Public Info

Union County to Host Hispanic Media Connection on October 12

Panel Discussion about Union County, the Hispanic Community and careers in television and media to be held at Kean University

The Union County Board of County Commissioners through the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs invites residents to the panel discussion, Hispanic Media Connection, on Wednesday, October 12 at Kean University located at 1000 Morris Avenue in Union Township. The event will take place in the North Avenue Academic Building. Light refreshments will be served at a 6:00 p.m. reception preceding the panel discussion, which is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. The event is free to attend.

This event is a joint collaboration between the County of Union, Kean University and Telemundo 47. The Hispanic Media Connection panel discussion is part of Union County’s Hispanic Heritage Month Program.

Hispanic Media Connection will be a great opportunity for insight on the many facets of Spanish language media and how they come together to serve the Hispanic community,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “We look forward to a great panel discussion and encourage all residents to attend.”

The panel will be comprised of four representatives from the Telemundo 47 world, with insights from different vantage points of the Hispanic Media industry:

  • Host/Panelist: Allan Villafana, Telemundo 47 News Anchor
  • Panelist: Rosa Garriga, Telemundo 47 Senior Financial Analyst and Linden resident
  • Panelist: Ana Abreu, Telemundo 47 Human Resources Manager and Elizabeth resident
  • Panelist: Maria Vargas-Pion, Telemundo Network Correspondent and Kean University Graduate

“The composition of this panel including county residents, a Kean University graduate and all being Telemundo 47 personnel is reflective of the synergy between Union County, Kean University and Telemundo 47,” said Commissioner Sergio Granados. “The service provided by media outlets like Telemundo 47 is a vital part of the daily lives of so many Spanish speaking residents, and the information provided during this panel will be useful in analyzing how Spanish speaking media outlets continue to evolve and serve our communities.”

During the panel, which will be followed by a Q&A session, the following discussion topics will be addressed:

  • History of Telemundo 47 in Union County and across Northern NJ
  • Impact of Telemundo 47 and Telemundo Network on you
  • Comparison to media in native countries – and local Hispanic communities
  • Careers in media – now and in the future

“The Hispanic community in Union County is growing and Telemundo 47 and other Spanish language media outlets make sure that these residents are continuously informed of local and global happenings that affect them,” said Commissioner Lourdes Leon. “This panel is a small sample of the talent that contributes to the success of foreign language media right here in our own backyard.”

Allan Villafaña is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Villafaña graduated from The Ohio State University where he majored in Journalism. He joined Telemundo 47 in 2012. He currently serves as news anchor for Noticiero 47 Telemundo Primera Edición (Telemundo 47 News First Edition), as well as Noticiero 47 Telemundo Al Mediodía (Telemundo 47 News at Noon). He joined Telemundo 47 in 2012. Villafaña has received numerous professional awards and nominations throughout his career. A member of the New York Chapter’s National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Villafaña was awarded the “Excellence in Journalism Award” by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Rosa Garriga is a 31 year veteran of NBC/Telemundo who currently serves as Senior Financial Analyst for both NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47.  A native of Cuba and a 43 year resident of Union County living mainly in Elizabeth and now currently in Rahway, Garriga has worked with Telemundo 47 for several decades and currently manages all accounts payable for the sister stations.  She has an Accounting Certificate from New York University and she began her career with NBC/Telemundo in 1981 as a Sales Assistant.

Ana Abreu is the Human Resources Manager for Telemundo 47.  In this role, she also works closely with sister station WNBC and manages benefits, labor relations and employee engagement for nearly 350 employees.  She joined Telemundo 47 in 2018 and was promoted into her current role in 2021.  A native of the Dominican Republic and a 20-year resident of Elizabeth, Abreu is a graduate of Rutgers University.

María Vargas-Pion is a national Emmy Award-Winning journalist and news correspondent at Hoy Día, Telemundo Network in New York’s Bureau. Over her twelve years as a journalist, she had worked as a news reporter at local stations, Telemundo 47 New York and Telemundo 62 in Philadelphia. She started her career as a production assistant at CNN/Headlines News at the Nancy Grace Show. María Vargas-Pion graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kean University with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Film with a second major in Spanish. She was born in the Dominican Republic and lived a few years in Venezuela, from where she immigrated to the United States. Currently, María resides in New Jersey.

Hispanic Media Connection is made possible in part by funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the NJ Department of State. For more information regarding the Hispanic Heritage month and related events, please visit: or contact Judith Guest, Community Engagement & Diversity Coordinator, by email at or by phone at (908) 527-4388.


For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.