The Team

Meet the team

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John Shields

Founder & CEO

Chef John Shields––otherwise known as the Culinary Ambassador of the Chesapeake Bay––has been cooking nearly his whole life. He began his career cooking with his grandmother Gertie Cleary at a young age and never looked back. Little did he know back then that he would become an accomplished celebrity chef owning many restaurants throughout his career, writing four popular cookbooks, starring in two national public television series, and so much more.

In addition to running his award winning restaurant, Gertrude's Chesapeake Kitchen at the Baltimore Museum of Art, John is continuing his multifaceted career with Our Common Table. Our Common Table is John's call to action to rebuild our local food economy by promoting healthy, local, bay and body friendly food that brings us all to a common table.

To learn more about Chef John Shields' career, see his personal website here.

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Josianne Pennington

executive director

Full-time executive director, part-time bottle washer and stagehand, Josianne is an executive director of all things Our Common Table. Josianne is a long time friend of John’s and the two have produced many scathingly brilliant ideas together over the years, including now this project! Previously a senior marketing executive entrepreneur, and published author herself, Josianne brings many crucial skills and lots of knowledge to Our Common Table.

Josianne Pennington Headshot
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Kate Sprague

Digital media manager & photographer

Part-time web wizard, part-time photographer, part-time social media master, and part-time graduate school student, Kate is our all-in-one digital guru. Kate is our in-house go-to photo, video, or web-related person and on the side is currently pursuing a M.A. in Communication from Johns Hopkins University.