Jennifer A. Catechis will be the first woman and first Latina to serve in this role in New Mexico history.
NM | The Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announces the retirement of Superintendent Russell Toal and the appointment of Jennifer A. Catechis as Interim Superintendent for the agency, effective January 21, 2023.
Superintendent Russell Toal recently announced his retirement from OSI effective January 20. Appointed by the Insurance Nominating Committee (INC) in November 2019, Superintendent Toal has left an indelible mark on OSI and its staff during an unprecedented era. Superintendent Toal secured strong protections for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded access to telehealth services, ensured auto insurance rebates were made to consumers, and made sure New Mexicans were not subject to costs for COVID-19 tests or vaccines when they became available. Superintendent Toal also partnered with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Legislature working to pass and implement the Health Care Affordability Fund. The Fund is already delivering major savings to individuals, families, and small businesses. In addition, the OSI’s financial situation has been improved dramatically, and for the last two years, has had zero audit findings.
Mr. Toal will begin work next week as a contractor on health and insurance matters for the Legislative Finance Committee. 2023 will mark his 47th year in public service.
The Insurance Nominating Committee Chair, former Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, appointed Ms. Catechis to serve as the interim superintendent until a permanent appointment is made. Ms. Catechis will be the first woman and first Latina to hold this position for the State of New Mexico. She has served as Deputy Superintendent for OSI since January 2021.
In her new role, Ms. Catechis will bring her time and experience as Deputy Superintendent and more than 17 years of senior management experience including her work with former Congressman and now Senator Ben R. Lujan (D) NM. She also previously worked for the Department of Insurance when it was under the Public Regulation Commission (“PRC”) as the Chief Examiner of Insurance.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Interim Superintendent of Insurance during this transition time. I am humbled to be the first woman who will serve in this role. As a multi-generation Santa Fean, I think of my mother, grandmother and great grandmother who dreamed of such an opportunity for me but did not get to see this day,” said Ms. Catechis. “I am excited to continue to work with such a professional and dedicated staff who work day in and day out for the people of New Mexico. I am proud of the work we have done during the pandemic to continue to provide affordable, accessible and equitable insurance to the people of New Mexico.”
For the past two years at OSI, Ms. Catechis has shown her continued commitment to serving New Mexicans. Ms. Catechis will be working with NM Legislature on the F.A.I.R. Plan Modernization bill updating the duties and responsibilities of the New Mexico Property Insurance Program (NMPIP). She also plans to prioritize New Mexico homeowners who, after the devastating wildfires in 2022, need access to insurance after having their property rated as high risk.
Ms. Catechis was raised in Santa Fe, NM after her father retired from the US Navy and her family returned to her mother’s hometown. She is a graduate of Santa Fe High School, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and MBA from Webster University. She is married with one daughter.