Larena Baldazo Steps Down as Marketing Chair & “Off Camera” Publisher

In 2017, I was in my last quarter at John F. Kennedy University, while interning at KTVU Fox 2 News. During one of my shifts in the newsroom, I was approached by Steve Shlisky, and he asked if I’d like to volunteer for the Emmy® Gala at the SF Jazz Center in San Francisco.  

I was beaming with excitement! 

My task was to help post on social media. I was on speech clips and who could have imagined what a task that would be – but I was eager!

The night was a success and the award recipient clips were live. I had sore feet and a burst of energy when I returned home.

I was inspired to say the least.

From there, I volunteered at the Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon, and this was when Steve and Patty Zubov asked me to join NATAS as a student member.

In that moment I would have never guessed that I would go on to lead the social media subcommittee, become Marketing Chair, and eventually serve as Emmy SF’s “Off Camera” Publisher (oh, and be the Zoom Producer for our first virtual gala!).

It has been my personal goal to strengthen Emmy SF’s digital presence and while it has not been easy, I am pleased to say that we totally crushed that goal. We as in the marketing committee as a whole! While this committee has evolved over the years, I would like to personally thank Nazy Javid, Kris Sanchez, Susan A. Bradley, Toby Momtaz, Steve Shlisky, Jim Jakobs, Patty Zubov, and Austin Castro.

Our social media engagement has more than tripled, “Off Camera” now operates as a blog (in a whole new format as well), and web traffic has been steadily on the rise.

While things seem to be moving in the right direction, I have realized that it’s time to create more space in my life for self-care, free time, and most importantly – family time.

Self-reflection post pandemic and being pregnant will do that to you.

NATAS has given me the opportunity to learn new things, test my strengths and shine! Being a young journalist, and very new to the professional world, it took me a while to own my craft (at least that’s how I felt) and over the years, that confidence built me into the person I am today.

The day Patty officially handed off her Marketing Chair duties to me (at the retreat 5 years ago) she gave me a small coin pouch with Princess Leia on it. The front also had text that read, “well behaved women rarely make history”. I’d like to think that during my time as Marketing Chair and Publisher, I’ve left my mark…

The next Chair will bring fresh new ideas and creativity, and I can’t wait to see how that unfolds! Until then, I’ll be here to serve as a guide and hope to return eventually in a new capacity.

My fellow Board members, thank you for allowing me to serve with you and for doubling as mentors, friends and support systems. I appreciate you all and hope to have added just as much value to your lives as you have mine.

Lastly, I extend all my gratitude to Darryl Compton and Brooks Jarosz, for always supporting my vision for marketing and “Off Camera“. You all are in good hands. 

John Linn, Patty Zubov, myself and Nazy Javid pause for a quick photo at the 2023 gala.
Look closely to the left and you'll find me in the social media zone, trying to troubleshoot at my first gala in 2017.
Brooks Jarosz and I were awarded the Governor's Service Medallion in 2022.
Joyce Mitchell and I volunteered at the 2022 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon. A well received event after the break due to the pandemic.
Steve Shlisky and I at the same G&SC Induction Luncheon.
Toby Momtaz secured the greatest photo booth ever for the 2023 gala!
Is it even a gala if it's not documented on social media! Austin Castro, myself and Nazy Javid at the 2023 show.