The San Diego 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 San Diego 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):
Gustavo Solis
Vice President:
Aida Soria
Vanessa Nevarez
Financial Officer (uncontested):
Heder Casas
David Hernandez
Marielena Castellanos

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

Gustavo Solis 

Running Statement: Journalists in San Diego have been feeling isolated since the pandemic. My main goal is to build community within NAHJ. I'd like to do that by hosting events on a more regular basis and giving members the opportunity to get together in a friendly, inclusive and informal setting. Part of that includes supporting journalists through workshops or mentorship opportunities.

Aida Soria 

As a third generation San Diegan, it is my honor and privilege to share our stories in my hometown. Growing up, I rarely saw people that looked like me on TV and that is partially the reason I joined the business. I have been in the business for nearly 20 years and have connections not only at other tv stations, but print, radio, online publications, as well at the college level. One of the responsibilities of being the Vice President is to help organize monthly events. With my years of booking the coolest hot spots around town, I have a vast amount of connections for our members to meet at.  I look forward to being a part of a team that will strive to bring together journalists on both sides of the border to create one stronger voice. 

Vanessa Nevárez

I am Vanessa Nevarez and I am running for the NAHJ SD/TJ Chapter as your Vice President. I have been a proud NAHJ member since I was 14 years-old. Yes, 14! I knew since I was young I would be a journalist. I have previous experience as the NAHJ Bay Area Chapter Communications officer and founder/President of the NAHJ SFSU Student Chapter. I quite literally grew up with NAHJ and feel confident and privileged to serve you once again. I am excited to finally have the time and a schedule aligned to serve as your board member. I would love to have more binational events and build connections to unite us even more as an NAHJ Familia. Previously, I have served in the NAHJ SD/TJ’s student scholarship committee where we raised scholarship money and read scholarship applications. Currently, I serve in the Event Planning committee. Please consider voting for me as Vice President of NAHJ SD/TJ. Muchas gracias!

Heder Casas

I  am a bilingual-bicultural reporter at Univision San Diego since January 2019.  I  grew up on both sides of the border and have a clear understanding of what it’s like to be a fronteriza.

I’ve been a member of NAHJ since joining the student chapter at San Diego City College. I want to encourage more Latino journalists in San Diego / Tijuana to get involved and help other students and media member as much as I can. I have ideas on how to increase membership. Also, as a Latina, it is important to see ourselves in leadership roles. We need to support each other in order to create change in our community. I  look forward to working with the other officers to make our chapter the best it can be.

David Hernández

David Hernandez covers law enforcement, crime and other public safety topics for the San Diego Union-Tribune. A San Diego State University graduate, he joined the Union-Tribune in late 2015. He has won several awards for breaking news coverage. 

David has been a chapter member for several years. He has also been a member of the chapter’s scholarship committee, helping to raise funds and give away scholarships to aspiring journalists. He’d like to join the board to be more involved and participate in new ways. He enjoys supporting young journalists and advocating for diversity in newsrooms.

Marielena Castellanos

I am running because I believe in the NAHJ mission. I would like to see the local San Diego/Tijuana chapter continue to thrive and be a part of creating a supportive community for journalists on both sides of the border.


If you have any questions regarding this chapter's election contact Andrea Lopez-VillafañaSan Diego-Tijuana Chapter Elections Chair. You can also email us at [email protected] with any additional questions.

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