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  1. Office of Communications and Education

FDA Digital Media Studios Team

Picture of Chad HeupelChad Heupel

Staff Director, FDA Digital Media Studios

With over three decades of broadcasting experience, FDA Digital Communications Media Staff Director Chad Heupel's career began at a radio station in North Dakota. While pursuing a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Broadcast Production at the North Dakota State University, Chad also served as the Broadcast Officer for the ND Army National Guard's Public Affairs detachment. After Graduation, he relocated to the Washington DC area, working in FEMA's Career Management Intern program.

Upon completion of FEMA's intern program, Chad was named Studio Manager at FEMA's National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD.  He served as the primary videographer/editor for programs produced on campus, as well as filling the role for engineering / operations of the facility.  Over the course of 14 years at NETC, he managed the analog renovation, the digital upgrade, and the installation of a satellite uplink system. 

In 2004, Chad transferred to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he managed the renovation of the HHS Secretary's Studio in Washington, D.C.;  responsible for the planning, acquisition and installation of all equipment within the TV studio, while maintaining the operational readiness to perform Satellite Media Tours with the Secretary of HHS.

Chad was named Director of the Division of Communication Media for the FDA in 2008, and currently manages the television operations at the FDA studio.

Producers / Production Management

Picture of Barbara RichardsBarbara Richards

Producer / Writer / Director

Barbara Richards is an award-winning producer/director/writer with 38 years of service in the federal government. While working at the US Information Agency from 1977-1989, she produced short features on artists like photographer Ansel Adams, political cartoonist Pat Oliphant, opera star Roberta Peters and Felix de Weldon, who sculpted the Iwo Jima Memorial. She also directed multi-camera live performing arts programs, produced a monthly video series called ARTS AMERICA, and traveled to Guam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan directing a documentary on US forces in the Pacific Rim.

She now produces and directs a wide variety of training and educational programs – both in-studio and on-location – on subjects ranging from Medical Management of Biological Warfare Agents to Inspection of Feed Mills and Rendering Plants to using Genome sequencing to trace to the source of foodborne outbreaks.


  • Telly Awards - Fourteen
  • CINE Awards - Four
  • Peer Awards - Four
  • Communicator Awards - Four
  • CINDY Awards - Two
  • Mercury Awards - Two
  • AEGIS Awards - One
  • New York Festivals - One
  • International Film and Video - One
  • US Distance Learning Award - One

And many miscellaneous special recognition awards and citations from FDA and the military.

Picture of Mike SobolaMike Sobola

Producer / Writer / Director

Boasting over three decades of industry experience, Emmy Award winning Writer/Producer/Director Michael Sobola strives to transform the mundane into the interesting and fun. His work has been seen on NBC TODAY Show, HBO, Discovery, TLC, HGTV, USA Networks, Maryland Public Television, Japan's NHK Network and The Travel Channel, Michael brings that creativity and experience to every project he does for the FDA.

Since coming to the FDA in 2005, Michael has produced ward winning videos and public service announcements that have aired on all major market television stations and networks across the USA, including one PSA for women's health that received over $4 million worth of free airplay.

Picture of Michael HydeMichael Hyde


Michael Hyde has worked as a producer with FDA's Digital Communication Media staff since 2009. He has worked on live and taped productions, public service announcements, training videos, and webinars for FDA clients. Outside FDA, Michael has produced and edited several short films and documentaries that have played in film festivals throughout the U.S. Michael has won multiple TIVA-DC Peer Awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, and was a nominee for an Eddie Award in student editing by the American Cinema Editors honor society. Prior to working in film and video, Michael practiced law in Washington, D.C. for 12 years. Michael has an M.A. in Film and Video Production from American University, a J.D. from The George Washington University.

Picture of Jeannie VinsonJeannie Vinson

Production Manager

As Production Manager, Jeannie Vinson's role involves coordinating the division's resources and administrative functions, including personnel scheduling and production resource coordination among productions. She administers all financial transfers for the studio productions, as well as coordinating production days with producers and clients. Jeannie is also involved as the teleprompter operator for most DCM productions.

DCM: Ellis

Chris Ellis


Chris graduated from Stevenson University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Film. While in school he interned at Maryland Public Television in Owings Mills, Maryland where he served as a production assistant for the production of MOTORWEEK. He came to DCM in the summer of 2009 as an intern as an editor and production technician, and became a full-time employee in Mya of 2010.

Chris currently serves as an on-line video editor, and production technician for studio and field productions. In the studio, his duties encompassed a wide range of skills from operating the teleprompter to managing PowerPoint presentations so that they are production-ready. In the field, he sets up and operates robotic cameras, and webcasting systems.

Picture of Mark NobleMark Noble


Mark Noble's career in television began in 2008 while I was attending Frederick Community College, in Frederick, MD. He was co-instructor for two television courses aiding students in the proper use of studio equipment, field production equipment, and post- production software. Mark came to the FDA in 2009 as an intern while completing his degree at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mark works primarily in post-production, as an Avid editor and graphics artist. He is also is involved is a great deal of field production work, operating cameras and graphics and assisting with production support.

Production & Technical Staff

Picture of Stan RoseStan Rose

Director of Photography

Stan Rose is an award-winning cameraman with more than 30 years of experience shooting news, documentaries, entertainment, government, corporate, and educational videos globally. He came to the FDA in 1990, and has been the primary man behind the camera ever since, specializing in field video and film-style productions. Stan is well versed in a wide variety of cameras and formats for High-Definition and 4K videography.

Picture of Dave BaileyDave Bailey

Senior Technical Advisor

Dave has been with the DCM studio for over 23 years, beginning as an intern from a local college to being the senior technical expert in charge of our production network, and webcasting operations.

During his tenure here at DCM, Dave has been an integral part of the production process in one form or another, with a primary focus on the technical aspects such as being the audio engineer for live studio and field productions, teleprompter operator, engineer, editor and graphics artist.

In addition, Dave's network and computer expertise has been involved in improving the methods of disseminating or production products to the clients and their target audiences. Dave serves as a digital media compressionist, a DVD design author, webpage designer, digital media captioner as well as providing provided computer support and a systems/network administration for the DCM studio network and production systems.

The current primary dissemination method for productions involves the internet, as so much of Dave's time is spent managing most of the division's web streaming/projects and managing the archiving of the all the digital assets that are involved in creating those products.

Picture of Steve SchaferSteve Schafer

Systems Administrator

Steve joined FDA in the fall of 2009, after working as a video installation and production technician at the US Dept. of Health and Human Services in Washington DC. Since coming to FDA, he serves as Avid Systems Administrator and as Network Assist Administrator. While working in a production capacity, his primary roles are as EIC, video shader, audio engineer, CG, video compression and web-streaming.

Picture of Chris MaylettChris Maylett


As a 2nd generation broadcast engineer, Chris grew up in the television industry working as a grip on television broadcasts to being a cameraman for news live shots. I have learned that each job I have worked was to help hone my engineering skills. I have now been doing full time engineering for over 15 years for many different government agencies and public sector companies.

Chris has been with the FDA since 2012, providing engineering/maintaining/upgrading the DCM production facility. He also is involved in field productions often running audio or camera, and engineering technical support.

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