ABBEY FERNANDEZ

Abbey Fernández is a Digital Correspondent and Producer for NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48. She hosts, produces and edits NBC Bay Area's "Synced In" and Telemundo 48's "Conectados" social media news shows.

She also produces original digital content for NBC Bay Area's YouTube channel, including the series “Hey Abbey"—a behind-the-scenes look at stories done by our Investigative Unit and Digital Team.

Before joining KNTV in 2018, Abbey worked as a freelance reporter in Los Angeles and Orange County for several years. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton where she studied Broadcast Journalism and Hispanic Media.

Abbey also served as the President of the university’s National Association of Hispanic Journalists chapter and remains an active member.

Abbey is from Texas and lived in Southern California for several years before moving out to the Bay Area.  She enjoys going to the movies, engaging in outdoor adventures, spending time with her family and traveling the world with her spouse.

Keep up with Abbey on her social media:

• Instagram: @abbeyfern

• Twitter: @abbeyfern

• Facebook: @abbeyfernnbc

JERRY RAMIREZ

Jerry Ramirez is a radio personality on 107.3FM. Jerry, also known as Jay Ram, has been with 107.3FM since 2016. Prior to that he was working on his craft by creating podcasts over a span of 10 years. His love for radio began when he was introduced to a syndicated show from New York called Opie and Anthony. Listening to that show and recently purchasing a Mac mini gave him the tools he needed to start his own podcast. He honed his skill through various podcasts. 

 

At 107.3FM, Jerry was invited to guest host Coffee and Magic. He was invited to come back a few more times until he eventually was a permanent character on the show. After a couple of year, Jerry pitched a show called 2 Hour Indie Power (2HIP) and shortly after pitched 90s at 9. Now he hosts two shows that have been going on for over 2 years. 

Brenda Camacho

Brenda Camacho was born and raised in Laredo, TX. She graduated from Alexander High School, Class of 2012. She then went to Laredo Community College for two years, and then transferred to Texas State University where she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in 2016.

After graduating, Brenda joined the KGNS Team as an Associate Producer, and then worked her way up to a Multimedia Journalist/Anchor/Producer.

Every Tuesday through Thursday you can find her out on the streets getting video and interviews with our elected officials or community members. You can watch her stories on the KGNS New Early Edition, KGNS News Evening Edition and KGNS News at Ten.

On Friday and Saturday you'll find Brenda on the anchor desk giving the latest news updates and weather.

Brenda is grateful for the opportunity to get to know the community, and inform them on what’s going on.

Felipe Martinez

 At just 18 years old, Felipe Martinez wrote, directed, and obtained investment for his first feature film, 'Aguanta.' Which will soon begin playing at several Film Festivals around the US. Being raised in Laredo, TX, and Monterrey, NL, MX, led Felipe to experience a diverse culture in life and experience a mixture of social problems in the US and Mexico, becoming his primary source of inspiration to tell stories.

 

Felipe Martinez continues to work on diverse projects, primarily focused on Mexican-American projects. He is now developing his next feature film, 'No Nos Vamos.' which takes place in Bordertown, Laredo, TX, and focuses on the life of a Mexican American family attempting to stop their daughter from enlisting in the military.

Website:

https://fmartpro.com/

ASHLEY SALAS

Laredo native, Ashley Salas, has always had a passion for writing and photography. That passion led her to graduate from Texas A&M University in May 2018 with her creative writing degree. During her time at A&M, she was the social media director for Her Campus at Texas A&M University.

 

While part of the organization, she was also the communications intern for the English undergrad department working for the English Aggie newsletter. Every summer, until graduation, she was a writer for DeLaredo City Magazine. Currently, she is the graphic designer and associate web producer for the Laredo Morning Times. One day, she hopes to live in Spain and work for Vogue magazine. 

JESUS DOMINGUEZ

Jesus Dominguez is a digital content creator based out of Los Angeles. He is the creator of Dom Digital Media where he creates content for other social media influencers and businesses. 

 

Since joining VMT an arts program in high school, Laredo, Tx. He got drawn into the creativity bubble of filmmaking. He went to college to really learn the craft of film video production after graduating High School in 2009. From there he decided, that was going to be the career to pursue for the rest of his life. He figured if he loves doing this, why not chase the dream to become great at it.  

He graduated college with a Bachelors in film & Video production and moved to Los Angeles in 2013, where he evolved and grew as a creator but most importantly as a person. With over 11 years of experience in the industry he is still learning new skills, investing on more equipment to pursue he passion and love of creating. 

 

“If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life.”  -JD.

 

To find out more about him, follow his journey on his social platforms. 

 

Instagram: 

@zues.dom

@domdigitalmedia

 

Facebook: 

Zues Dominguez

Dom Digital Media 

 

Website: 

https://www.domdigitalmedia.net/

RAFAEL BENAVIDES

Rafael Benavides is a native Laredoan and graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and minor in Anthropology. He continued to study anthropology and both classical and modern Nahuatl at the post-graduate level at La Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, El Instituto de Dociencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas, Yale University and Kaltlamachtiyolaj tlen Nauatlachmanaltianij.

 

He studied journalism and took a number of film and digital media courses in New York while working at Sirk Productions and the United Nations Children’s Fund in New York City. He has extensive experience as a journalist by working for the Laredo Morning Times, Channel One News, El Mañana de Nuevo Laredo, LareDOS News and various other publications. He worked as a federal interpreter for the Nahuatl language for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.

 

He also brings marketing and public affairs experience from his previous positions as the Marketing Manager and Spokesperson for the Sames Auto Arena, Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, and as the Public Information Officer and official spokesperson for the City of Laredo.

ALBERT SUAREZ

Albert Suarez is a current graduate student within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Albert graduated in 2017 from the BFA Communication Design program at Texas State University where he also minored in Mass Communication.

 

During that time, Albert was a member of the Ad Club and AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Texas State chapter, a Band/Artist Management Graphic Intern for C3 Presents in Austin, TX, and served as an Art Director for the 2017 NSAC (National Student Advertising Competition) team.

 

Albert currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and continues his creatives endeavors as a lifestyle, commercial, and wedding photographer and contracted designer for small businesses in El Paso and Central Texas. 

Additional Speakers....

Both speakers were part of our monthly webinars in 2020 and we will share their presentations as additional sessions in our virtual festival.

DONNINE CANAMAR

Ms. Donnine Canamar is a Hispanic art director, designer, animator and creative happy human. She's interested in how advertising is changing and how brands are tasked with creating more than products, and advocating for different types of stories to be in the communication ecosystem. She attended a classical art school in Albuquerque, New Mexico before working in the industry for a few years. Donnine is also a Creative Circus art direction alumni, and now currently working on the U.S. Air Force account at GSD&M in Austin, TX.

LYNETTE VEGA

Lynette Vega is a news producer for News 4 San Antonio and Fox San Antonio, the NBC and Fox affiliates in San Antonio, Texas. She has been with the TV stations since August 2012, where she first began as an associate producer and moved her way up.

Lynette was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and relocated to Texas at the age of four. She holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, with a concentration in TV Broadcasting and a minor in Criminal Justice from Our Lady of the Lake University. She's also a 2008 graduate of John Marshall High School.

In her spare time, Lynette enjoys reading and writing, as she is deeply passionate about stories and the impact they have on our world. She also enjoys volunteering, particularly with the American Stroke Association. She also enjoys sewing, working with animals and traveling when time allows.

Andrea Ari Castaneda

My name’s Ari and I love words.

 

A love for words can take you far, and to places you don’t necessarily plan to go. That has always been the case with me. At the basis of everything, I love to write. I love to communicate and connect with people.

 

I discovered I could be a journalist in high school after watching a documentary on French photo-journalist Veronique de Viguerie in South Sudan following a group of soldiers. I was fascinated with the paths the career could possibly lead me toward. It was settled: I’d be a journalist.

 

In 2011, I graduated from St. Augustine High School and headed for the University of Texas at San Antonio.  I obtained a BA in English Literature. Throughout my university experience I wrote. I never interned, which is something I strongly recommend you do, but I worked at the craft I found joy in. Despite never applying my skills in a professional setting to get my “feet wet,” I filled notebooks and word documents with my own personal tales and shared them with friends.

 

After a stint abroad and a failed attempt at being another poet in Paris, I came back home to Laredo in 2016. And I was upset. A lot of people will measure success with the distance you set between yourself and home, in this case Laredo. I can assure you that success is something you carry— you find it within yourself. I came to learn that with the opportunities the universe brought me to meet. The first being our local newspaper.

 

The Laredo Morning Times opened its doors for me, an aspiring writer with little experience in September 2016.  I began as a general assignment reporter, covering any story that came my way. I wrote about 92nd birthday parties, 5k marathons and crime scenes. Then, I became the education reporter and continued to grow my skills.

 

All along I was also writing for DVINO magazine, which I would become the editor for and be able to expand in expression. I spent four year with the newspaper. 

 

I now serve as the Director of Marketing and Development for the South Texas Food Bank, where I continue to find the joy in writing and working for an important cause.

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