Staff

Alex Nogales  | President & CEO

Alex Nogales co-founded the National Hispanic Media Coalition in 1986 with two colleagues in response to profound underrepresentation and misrepresentation of the Latino community in the media. He was elected NHMC president in the late 90s, after a decade challenging the broadcast license of any station that failed to hire Latinos in FCC mandated numbers. Today, Alex champions the policies and practices that bring Latinos online, support Latino media owners and content creators and diversify the news and entertainment industry.

Alex and the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition brokered the first-ever signed agreements with each of the four major TV networks in the country to publicly disclose the number of people of color making decisions on content at every level of their studio operations. NHMC convened concerned groups representing communities of color to form the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which negotiated for the inclusion of a diversity commitment from the networks in these historic Memorandum of Understandings. It created a lasting effect still felt in Hollywood today and led the Washington Post to write, “If TV looks far more diverse today than film, it’s due in large part to the work of Nogales and his colleagues.”

When Latinos in English and Spanish language television were undercounted by the ratings giant Nielsen, Alex led the National Latino Media Council fight to force the company to address the inaccuracies so the use of the data would not lead to limiting Latino employment opportunities in English-language television or discourage the development of Latino-themed programming.

Alex has grown NHMC into a leader in the fight against hate speech and the preeminent media watchdog for Latino communities. NHMC led demonstrations against ABC, and its parent company, Disney, for its lack of diversity and boycotts of advertisers supporting radio programs, like the “Howard Stern Show”, “John and Ken Show”, and the “Jose Luis Sin Censura” program that served as platforms for hate. NHMC regularly engages in high-level talks with top cable and broadcast television executives, urging them to ensure fairness and accuracy in their stories touching on the Latino community.

After repeatedly calling for a government analysis of the connection between hate speech and hate crimes against Latinos, NHMC commissioned its own landmark studies and polls on the harmful effects of the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of Latinos in the media. Following the NHMC-organized protests of Disney, the company has hired Latinos who have graduated from NHMC’s TV writers program and produced Elena of Avalor, the first Latina Disney princess series. Lou Dobbs left CNN after Alex met with CNN president Jonathan Klein to discuss the host’s irresponsible fear-mongering about Latinos and prominent corporate advertisers withdrew their support of shows airing hate speech as a result of NHMC campaigns.

Alex was profiled in the Los Angeles Times’ Diverse 100, as an individual that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should nominate to their ranks to achieve greater diversity in Hollywood. Alex has been called on to comment on diversity in entertainment, open and affordable communication policy and hate speech as a guest on TV programs, including PBS Newshour and CNN Tonight, and in top print outlets including the Associated Press, the New York Times and USA Today. He frequently writes opinion pieces for Fox News Latino and, prior to his work with NHMC, earned multiple Emmy awards as a TV producer. His childhood experience as a migrant farmworker, at a time when businesses posted signs reading “No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed”, drives Alex in his work to ensure that Latinos are able to walk in any door.

Brenda Victoria Castillo | President & CEO Elect

Brenda Victoria Castillo is a strategic leader in the fields of Latino community development, corporate community relations, and communications. She is a multiple award-winning television producer and media production director with decades of senior leadership experience in the private and non-profit sectors, as well as government.

Currently she is the President & CEO Elect for the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). Brenda champions the policy and practices that bring Latinos online, advocates for U.S. Latino media owners and content creators, and helps to diversify the news and entertainment industry in Hollywood and across the nation. She is also the head of operations for the NHMC and is responsible for its multi-million dollar budget.

At British Petroleum (BP) America she was responsible for shaping and implementing BP’s community diversity programs such as KCET-TV’s “A Place of Our Own” and “Niños En Su Casa”, which garnered a prestigious Peabody Award; and was responsible for the West Coast $12.4 million budget.

As the Diversity & Community Outreach Director at the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles (ARC), she created and produced partnership campaigns such as CBS2/KCAL9’s “Safe at Home” and ABC7’s “ABCs of a Safe Summer”. Brenda was ARC’s single point of contact for the Latino community and public affairs during 9-11.

Her professional experience began as a Producer for KTLA Channel 5 Television where she won a Los Angeles Emmy as a producer and was nominated for a dozen more. Throughout her career there, she brought extensive media attention to health, politics, and issues significant to minority communities in Southern California.

Brenda has served on numerous boards and commissions including the California Teaching Credentialing Commission, Coalition Against Hate, Salvation Army of Orange County, California Women’s Lead, American Red Cross of Long Beach, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, South Gate Rotary Club, USC Latino Advisory Board, Hispanic Outreach Taskforce, KCET Community Advisory Board, Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Asian Pacific Legal Defense Fund Advisory Board.

Willmary Escoto | Director of Policy and Government Affairs

Willmary Escoto serves as the Director of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Hispanic Media Coalition and focuses on broadband deployment, net neutrality, and combating online hate speech. Willmary is an experienced legal professional with a demonstrated history of business and public sector collaboration. Prior to joining NHMC, Willmary advised Fortune 500 companies and Fortune 100 companies on product and operational regulatory compliance and audit advisory. She has worked with a variety of client stakeholders across the technology, retail, cosmetic, agricultural and healthcare industries advising on state and federal regulatory compliance intelligence.

Willmary has a demonstrated record of social justice advocacy and policy-making and is passionate about technology policy issues affecting the Latinx community. Her public service experience includes work as an immigration associate, advocating for over 30 asylum seekers as well as other cases focusing on humanitarian relief such as U-Visas and T-Visas. Willmary also served as a judicial intern, a Google Policy Fellow, and as an intern for the International Trade Commission’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations. Her portfolio includes intellectual property reform, net neutrality, governance issues, telecommunications regulatory matters and immigration reform.

Willmary received her Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law and a degree in Clinical Psychology from the Florida International University. She was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in rural central Florida.

Araceli Velasco | Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Araceli Velasco is the Executive Assistant and Office Manager at the National Hispanic Media Coalition headquarters. In her role, Araceli not only handles the day-to-day operations of the office, but also participates in the production of the NHMC’s KHBG-LP 101.5 FM Radio station and podcasts, and coordinates the NHMC Writers Programs.

Prior to joining the NHMC family, Araceli worked at Alma Family Services, in the Community Integration Training (CIT) program in East Los Angeles. Araceli helped launch the Supported Employment pilot program for adults with developmental disabilities. Through assessments with clients, and networking with local businesses for potential employment, Araceli sought to bring diversity into the workforce of the community and bring equity and inclusion for people with unique abilities.

Before Alma, Araceli worked at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy - Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy in Echo Park. Here, she provided support and resources to students and their families, as well as health and wellness, and leadership trainings to parents. She also planned and executed special events, managed the campus website and social media, and all aspects of communications. Araceli supported in the outreach for parent engagement and promoted a positive organizational culture for faculty and staff.

Araceli grew up in Koreatown in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico. Very early in her life, Araceli noticed the injustices in our society, especially in education and in the media. She is an advocate for early media literacy and Ethnic Studies in K-12, and for the fair representation of all people in the media. She received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Organizational Communication and Public Relations from California State University, Los Angeles.

Wishing to bring a voice to people of color (especially to women), she started a podcast along with a few colleagues, where they discussed topics of intersectionality, and the lack of representation in the film and television. She now happily continues this journey at NHMC.

Outside of work, Araceli enjoys watching her favorite show, Doctor Who, painting, or running her photo booth and event photography business.

She is obsessed with her pups Flower the Pekingese and Pepper the Terrier.

Felicia Mora | Special Events Manager

Felicia Mora supports the planning and execution of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s events throughout the year and serves as the organization’s community liaison, representing the organization at events and conferences within the Los Angeles area.

Before joining NHMC, Felicia worked at various non-profit educational institutions, advocating for low-income people of color. Most recently, she managed Irvine Valley College’s multicultural event programming within their Equity and Diversity Department. There she organized large events including their Día Del Los Muertos and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Felicia grew up in Whittier, California and is the first in her family to graduate from college. Originally headed toward the fashion industry, she eventually discovered a passion for understanding intersectional multiculturalism.

Felicia graduated from Cal State Fullerton, where she earned her B.A. in American Studies and a Minor in Art. She is a proud Chicana and Filipina-American. When not at NHMC, she enjoys spending time with her two-year-old son or attending local events, supporting artists in the surrounding community.

Jennifer Oliva | Donor Relations & Communications Manager

Jennifer Oliva is the Donor Relations & Communications Manager for the National Hispanic Media Coalition. In her role, Jennifer handles fostering relationships between past, current, and prospective donors as well as branding and external messaging for the organization.

Prior to joining the NHMC family, Jennifer was freelance professional in marketing and creative services. She specializes in digital marketing efforts such as SEO and SEM, Google Analytics, brand building, social media marketing, and content creation.

Prior to starting her own business, Jennifer worked in academia most recently having been a part-time instructor at California State University, Los Angeles teaching Public Speaking. She also has experience with high school and elementary students, focusing on research-based and creative writing workshops. Jennifer also supported before and after-school programs offering tutoring and mentorship to underrepresented, low-income students, including ESL students.

Jennifer grew up in Santa Ana, the most densely populated Latinx city in Orange County. As a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants she understands the struggles and expectations that come from being a first-generation American. Jennifer graduated from Cal State LA with a B.A. in Organizational Communication and Public Relations and an M.A. in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Instructional and Strategic Communication.

When not at NHMC, Jennifer serves as an Arts & Culture Commissioner for the City of Santa Ana where she encourages and empowers her community by focusing on inclusivity, arts, and education.

Cruz Castillo | External Affairs & Social Media Manager

Cruz Castillo is a part of the team’s external affairs, creating networks and building bridges with organizations, individuals, and the overall community. He helps to coordinate and strategize NHMC’s social media in order to best serve Latinx, and all POC, and promote all the hard work of the team.

Before joining NHMC, Cruz has worked various jobs ranging from NBCUniversal to CTV Canada. He has years of experience in the entertainment industry ranging from production crew to social media.

Cruz grew up in Whittier, California and is one of many in his family to graduate from a university, the bar is set high with the Castillo’s. Cruz is an advocate for the underdog, fighting for those not often thought of or given opportunity.

Cruz graduated from Cal State Los Angeles, where he earned his B.A. in Interpersonal Communication. He is a proud Indigenous Native living on stolen land. When not at NHMC, he enjoys spending his time reading, being active in the community, and filmmaking.