Largest Journalism Association of Hispanics Looks to Further Success

“I am thrilled to serve as president of the National Association of
Hispanic Journalists.  I look forward to helping our members succeed in
newsrooms across the country.” –Brandon Benavides

WASHINGTON DC – On Aug. 6 at the 2016 NAHJ Journalism Awards Gala, newly elected NAHJ President Brandon Benavides communicated a strong and progressive message during the historic joint convention with the National Association of Black Journalists.

In his speech, the newly elected President also formally announced a second invitation for the Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump to address the association.  The Trump campaign had initially declined due to ‘scheduling conflicts.’

Benavides, an Emmy award-winning journalist has often been celebrated for his leadership and success as the past president of the NAHJ Washington, D.C. Chapter; achieving increased membership; producing a career fair & events in addition to partnerships among newsrooms.

Currently the executive producer of Good Morning San Antonio, Benavides was elected with 94 percent of the membership’s vote. Benavides succeeded outgoing President Mekahlo Medina and will lead the organization for the next two years.

Kenny Molestina, the 2016 elections chair announced to Gala attendees the election results for the new incoming NAHJ Board of Directors.

The winners of the executive national board seats are:

VP Broadcast: Rolando Arrieta, production & operations manager NPR News, 116 votes – 75 percent of the vote

VP Online: Joe Ruiz, NPR weekend editor previously served as region three director, 151 votes – 97 percent of the vote

Financial Officer: Michelle Rindels, Nevada-based politics reporter for The Associated Press, 89 votes – 57 percent of the vote

Secretary: Nancy Flores, Austin American-Statesman features writer, 152 votes – 98 percent of the vote

At large officer: Nathan Olivarez-Giles, assistant news editor, The Wall Street Journal, 149 votes – 96 percent of the vote

Spanish at-large officer: Miguel Rosa, general manager at WIPM Canal 3, 151 votes – 97 percent of the vote

Academic officer: Laura Castañeda, professor of professional practice, 89 votes – 57 percent of the vote

Region 1
Rafael Mejia, Veteran Broadcast producer for Spanish language television stations over last six years, 123 votes – 98 percent of the vote

Region 2
Geraldine Cols Azócar (appointed), producer at NBC News

Region 3
Erik Reyna, full stack developer at The Washington Post, 120 votes – 98 percent of the vote

Region 6
Blanca Rios, ABC 7 Chicago assignment desk editor and NAHJ Chicago Chapter president, 129 votes – 99 percent of the vote

Region 8
Brian De Los Santos, digital editor at the Los Angeles Times, 134 votes – 99 percent of the vote

Student Representative
Sebastian Vega, NBC Nightly News Fellow, broadcast and digital journalism major at USC Annenberg, 17 votes – 100 percent of the vote

The board will appoint other NAHJ members to fill the remaining vacant seats.


About NAHJ:  The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is the largest organization of Latino journalists in the United States and dedicated to the recognition and professional advancement of Hispanics in the news industry. The mission of NAHJ is to increase the number of Latinos in the newsrooms and to work toward fair and accurate representation of Latinos in news media.  Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.  NAHJ has approximately 2,000 members, including working journalists, journalism students, other media-related professionals and journalism educators. For more information please visit or follow on Twitter @NAHJ