South Florida Chapter
Board Elections 2022

The NAHJ national office is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 NAHJ South Florida Chapter Board:

Alex Mena
Vice President
Christine Armario
Financial Officer
Luisa Yanez
David Ovalle
At-Large Officer
Patricia Mazzei
Director of Events 
and Sponsorships

Pilar Portela
Director of Social Media
and Membership

Janisse Martinez

You can find more information about each executive board member below.

2022 Election Timeline for Chapter Board Elections:

June 3: Call for Nominations

June 15: Deadline to submit 5 signatures. Date of the record: deadline to become a member in good standing and be eligible to vote.

June 15-23: Vetting process. The Elections Committee will screen candidates 

June 23: Online voting begin (Polls open two weeks before the polls close)

July 7: Polls close at 5 p.m. ET and results are announced



President – Alex Mena

Bio: Alex Mena has held several leadership positions throughout his 29-year career.
He currently serves as the Managing Editor for the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. Alex directly oversees el Nuevo and newsroom operations for the Miami Herald.
Alex serves on the Florida Society of News Editors Board as the Secretary/Treasurer, the Florida International University Media Board, and is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  
He started his career at the Herald in 1993. During his time at the news organization, Alex has covered high school games, worked as a designer, copy editor, deputy sports editor, night operations chief, news editor, senior sports editor and deputy managing editor.
Other than a two-year stint as a copy editor and designer at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Alex has spent his entire career at the Herald.
Alex immigrated from Nicaragua with his family when he was 11 years old. He is a graduate of Florida International University and Miami Dade College.

Statement of Intent: Currently, Alex Mena is a member in good standing with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Alex is running for the NAHJ South Florida Chapter's Presidency where he hopes to help bring the community of Hispanic journalists together again. In our third year going through COVID-19, it is imperative to reestablish gatherings, seminars and training sessions in a safe place. These events are important because often it is the only place where veteran journalists can help others moving up the ranks navigate through our industry. It is where mentorships are developed and nourished.  
In the past, I have not been as involved with NAHJ as I should have been, but I promise if elected, I will be the biggest champion for us and our organization. 

Vice President – Christine Armario

Bio: Christine Armario is a deputy America editor at The Washington Post, where she helps oversee a team of reporters covering the United States. She spent over a decade as a correspondent for The Associated Press, reporting from eight countries in the Americas on everything from natural disasters to political crises. Armario also served as the Miami Herald’s Latin America editor. She co-founded the NAHJ South Florida chapter. Her was born in Miami to Cuban parents and calls the Magic City home.

Statement of Intent: I am running to serve as vice president of the NAHJ South Florida chapter because I want to give back to this community of talented journalists. When we started the chapter over a decade ago, the founders were driven by the conviction that NAHJ could be a force to help build bridges, advance careers, improve newsroom diversity and foster a new generation of Latino journalists. That mission in my mind remains just as relevant today. I hope to apply my previous experience leading the chapter in ensuring that it continues to grow and serve its members.

Treasurer - Luisa Yanez

Bio:  Miami Herald editorial board member. Currently, she writes daily editorials for the newspaper's Opinion section. She first joined the Miami Herald in 2000 as a reporter and before that worked at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and the Miami News.

During her journalism career in South Florida, she covered everything for Hurricane Andrew to the murder of Gianni Versace to the Elian Gonzalez saga and has won numerous national and state awards. She has also focused on preserving the history of Miami's Cuban exile community and is the creator of three databases, which hold the names of all Cubans who arrive in the U.S. via Operation Pedro Pan, the Freedom Flights, and the Mariel exodus. She has co-written two books, "The Cuban Exile Experience" and "Miami's Criminal Past." 

Luisa was born in Havana and raised in Miami. She is a Miami High, Marymount College and FIU graduate.

Statement of Intent: Luisa is a long-time member of NAHJ and a former South Florida Region Director. She is looking forward to helping launch the South Florida Chapter of NAHJ and helping grow its membership and stature by offering local Latino journalists an association to represent and protect them close to home.

Secretary – David Ovalle

Bio: David Ovalle covers courts and crime for the Miami Herald. He joined the newspaper in 2002, and has also covered hurricanes, municipal government and sports. A native of San Diego, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a dual degree in print journalism and Spanish. 

Statement of Intent: I am seeking the position of secretary for NAHJ's South Florida chapter. I owe my career to the organization. After earning a NAHJ scholarship in college, I worked on the student project in 2001 at the convention in Phoenix, where I met reporters and editors from the Miami Herald. The following year, they pushed for me to become an intern at the Herald - I was hired during my internship and have been a proud reporter there ever since. Giving back to NAHJ is important, and in the position of chapter secretary, I feel I can help young journalists make the connections that will help them forge successful careers.

At Large Officer – Patricia Mazzei

Bio: Patricia Mazzei is the Miami bureau chief for The New York Times, covering Florida and Puerto Rico. She writes about breaking news, politics, disasters and the quirks of life in South Florida. She joined The Times in 2017 after a decade at The Miami Herald.

At The Times, Ms. Mazzei has reported on the condo collapse in Surfside and the school shooting in Parkland. She was in the Florida Panhandle for Hurricane Michael and in Puerto Rico for 15 days of extraordinary protests that ousted the governor.

Before joining The Times, Ms. Mazzei was the political writer at The Miami Herald, covering the 2016 presidential race. Born and raised in Venezuela, she is bilingual in Spanish.

Yanez of Intent: Patricia Mazzei has been a member of NAHJ in South Florida for many years, attending events and training sessions and participating in the 2018 national convention in Miami. As the at-large member, she would support the board in rekindling interest and involvement in the South Florida chapter and help it have a meaningful presence in next year's Miami convention.

If you have any questions regarding this chapter's election contact Yaneth Guillen-DiazDirector of Training & Membership. You can also email us at [email protected] with any additional questions.

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