The New England Chapter elections committee is pleased to open the ballot to vote on this year's board election. Polls will close on June 15, at 5 p.m. ET and results will be announced soon after. You can find the list of candidates who appear on the ballot below.

Only current eligible New England Chapter members voters are able to access the ballot. If you're having trouble with the ballot, please contact us at [email protected].

Candidates Statements

President (uncontested):
Cindy E. Rodríguez
Vice President (uncontested):
Cristela Guerra
Financial Officer (uncontested):
Vanessa de la Torre
Secretary (uncontested):
Natalie Benoit
Director of Engagement (At-Large position) (uncontested):
Sabrina Herrera

NAHJ professional chapter officers’ general guidelines to keep in mind:

Officers of Professional Chapters 
(a)  Officers. Each professional chapter (i) is required to have a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer and a Secretary and (ii) at the discretion of the Chapter Board also may have a single at-large officer with such responsibilities as the Chapter Board shall determine.
(b)  Qualifications. The offices of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary may be held only by Regular Members in good standing. Any Regular Member, Academic Member or Associate Member, in good standing, may serve as the at-large officer. 
(c)  Holding Multiple Offices. Any elected officer may concurrently hold two or more offices, except that in no event shall the President serve simultaneously as the Treasurer or the Secretary.

(d)  Election. Chapter officers shall be elected annually. The President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected by the Regular Members and the Academics Members of the chapter. The at-large officer, if any, shall be elected by the Regular Members, the Academic Members and the Associate Members of the chapter.


• May 12th:  Call for Nominations
• May 26thDeadline to submit 5 unique signatures before 11:59 p.m. Deadline to become a member in good standing and be eligible to vote
• May 29th – 31stVetting process. The Elections Committee will screen candidates. 
• June 1st: Online voting begins (Polls open two weeks before the polls close)
• June 15th: Polls close at 5 p.m. ET and results are announced.

Candidates Statements:

Cindy E. Rodriguez

It’s been an honor serving as president of NAHJ New England these past two years with a dynamic executive board and with the support of our amazing members.

This past year, we:

  • Raised close to $10,000, primarily through sponsorship of our #EnHoraBuena series.
  • Created the Emerging Journalist Fellowship that will send six New England members to attend the national NAHJ convention in Miami!
  • Co-organized the UNIFY Career Summit at Boston University with more than 100 journalists in attendance, an event we hosted in partnership with local chapters of AAJA, NABJ and NLGJA.
  • Held several virtual and in-person events, including one in Hartford, Connecticut to be inclusive of members throughout the region.
  • Increased chapter membership by 46%.

We have big plans for the next year, including hosting our first journalism awards to celebrate the important work by Latinx journalists in New England. It will be held during Latino Heritage Month.

Your vote matters and I humbly ask that you vote for me and the rest of our board: Cristela Guerra, Vanessa de la Torre, Natalie Benoit and Sabrina Herrera. ¡Gracias!

Cristela Guerra

Every year as we prepare to once again run for these vital roles, I think about what motivates me to serve as the vice-president of NAHJ New England. It’s the opportunities we create at events like our recent spring meet-up for journalists across the region to gather and commune in person, to not feel isolated though they live across five states. It’s organizing and moderating conversations for our #EnHoraBuena series, which not only allowed us to raise money to send six people to NAHJ’s conference in Miami this summer, but it helped our membership learn from the brilliant minds in our industry. It’s gathering with other local chapters of NABJ, AAJA, NLGJA to hold the UNIFY Career Summit at Boston University and meet aspiring young journalists who are ready to join this incredibly worthy industry. It’s always been a reality that New England is a hard place to transition into for journalists of color moving from other places. But I also believe that’s what makes our local chapter so critical and so special. We let people know that it’s possible to make a home here, whether here is Boston, Hartford, or Providence. We help build belonging by gathering members socially and connecting them with each other. I know that beyond the training, the job fairs, and the events that NAHJ offers both at the regional and national level, what I always loved were the friendships I made, which I’ve now had for almost 20 years. And I count the members of this board among those friends. We, Cindy E. Rodriguez, Vanessa de la Torre, Sabrina Herrera, and Natalie Benoit, work so well together. I am so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve over the past several years. I want to know that emerging latinx journalists in New England feel supported because we exist. I hope we have the opportunity to continue building this community. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Vanessa de la Torre

Hi friends! My name is Vanessa de la Torre and I’m seeking re-election as NAHJ New England’s financial officer to build on our chapter’s momentum and fundraising successes of the past two years.

With my support as financial officer/treasurer, the NAHJ New England board has raised nearly $10,000 to support new initiatives such as the NAHJ New England Emerging Journalist Fellowship that will send six early-career and college journalists from our region to NAHJ’s national convention in Miami this year. Six!

Please vote for me and the slate of current board candidates (Cindy, Cristela, Natalie and Sabrina) so we can take further steps to energize our chapter and support our current and next generation of Latina/o/x journalists. Last summer, we were awarded NAHJ’s National Pro Chapter of the Year award — and we want to keep going in service of you.

If re-elected, our chapter will benefit from:

  • The launch of our inaugural NAHJ New England Journalism Awards later this year to recognize our talented journalists in the region.
  • More professional development to inspire and empower us. Our chapter’s signature “En hora buena” virtual series featuring speakers such as Maria Hinojosa and Jelani Cobb in lunch-hour chats, plus the UNIFY Career Summit earlier this year, are great examples of what our board has done recently.
  • A more energized membership – our chapter has grown 78 percent since we were first elected in mid-2021.
  • Expanded networking opportunities to connect with NAHJ gente throughout the region, such as more in-person meetups wherever you are in New England.
  • Deeper partnerships with other affinity groups in our area. In February, our chapter hosted the UNIFY Career Summit in Boston with local chapters of AAJA, NABJ and NLGJA, and we want to continue collaborating.
A little more about me: I’m an award-winning journalist who leads the New England News Collaborative, a regional hub of nine public media stations. I’m based at Connecticut Public Broadcasting in Hartford, and believe diversity is central to our sustainability in media. Thanks for your support.

Natalie Benoit

I have had the privilege of serving as secretary and vice president of membership for the New England chapter of NAHJ, and with your help, I hope to continue. Over the past year, the board has reconnected members across New England with virtual and in-person events, online conversations, and a digital newsletter. Not only have we increased our social media presence, but we made our presence known around the country as the 2022 NAHJ Chapter of the Year when my fellow executive board members accepted the award at the NABJ-NAHJ convention in Las Vegas. As a team, we've also raised funds for scholarship opportunities and organized events including 'Cafecito' Zoom call, an ‘En hora buena’ conversation series, several meet-ups, and helped lead the UNIFY Career Summit with other affinity groups.

All of these experiences have reminded me of why I love journalism and serving the community it builds. The support and knowledge the Hispanic journalists in this region have is priceless and should be protected by leaders who want to sustain it. There is always room for growth, so it is my intention to keep this chapter's progress upwards. If re-elected, I would push for easier access to our chapter funds from the national organization so we can continue to fund events and scholarship opportunities. I would also work to enlist more new members to keep our community active. I know our presence might feel small in a region that is predominantly white, but it’s crucial we create safe spaces where we can exchange ideas and experiences to ensure we are seen and accurately represented. Thank you!

Sabrina Herrera

Hey all, my name is Sabrina Herrera, and I am seeking re-election for the NAHJ New England’s Director of Engagement board position. My goal this year is to continue seeking opportunities for connection and feedback from our chapter members, so that we can continue to strengthen our sense of community, and also level-up our skills. It has been an incredible honor to serve on the board these past two years, and I would love to continue supporting you for a third term. 

This past year, as a board, we have found ways to connect our members to both people and resources. We held several in-person and virtual events, allowing members to get to know other Latinos in their state. To help advocate for journalists wishing to attend the 2023 NAHJ annual conference, we wrote a template letter of support for their newsrooms, explaining why they should provide financial assistance for their employees. We created an Emerging Journalist Fellowship, where we used our chapter funds to send six members to the 2023 NAHJ annual conference. We also helped in the professional development of emerging journalists at a UNIFY recruiting event, in partnership with the New England chapters of AAJA, NABJ, and NLGJA.

I would love to continue this important work in my next term with the powerful leaders that are also running for positions on the board – Cindy E. Rodriguez, Vanessa de la Torre, Natalie Benoit, and Cristela Guerra – so that we can continue to learn from each other and push the chapter forward.

If re-elected, our chapter board plans to host our first journalism awards to celebrate and honor the incredible work our chapter members do every day.

Thank you for your support! 


If you have any questions regarding this chapter's election contact Lisa Button, New England Chapter Elections Chair. You can also email us at [email protected] with any additional questions.

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