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The Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel in McAllen is the venue for this year's National Association of Hispanic Publications national convention and business expo.

LAREDO, Texas – The National Association of Hispanic Publications brings its National Convention and Business Expo to the Rio Grande Valley next week.

From October 19-22, editors, publishers and some journalists for Hispanic publications in the United States will meet to attend different workshops, meetings, a gala, and the Jose Marti Awards presentation, at the Casa de Palmas Renaissance Hotel, 101 North Main Street, in McAllen.

“In this case, owners, editors and publishers are coming to McAllen, meaning is the people who decide what gets printed in the publications,” said Jose Luis B. Garza, director and editor of Periodico USA, with offices in McAllen.

Garza, a former president for the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), serves as chairman of the International Relations Committee for the NAHP and is this year’s chairman for the convention and expo. He has worked almost three decades for Periodico USA.

Co-chairman for the event is Zulema Baez, Editor of El Nuevo Heraldo newspaper.

Founded in 1982 by Kirk Whisler, NAHP promotes Spanish language publications.

“This year the President of the NAHP, Martha Montoya, and members of the board, decided to get together in McAllen, and we are having a great support from the City of McAllen and the Chamber of Commerce of McAllen,” Garza added.

This is the second time the annual meeting is held in McAllen. The first time was in 2009.

“Every year we have a board with different editors and publishers, along with workshops, elections and change of the committee members, and they also choose the regional directors every two years,” Garza said.

Invited special guests include Secretary of State of Texas, Carlos Cascos; Governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca; Congressmen Ruben Hinojosa and Henry Cuellar, and Mayor of McAllen Jim Darling.

Activities will start on Wednesday, October 19, at 7 a.m. in the Quinta Mazatlan World Birding Center.

According to its official website, the Jose Marti Awards are “NAHP’s strongest traditions”. Those awards will be delivered for excellence in Hispanic publications.

“Over the last three decades the awards have grown to be the largest Awards in Hispanic Media. In 2013 a total of 348 awards were handed out within the Editorial Articles, Editorial Sections, Design, Photographs, Marketing, and Best Overall Categories. One of the key spin-offs of the Awards is where winners of the marketing awards share their winning insights, now every year at the NAHP Conference,” according to NAHP’s website.

During the three days of the event, the Jose Marti Awards will be delivered in the categories of Editorial (Wednesday); Marketing and Design (Thursday); Photography, Sections, Overall Minor, and Best Overall (Friday).

Others recognitions are the Latino Publisher of the Year and Corporation of the Year.

Workshops will be held Thursday and Friday. Topics are:
* How to win Shopper Marketing Dollars and Leverage Existing Relationships.
* Building Relationships with Local and State Government can be Monetized.
* Publicity-News/Editorial Relationship and how it Affects Our Readers.
* Hallmark Presents: Non traditional revenue streams and marketing advice from a corporate level.
* Creative Products & Content for your Publication.
* Building your digital empire, a revenue opportunity three times bigger than advertising.
* Alternate Content/Publications to Drive up Main Publication Circulation.
* Periodismo Mobile y Ciudadano.

All, but the last workshop, are in English. “Periodismo Mobile y Ciudadano” it will be bilingual.

Also on Friday afternoon, the NAHP will receive children from the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley and Sister Norma Pimentel. The organization will make some donations to the center.

For Saturday, Garza announced a “very relaxed event with journalists.” He said the ‘Journalists Without Borders’ program will allow guests to visit Hidalgo Pump House in Hidalgo, the ‘wall’ between Mexico and the USA, and there will also be some photo opportunities.

“This is to show the guys… what happens on the border, they will be able to see Reynosa, and the Rio Grande river,” Garza added.

A total of 120 publications are part of NAHP, and the national meeting is an opportunity to express concerns in critical topics, such as printing media, digital platforms, and the Hispanic community in general.

“Right now, maybe, you don’t make money with digital but you need to have it to be a real publication,” Garza expressed. “That’s basically for Hispanic printing media.”

More complete details, plus a more detail agenda can be accessed in http://www.nahp.org/