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Natalie Martinez



If there’s a breaking news story, Natalie Martinez is usually on it!

Natalie joined NBC Chicago as a general assignment reporter in January 2001

With nearly two decades of reporting and anchoring, she came to NBC Chicago from WXXA-TV, the Fox station in Albany, N.Y. Natalie is very active and recognized in the Latino community and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, for which she was elected Chicago Chapter Vice President in 2015; Hispanic leadership association; and the National Association for Female Executives.

She also does charitable work for Bright Pink, CAWC (Chicago Abused Women Coalition), Center on Halsted and the Salvation Army among many others, and frequently services as Mistress of Ceremonies for groups all over the Chicagoland area. In March 2011, Martinez was named one of Chicago’s Most Influential Women by the I’m Every Woman Expo.

A native of Buffalo, New York, Martinez is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and University of North London on scholarship.

In 2012, she was among the journalists honored with a Chicago Headline Club Peter Lisagor Award for her role in covering the verdict in the trial against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She was honored with an Emmy Award for her reporting of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago and another for her spot news coverage on deadly tornadoes in Washington, Ill. She won an AP award for Best Reporter in 2013 for her composite reel of breaking, hard and feature news stories.

Natalie grew up with a Ukrainian mother and Dominican father. She embraces and appreciates all the diversity that Chicago has to offer, and is a proud supporter of the Ukrainian community as well.


Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?

As the current Vice President of NAHJ Chicago, I’ve been honored to see, and help facilitate, what we’re doing right already and what we can improve on.

We have a small but passionate and growing chapter now.

I hope to build on that and push forward with our current members. I also hope to grow our membership.

I want to use what I have learned from outgoing president and current Regional Director, Blanca Rios, to bring together news organizations in the Chicago area for our annual Job Fair.

I also hope to continue fundraising efforts to help increase student scholarships. I’d like to create more, to match our growth.

While in Washington, DC for the NAHJ/NABJ conference earlier this month, I plucked some ideas from other chapters that I believe could work well here. I’d like to implement some of them.  I’d like to first tap journalism advisors who can help us round up young and aspiring Latino journalists with the goal of nurturing the future and enhance the careers of our members!

We have several qualified members for the board, and I’d like to have your consideration and VOTE for president.





Carly Luque

Carly Luque


Carly Luque is an Emmy Award winning assignment editor for CBS 2 Chicago.  She joined the station in September 2003 from WLS-TV where she worked as a desk assistant and field producer since 2000.

Carly is fluent in Spanish, was born in Venezuela and studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain.

Carly grew up in the south suburbs and attended Homewood-Flossmoor High School.  She graduated with a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?

My run for office is deeply rooted in the belief that NAHJ events not only bring us together as a community, but we put people to work. Over the summer, I was instrumental in organizing and executing WBBM-TVs involvement with the NAHJ Job Fair. In fact, we now have a new web producer who attended the job fair and stopped by our table.   I also have a strong relationship with Dorothy Tucker, who is the NABJ Vice President of Broadcast.  We have talked about doing events together so that we can build on our networks and grow.  My focus would be to grow our membership and continue to organize events to keep us connected with current and future journalists.


Michael Puente




Michael Puente is a veteran newsman with roots in Northwest Indiana.

For 13 years of Michael’s journalism career was in print. He’s worked for the Post-Tribune of Northwest Indiana (part of the Sun-Times Media Group) for 11 years and the Daily Herald based in Arlington Heights, Ill., for two years.

Michael got his start in radio as co-host of the Latin Lingo Show on WJOB AM 1230 in Hammond.

In 2006, He joined WBEZ has the stations first bureau reporter.

The Northwest Indiana Studio in Crown Point is WBEZ’s only studio outside the City of Chicago. His stories and reports have been heard from coast to coast and even internationally on NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Here and Now, the Takaway and the BBC.

Michael’s work has been recognized by the Illinois AP Broadcasters Association, the Indiana AP Broadcasters Association, Indiana Society of Professional Journalists, the Chicago Headline Club and National Headliner Awards. In 2004, Michael was named to the “Top 50 Most Influential People in Indiana Politics” by the Howey Political Report in Indianapolis for his investigative work with the Post-Tribune.

In 2014, Michael authored the book “Jenni Rivera: La Diva de la Banda” for Triumph Books of Chicago.

Michael was born and raised in East Chicago, Indiana.

He and his wife Gricela are the proud parents of two daughters, Stephanie and Jessica and live in Northwest Indiana.

He earned a B.A. in Communications from Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond, Indiana where he now teaches as an adjunct professor.

Michael is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and a former board member of the Latino Council on the Media of Chicago.

Michael is an avid White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears fan. He also acts on occasion in community theater in Northwest Indiana.


Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?

Michael is running for vice president to give a stronger voice to Latino journalists who work in the areas outside the City of Chicago. Often times, these individuals can get frustrated and feel isolated. Having friends and professional colleagues with NAHJ could be the difference between whether a young Latino journalist stays in the profession or leaves. We need as many Latino voices telling our stories as possible.  





Carolina Cruz



Carolina Cruz is an award-winning Multimedia Journalist with more than five years of experience in print & broadcast news outlets in the Midwest and in Florida.
Until recently she was a reporter for the Spanish newspaper CENTRO Tampa owned by the Tampa Media Times. However, she decided to come back to the Windy City where she started her journalism career, and is now a News Producer for Univision Chicago.
She knows what is like to be inside the newsroom and out on the field working for English & Spanish news outlets, and hopes her bilingual experience could benefit the chapter she started in 2013 with Jeanette Castillo (former VP of NAHJ Chicago) and Maria Zamudio (former investigative reporter for the Chicago Reporter).
In addition, she participated in the Dow Jones Multimedia Seminar in El Paso, was a fellow for the National Press Foundation Cancer Issues seminar in Washington D.C., and part of the Specialized Reporting Institute about immigration reform by the McCormick Foundation.
To know more about her go to her LinkedIn Profile:
Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?
“I’m running as Treasurer for the NAHJ Chicago Professional Chapter because I want to help this group expand its efforts to benefit young and veteran journalists in the Windy City.  My goals are to increase fundraising initiatives throughout the year, promote more scholarships and stipends that are offered to student journalists and freelancers, and keep a vibrant presence of the professional chapter around the Chicagoland area. I have a personal appreciation for this chapter, love what NAHJ does, and its mission. As a board member of the NAHJ Chicago Professional Chapter, I will continue encouraging other Latino journalists realize there is a future in this business if you work hard and commit to doing what is right for our Hispanic community”.





Yvette Cruz

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Yvette currently serves as the secretary for the Chicago chapter of NAHJ. She was raised in Provo, Utah and moved to Chicago in 2012 to pursue her master’s degree in Journalism at Columbia College Chicago. Yvette first got involved with NAHJ in 2013 when she was chosen as one of three recipients for NAHJ-Nevada’s first ever internship program where she spent the summer reporting in Las Vegas. Yvette is a multimedia journalist and has written for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Associated Press, Extra Neighborhood News and She joined the Univision Chicago team in 2014 as an Assignment Desk Editor where she works closely with producers, reporters and cameramen to deliver news to Chicago’s Spanish-speaking audiences. Storytelling is Yvette’s greatest passion.


Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?

I’ve been a member of NAHJ Chicago’s board for 2 terms and it’s been amazing  to see the chapter grow and be able to serve more Hispanic journalists and communicators. Being the board’s secretary has been a great experience but now I’d like to explore my love for social media and serve as this term’s social media coordinator. In that position I’d like to increase the chapter’s presence across all media platforms. I also want to use social media and its storytelling techniques to highlight members and their achievements in innovative ways. And last, I want to help Hispanic journalists land their dream jobs by using social media as a tool to inform them about job postings and upcoming networking opportunities.


Laura Rodriguez



Laura Rodriguez is a multimedia journalist at HOY Chicago newspaper since 2014. She produces, writes and edits Spanish and English stories  for print, online and  TV. Laura was born in Mexico. She graduated from DePaul University with a B.A in Broadcast Journalism with a concentration in Latino Media and a minor in Spanish.  Laura has traveled to Mexico to cover Chicago’s Gage Park neighborhood murders. She also produced a short documentary on a group of Chicago truck drivers who make a piligrimage to the Cerrito Del Tepeyac every year. She was the author of Guillermo Camarillo’s story, ‘From Little Village to Stanford’. Laura has also traveled to Israel with Fuente Latina for a journalistic trip and most recently Laura covered the historic Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for Global Girl Media Network and Hoy Chicago.


Why you are running & your goals for the chapter?

I would like to run for the Social Media Coordinator position. As a young multimedia journalist, social media is an essential part of my job and I constantly look for ideas to expand the reach of my stories through social media. Often times analyzing trends and exploring different ways to promote them. However, a very important part of having a good reach is staying connected to my followers. Establishing a digital relationship then dictates people’s response and engagement to my stories, posts etc.
It is not a secret that a presence in the digital scene is now necessary in any field but most importantly in our journalism field. As a Social Media Coordinator I would like to focus in expanding our reach, posting/sharing/writing in our Facebook and Twitter more constantly  in order to make our presence more visible, establish a relationship with out followers and lastly, grow our engagement. Also, I’ll like to connect us, members of NAHJ through social media, to create a digital network place and increase the engagement within our group to encourage a connection and participation in our chapter.

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