Saturday, August 4, 2012

Balta Acceptance Speech (8/3/12)

Thank you, thank you....muchisimas gracias!!!

Yes, we can!!!!! Si, Se Puede!!!!

I want to first begin by thanking 6 women who aren't just my friends...they're my sisters:
an amazing campaign manager Vicki Adame and tireless advisors/leaders Yvonne Latty, Rebecca Aguilar, Sylvia Jauregui, Maria Burns Ortiz and Joanna Hernandez.

None of this would have been possible if not for you....las quiero con todo mi corazon.

I want to thank the dozens of supporters, NAHJ members, colleagues and friends in and outside our industry who supported me these last two months, encouraging me to keep positive...amazing people like Monica Rhor, Veronica Villafane, Ivan Roman, Daniel Morales, Ramon Escobar, Joe Rodriguez and countless others. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I want to thank my family at ESPN, who only after hiring me a few short months supported my journey to run for NAHJ President, understanding how important this association is to me and all of us. To ESPN, PepsiCo, United, General Motors, Univision and our many sponsors -- thank you. You are our partners and make many of the projects, services and programs NAHJ champions possible.

I want to thank my family....certainly my wife Adriana.
She's the foundation that helps me "keep on, keeping on".
And while she isn’t here – I think it important to recognize her love and support.

I want to recognize Russell Contreras and all of the candidates who ran for board positions. The path to lead is paved in sacrifice...we all thank you and hope that regardless of the election will actively participate in restoring NAHJ.

I ask that all of me salute president Michelle Salcedo and the current board. Thank you...due, in great part to your decisions - NAHJ is still here for all of us and the community we serve.

NAHJ Nation....there are no obstacles we cannot overcome together.

I, confidently accept the position of NAHJ President....knowing in my heart that no matter what challenges are ahead - I am not facing them alone. This isn't an association led by one person or a few. It is a nation of journalists, students, associates and others who will come together and restore NAHJ.

We will restore NAHJ's financial stability.
We will restore NAHJ's reputation.
We will restore NAHJ's pride.

While NAHJ must continue to make conservative decisions on spending, it will not be at the cost of core services to members and sponsors.

We need to grow again and create new revenue streams by actively fundraising. The board, the local chapters, sponsors and you -- the members of NAHJ will be key in our success.

Student members currently represent the majority of NAHJ's membership. They are not just the future of NAHJ....they are its present. You will have the right to decide NAHJ’s leaders.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has a proud history of speaking out for, on behalf of and support in the fair treatment of Latino journalists. NAHJ advocates for the proper representation of Latinos employed in the media, the training and education of its members and engages in debate that promotes the fair and accurate coverage of the Latino community.

As President, one of my main responsibilities will be to lead the Board in ensuring the association is faithful to that mission.
My vision is not only for NAHJ to fight for a just media system, but to lead the discussion towards that end. We must nurture relationships with media companies in order to assist them in reaching goals and avoiding questionable practices. It is only through those “enlaces” that NAHJ can help develop strategies that can be measured and held accountable.

Massive journalism cutbacks have ousted many of our dedicated members, some lifetime members from the industry. They may now be working in the public relations or communications field, but they're still journalists at heart. Let's welcome them back home and get them a seat at the table. This isn't the time to segregate, but unify NAHJ. Their experience will help the association cover new relevant ground.

Aquí también se habla el Español. La Associacion de Periodistas Hispanos no es solamente para los latinos en los medios de inglés.

Tenemos que ofrecer mas servicios, oportunidades de empleo y mas apoyo a los miembros que trabajan en medios en español.

NAHJ leadership will be clear and inclusive in the decision-making by allowing members to voice their opinions and participate in the process.

We will have an open door policy for members to have their voices heard and feel respected.  No one person can claim success or failure. We win or lose together. Unidos hacemos la fuerza.

NAHJ NATION...the saying in Las Vegas goes "what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas. Don't let that happen.

Let members, sponsors, like kind associations and friends from the Big Apple to South Beach...from the Windy City to don't mess with Texas...from the Rockies to Hollywood know -- that we, The National Association of Hispanic Journalists came together, put aside our differences, united at unity 2012, daringly facing the challenges before us and in one powerful, confident voice said --- YES, WE CAN....SI, SE PUEDE!!!!

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