Superintendent Russell Toal
SANTA FE – The Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announces the resignation 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 20th.
Appointed by the Insurance Nominating Committee (INC) in November 2019, Superintendent Toal left an indelible mark on OSI and its staff during an unprecedented era. Superintendent Toal secured strong consumer protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding access to telehealth services, ensuring consumers were offered discounts on auto insurance, and ensuring New Mexicans did not incur any costs for COVID-19 testing or Vaccines were imposed as soon as they became available. Superintendent Toal also worked with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Legislature to enact and implement the Health Care Affordability Fund.
The fund is already offering significant savings to individuals, families and small businesses. In addition, OSI’s financial situation has improved dramatically and there have been no audit findings in the past two years.
Toal will be working as a health and insurance affairs contractor for the Legislative Finance Committee next week. 2023 marks his 47th year of public service.
The Chair of the Insurance Nominating Committee, former Lt. Diane Denish, was appointed Katechis serves as interim superintendent pending a permanent appointment. Catechis will be the first woman and first Latina to hold the position for the state of New Mexico. She has served as Assistant Superintendent for OSI since January 2021.
In her new role, Katechis will bring her time and experience as Assistant Superintendent and more than 17 years of senior management experience, including her work with former US Representative and current Senator Ben R. Lujan (D) NM. She also previously worked for the Department of Insurance when it served the Public Regulation Commission (“PRC”) as Chief Examiner of Insurance.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve as Interim Superintendent of Insurance during this transition period. I am honored to be the first woman to take on this role. As a multi-generational Santa Fean, I think of my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who dreamed of such an opportunity for me but did not live to see the day,” said Catechis. “I am pleased to continue working with such professional and dedicated employees who work every day for the people of New Mexico. I’m proud of the work we’ve done during the pandemic to continue providing affordable, accessible and equitable insurance to the people of New Mexico.”
Over the past two years at OSI, Catechis has demonstrated her continued commitment to service to New Mexicans.
Catechis will work with the New Mexico Legislature on the FAIR Plan Modernization Bill updating the duties and responsibilities of the New Mexico Property Insurance Program (NMPIP). She also plans to prioritize homeowners in New Mexico who need access to insurance following the devastating 2022 wildfires after their property was deemed high-risk.
Katechis grew up in Santa Fe 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, received her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and her MBA from Webster University. She is married and has a daughter.