting research in Baja California Sur, Mexico, exploring the use of visual ethnography to study the complexity of shark fishing. She hopes that her interdisciplinary background in environmental science and cultural anthropology will add a unique perspective to the Changing Seas Production Team.

 Veronique Koch Veronique Koch   Producer, "Sea Turtles: The Lost Years”, “Manatees: Conserving a Marine Mammal” & “Toxic Algae: Complex Sources and Solutions”
Associate Producer, Seasons 1-3 & 7

Veronique is a marine biologist turned television producer who started with Changing Seas as an intern during Season 1. She grew up in Canada and Luxembourg but left home to study marine biology first at the University of Stirling, Scotland for her BSc, and then at the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science for MSc. Her interest in marine science started with her love of scuba diving, having worked as a divemaster for both PADI and NOAA. She loves using her scientific background to produce television shows because she is passionate about science communication, feeling it is critical to share scientific findings with the public. She lives in El Portal, Florida with her husband, two boys, greyhound and cats.   
 Oscar Lopez Oscar Lopez   Graphic Designer

Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Oscar J. Lopez came to the United States in 1971. He began his PBS career in 1995 when he joined WPBT2 as a designer in the Print Graphics Department. He won multiple awards for his print design work including the PBS Advertising and Promotion award, The PBS Communications award and the BDA International award. In 2001, he broadened his resume by branching into the field of production. He produced multiple stories for the weekly series New Florida as well as 3 nationally-distributed PBS documentaries dealing with Cuban culture and heritage. In the process he garnered three Tellys, a Communicator and three Emmy Awards for his efforts. Since 2009 Oscar has been once again exploring new territory, this time in the field of web design. He redesigned the WPBT2 webpage and is currently working on multiple other websites for new WPBT2 productions.

 Fiona Scott Fiona Scott   Graphic Designer

As Art Director, Fiona has been responsible for all the print projects for WPBT2 for many years. With an advertising background she previously worked at J. Walter Thompson before becoming a Graphic Designer for Public Television. She remembers her first snorkeling trip in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka and has loved the ocean ever since. Educated in chilly England, at Loughborough College of Art & Design, it was the warm sunshine that made her make Florida her home and she enjoys visiting the Keys often.
 Jackie Lo Jacqueline Lo   Manager, Interactive Media, starting Season 5

Jacqueline is a South Florida native and began her career at WPBT in 2006 as a Freelance Web Content Writer for Wild Florida. Throughout the years, Jacqueline has worked on several innovative web projects including uVu video, Kidvision VPK and more. In 2013, she was promoted to Interactive Media Manager and currently oversees the creation and maintenance of the stations websites, social media campaigns and other digital media assets.
 Frances Hernandez Frances Hernandez   Senior Manager, Production Administration and Grants

Frances has been with WPBT2 since 1995 and started as an Administrative Assistant to the Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, who upon seeing her skills at coordination and organization, promoted her to Program Administration Coordinator. In 2006, Frances was promoted to Manager, Production Administration, where she currently works to maintain and update all agreements and contractual records of local and national contracts. In addition, she initiates trade deals and develops community relations with corporate and local foundations to raise revenue dollars for production of local and national programming, coordinates duplication and distribution of the station’s home videos, clears music and archival rights, and all efforts associated with the production of local and national programming. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Frances received her Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
 Joyce Belloise Joyce Belloise   Vice President of Content and Community Partnerships

Joyce Belloise is a South Florida native, born and raised in Miami, and a graduate of Barry University. In her nearly twenty years at WPBT2, Joyce’s diverse production credits include local magazine and public affairs programs, as well as national PBS specials and series. For ten years, Joyce wrote and produced feature segments for the Emmy-award winning magazine series, New Florida. She also produced several half-hour episodes of the nature series Wild Florida and then hit the road to create ten episodes of Florida Roadtrip, a travel adventure program featuring the attractions, beauty, and cuisine of the Sunshine State.  For the past five years, Joyce has produced the popular restaurant review show, Check, Please! South Florida, as well as other documentaries, including Imagining a New Florida and Buen Provecho! Florida’s Spanish Flavor.  Her work has garnered numerous awards including several National Communicator Awards and Telly Awards, as well as a dozen Emmy Awards.

Past Changing Seas Team Members
 Mark Baker Mark Baker   Mark Baker, Producer, “Seagrasses and Mangroves”, “Reef Revival”, Manatees: Conserving a Marine Mammal” & “Toxic Algae: Complex Sources and Solutions"

In 1979, Mark Baker was hired by WPBT2 in Miami as a studio cameraman for the production of two groundbreaking programs, ¿Que Pasa, U.S.A.?, television’s first bilingual sit-com, and Nightly Business Report, the nation’s first business news program. Since then, Baker has produced many scientific, cultural and historical productions for public television documenting Florida’s people, places and achievements. “It’s a privilege for me to meet and get to know so many interesting people,” he says, “and then share their stories with our viewers.” As a Producer/Writer for the Changing Seas series he is committed to telling stories about the vital connections between human beings and the oceans.  

 Monique Arenas Monique Arenas   Associate Producer, Season 8 & Production Assistant, Season 7

Monique started at WPBT2 in December of 2012 as a pledge drive volunteer. With a love for the ocean and a passion for creativity, she quickly discovered Changing Seas and was hired as a freelance Production Assistant in December 2014. Monique attended Florida International University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and an area of concentration in Photography. She is a certified scuba diver who loves all kinds of outdoor adventure. From the sea to the mountains, she enjoys being out in nature and having the opportunity to produce stories that both educate and entertain.

 Julie Hollenbeck Julie Hollenbeck   Producer, "Sea Turtles: The Lost Years," Associate Producer, Seasons 5-7

Growing up in a small farming community in rural Oregon, Julie looked forward to her family’s weekend visits to the coast. Watching the sea lions play, rambling in the tide pools, and digging for clams fostered an enduring fascination for the ocean. Wanting to see what also lay beneath the waves, Julie learned to SCUBA dive, becoming a Master Diver in the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite experience underwater is watching thousands of squid spawn in a cove just off the shores of West Seattle. In between, Julie pursued a fun and challenging career as a TV news journalist/producer, learning to write, shoot, and produce news stories for two NBC affiliates in Northern Nevada. A few years later she received a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs and Policy in Miami, where she moved to be with her husband. During that time, she was able to create a few marine-related short documentaries and videos. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Exeter in “Environment and Human Health,” using film and narrative methods. Working with Changing Seas, and the immensely talented crew is the culmination of her two passions, the ocean and television. She is still pinching herself.

 Kandra Velez Kandra Velez   Producer, “Prescription Oceans,” “Mysterious Microbes,” & “Sunken Stories” Associate Producer, Seasons 1-5

In 2007, Kandra Velez began her career in broadcasting as a fresh-faced college intern at WPBT2 in Miami, Florida.  Three months later, she was hired as a freelance production assistant for the award-winning television series  Wild Florida (Seasons 2 & 3). The opportunity to work on Wild Florida combined two of her passions: television and the great outdoors.  In 2008, Kandra took on a new role as Associate Producer for WPBT2’s newest original series, Changing Seas.  Having worked on the series since its inception, Kandra now serves as one of the program’s main Producers.  Her work on Changing Seas has been recognized with regional Emmys and the Communication Award presented by the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition to her role on various nature shows, Kandra has worked on other programs such as Check, Please! South FloridaIssues, and KidVision.  Kandra has a BA degree in Mass Communications from Florida International University.  

 Ray Ratliff Ray Ratliff   Graphic Designer, Seasons 1-3

Ray Ratliff joined WPBT2 in 2003 after graduating from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale with a degree in Television Production. As a graphic designer Ratliff is responsible for the 2D and 3D content for many of our award-winning programs and documentaries such as Wild FloridaCheck Please! South FloridaMi Colombia, and New Florida. The new look and feel of WPBT2 and the Nightly Business Report is the direct result of Ratliff’s hard work and creativity while working with a team of graphic designers to develop the new logos, color, graphics and overall look. Ratliff enjoys traveling; trying new and exotic – and some not so exotic cuisines, exploring new cultures and customs searching for new ideas to bring back and use in his projects here at WPBT2. Ratliff also enjoys gardening and is an avid grower of rare and unusual plants such as orchids, bamboos, aquatic and carnivorous plants and palms to name a few.  
 Hugh Moore Hugh Moore   Manager, Interactive Media, Seasons 1-5

Hugh has worked in the Web Development industry since 1995 and has produced over 600 Web-based projects. An expert in Web design, marketing, and technology, Hugh joined WPBT2 in September 2008. Hugh leads the Interactive Media department which manages the station’s websites, email communications, online marketing and online fundraising initiatives.
 Susan Grundner Susan Grundner   Web Developer Assistant, Seasons 2-6

Susan began her 21 year broadcasting career in radio in 1987 as an on-air personality and commercial producer at WSGY in Tifton, GA. In 1988, she worked at WTIF, a country station as an on-air personality. In 1994, she joined WPBT2 in Miami, Florida as a Facilities Operations’ Assistant, handling satellite and fiber optic transmissions for the likes of MTV and Bloomberg, while maintaining the station’s tape library. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a Production Assistant, where she wrote and co-produced programs such as Issues & The Media and New Florida. She also won a Telly and Communicator Award of Excellence for The Music Man, the story of the birth of the recording industry in South Florida. She also won a Telly Award as Co-Producer for A Walk on the Wild Side, a documentary about the restoration of the Everglades. Susan is a Florida native who has always been fascinated by the ocean.
 Carly Jones Carly Jones   Production Intern, June 2015

As a senior at the University of Alabama, Carly plans to pursue a career in underwater videography, so she was thrilled to be offered an internship opportunity with Changing Seas. With majors in Marine Science, Biology, and Film, there is always something new and exciting to learn from the talented crew at Changing Seas and WPBT2. Carly is extremely thankful for this experience and the networking connections she is making.

 Tracy Mendez Tracy Mendez   Production Intern, Fall 2014

Tracy Mendez is a self-proclaimed environmental enthusiast. She is currently a senior at Florida International University majoring in Sustainability and the Environment with a minor in Global Media Communications. She is a Miami native and has always had a natural love for coastal environments. After a trip to Patagonia, Argentina, she realized she wanted to dedicate her career to the conservation of the environment. She joined the Changing Seas crew in fall of 2014 seeking to learn more about the television aspect of science-based shows. During her internship she learned about script writing, interviewing, transcribing, and shooting, along with a wide array of marine science topics. She is currently working as a park naturalist teaching environmental education programs to students in grades K-8, which has become a true passion of hers. Due to graduate in fall 2015, she hopes to get involved in environment nonprofits doing outreach work either locally or wherever paths of protecting the planet take her!

 Adam Rosenblatt Adam Rosenblatt   Production Assistant, “Coastal Carnivores”

Though he grew up in Philadelphia, a city not known for its abundant wilderness, Adam was always passionate about wild animals and satisfied his cravings by watching exciting nature shows on PBS. After graduating from Oberlin College in 2006 with a double-degree in biology and history, he moved to Miami to join Dr. Mike Heithaus’ lab at Florida International University where he has been studying the ecology and behavior of American Alligators in the Everglades as part of his Ph.D. research since 2007. When WPBT2 approached the Heithaus lab about doing an episode of Changing Seas on Everglades top predators, Adam jumped at the chance to work with the station and help make a nature show like the ones he had watched growing up.

 Daniela Bueso Daniela Bueso   Production Intern, Season 5

As a senior in College majoring in Environmental Studies, I discovered a passion for nature and helping others. Working for the School of Environment, Arts & Society at FIU opened many doors for me and has taught me that volunteering and getting involved is essential. In 2012 and 2013 I had the honor to be an intern for Changing Seas at WPBT2. Helping the crew has taught me so much about our beautiful oceans and how we should protect and value them. This internship has been a great opportunity for me to learn a new and different way of communicating the importance of a healthy environment to others. My job at FIU and my internship with Changing Seas have given me a new direction in my career, which is protecting nature and educating others about its importance.  In the fall of 2013, Daniela will be joining the Peace Corps to put her skills to good use in Paraguay.

 Max Duke Max Duke   Vice President of Content and Community Partnerships, Season 6

Max Duke is responsible for developing a comprehensive content strategy across all platforms, with focus on television broadcast, digital initiatives and content partnerships, and positioning WPBT2 as an innovative media company and top community partner for the arts, culture and education.

 Neal Hecker Neal Hecker   Chief Content Officer, Season 5-6

Neal Hecker began working with WPBT2 in Miami, Florida, as Program Manager in 1998. Within a year he was promoted to Director of Programming and in charge of acquiring and scheduling all of WPBT’s programming. Neal became the station’s Chief Content Officer in 2012, handling all content for WPBT2 and its multicast channels, new media, and uVu, the community video website he created in 2007. He served on the board of the Public Television Programmers Association (PTPA) and was a programming representative to PBS’s Development Advisory Committee (DAC). He is currently on the American Public Television’s (APT) Premium Service Advisory Board and has been a member of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) board since 2009. Neal has written and produced multiple award-winning programs and series for WPBT2.

 Jack Kelly Jack Kelly   Vice President of Production, Seasons 1-4

In April 2006, Jack Kelly was recruited to join the staff of WPBT2 as Vice President of Production, where he is responsible for the development of all local programming content for the station. A 30-year veteran of broadcasting, Kelly started his career in San Francisco, where he worked as a producer for Bridge Productions and as a freelance producer/writer for KRON-TV. Kelly was recruited by KNPB in Reno, NV in 1999 to become the Vice President of Production. His production staff provided public affairs, arts, and historical content. He created the nationally distributed series, Wild Nevada and House with a History. In 2001, with a grant from the Ford Foundation, Kelly helped to establish Focus West, a western public affairs initiative created by three inter-mountain PBS stations. Kelly also led the station’s efforts to develop enhanced new media opportunities based on local content. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Niagara University in New York and a Masters in Art in Theatre (Directing) from the University of Washington in Seattle. His professional work has been recognized by numerous awards including Emmy Awards, Telly Awards, Gabriel Awards and Worldfest Awards.