Helen Hernandez, CEO of the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) and President and Founder of The Imagen Foundation and Executive Producer of the Imagen Awards--often called the "Latino Golden Globes"--was elected this week to the Board of Directors for the national Public Broadcasting Service, PBS. The Public Broadcast Service includes 356 member stations. Each week, PBS reaches more than 65 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS eclipses many of the commercial channels frequently cited as competitors, including HBO, History Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN, The Learning Channel and Bravo. As one of a dozen general directors, Hernandez looks forward to "working on the substantial challenges that confront public broadcasting, such as funding, maintaining quality programming and serving our diverse public communities." She takes her Board seat at a delicate time when changes in news and entertainment program distribution challenge historic paradigms.
Hernandez brings to her new Board position a rich history of service to her community. She began her career as a union organizer, trained at the George Meany Center. She moved on to become the VP of Embassy Communications (presently Sony Pictures Entertainment). A frequent lecturer at universities such as Northwestern and University of Texas, Hernandez has also testified before Congressional committees, been awarded NALIP's lifetime achievement award and been named as one of the 25 Most Influential Latinos in Hollywood. Hernandez is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and serves on various Boards of Directors, including the Delores Huetra Foundation, Workplace Hollywood and the National Association for the Hispanic Elderly.