Vote Today: Chapter Elections

voteOnce again, its time to vote for your NAHJ-DC chapter board (2013-2014). This year’s candidates are all familiar faces, so we hope  you will support them by voting. The ballot becomes available on  August 26 and will be open until September 6.

To vote, please send your ballot in the following format to

At-large officer:

I [YOUR NAME] , employee of [YOUR EMPLOYER] submit my ballot for the  2013-2014 election of the NAHJ DC Chapter Board of Directors. This  statement counts as my virtual signature and I have included my full contact information below.
[Name, contact information]


Below are the bios and election statements for the 2013-2014 board candidates

nahj000Brandon Benavides: Candidate for President

Why I am running?

This is my last election as President. I have enjoyed leading the D.C. Chapter over the past three years. I would like to serve one more year. My predecessor, Diana Marrero, led the chapter for four years and I would like to do the same.

If reelected for the fourth time, I will continue to plan monthly activities that allow our members the opportunity to access news  managers, lawmakers, and potential news sources. Every meeting, mixer,  and workshop is our chance to network with top journalists.

I am proud our chapter established the Charlie Ericksen Journalism Fund and I am thrilled we are expanding the internship supplement beginning next year. I am also excited our chapter will continue to provide convention assistance to members in need.

Brandon is a content producer at NBC 4/WRC-TV, the No. 1 station in Washington, D.C. The Emmy-Award-winning producer joined News4 in March 2010. He returned to the nation’s capital where he completed his  Master of Arts in Journalism and Public Affairs at American University. Brandon worked at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and KETK-TV in Tyler, TX.

Brandon was reelected to a third, one-year term as Chapter President for NAHJ DC in 2012. He joined NAHJ as a student member in 2004. He co-chaired the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus for more than two years. He was elected the Region 6 Representative on the national board of directors. Brandon was elected General-At-Large Officer at the UNITY convention in 2008. He completed his two-year term on the national board in July 2010.

jackieJackie Diaz: Candidate for Vice President

Why am I running?

It has been a pleasure serving the NAHJ DC Chapter members this past year and want to continue doing so in 2014. The organization has helped my along my career and this is my way of giving back.


Jackie Diaz is a multimedia journalist fluent in both English and Spanish. She currently works at WUSA-TV/ CBS-9 as a web producer. Prior to moving to D.C., she worked as a reporter for KGBT-TV in Harlingen, Texas and as a bilingual video journalist at KAZR-TV in Reno, Nevada.

ruizRosalba Ruiz: Candidate for Treasurer-Secretary

Why am I running?

I’m proud to be part of the NAHJ DC chapter board. We strive to provide many networking and professional development opportunities for our members, and I want to continue working toward that objective.


Rosalba Ruíz is a bilingual multimedia journalist with over 10 years of experience in the media industry. Some of her favorite assignments: writing about the immigration reform movement of 2006 for Excélsior del Condado de Orange; producing a multimedia project on the popularity of banda and norteño music in Orange County for The OC

Register; and following the 2012 presidential election developments as a CNN en Español producer. Rosalba also taught online courses on multimedia storytelling for the International Center for Journalists and helped produce the independent movie “Alondra Smiles.” Rosalba is currently an online video producer for The Associated Press.

nahjmacaMelissa Macaya: Candidate for General at-large Member

Why am I running?

NAHJ has been an important part of my academic and professional development since my high school days. Throughout my undergraduate career, my involvement with the organization expanded after I helped re-launch an NAHJ student chapter at the University of Texas at Austin, participated in the student projects at the NAHJ convention during the summer of 2010, was an NAHJ/NBC Fellow in Washington and was awarded several of NAHJ’s scholarships. All of these experiences helped me gain a genuine appreciation of the organization’s mission and members. Serving on the NAHJ DC board this past year, has been my way of giving back to an organization that has given me so much. I have fully enjoyed getting to meet our diverse members and alongside the other officers, help plan events throughout the city. I would love to get the opportunity to continue to do that in the upcoming year and also bring new ideas that further propel our goal of increasing the diversity of Washington’s newsrooms. These ideas include a job fair, a journalism student mentorship program with DC area universities and training sessions in various news organizations.


Born and raised Venezuela Melissa is passionate about reporting and producing news about political and international issues especially focused on Hispanic and Latin American topics. She has gained journalism experience on the local, national and international level producing news content in both English and Spanish. During her undergraduate career, she worked in the media departments of the Organization of American States and the Washington Office on Latin America while also collaborating with various news outlets that included Venezuela’s 24-hr news channel Globovision and Hispanic Link News Service. She was chosen as a Fellow at NBC News’ Washington bureau as part of the NAHJ/NBC Fellowship where she served as a field producer for Nightly News. During her Senior year of college, she worked with Univision News in Texas helping produce packages about Hispanics in the state and around the country. Melissa loves to travel and has lived in 5 countries: Venezuela, Spain, Mexico, Argentina and\ the United States. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Georgetown University and works at CNN’s DC bureau with its CNN en Espanol and Live Unit teams.


Azhar AlFadl – Election Moderator

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