Esperanza “Candy” Martinez grew up in South Carolina never thinking she would end up with a lifelong career in news broadcasting. She made the move to Manhattan to live with her sister and a chance interview found her with a job as a production secretary for an African-American public affairs show on WABC 7 titled Like It Is. Observing the news studio, she realized associate directing was a perfect fit for her personality and work ethic. She completed several news training programs and moved her way up the ranks at ABC from assistant producer to associate director and occasional fill-in director. A trailblazer in her field, Martinez was one of the few minority females in news and made a point to mentor young hires from all races and walks of life, letting it known that if anyone was lost or confused they could always “Go and ask Candy.”
Martinez began her career at ABC in the early 1970s and has remained at the network throughout her career. Her duties include preparing the 9:30 am news broadcast as well as the noon and 5 pm editions of Eyewitness News; coordinating live shots and news breaks. In the mid-1990s Martinez set out on a “passion project” and directed several documentaries on African-American quilt making, among them, Spirit of The Individual and Cloth Sings to Me.
Martinez became involved in the Guild when fellow AD John Steinmetz, unbeknownst to her, suggested her to be part of the 1984 Negotiating Committee. This prompted her to start regularly attending Eastern AD/SM/PA Council meetings and in 1984 was elected as an alternate and has continued to serve on the Council ever since. Martinez also served on the Guild’s National Board from 1991-2003. In 2003, Martinez was the recipient of the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, given to an Associate Director or Stage Manager in recognition of their service to the industry and DGA.