Loretta Lopez, Director
In October 2019, Loretta Lopez was appointed by Gov. Lujan Grisham to serve as Director of the New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration (WCA). She is the first woman to be appointed to that position. Lopez attended the University of New Mexico, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1982, and in 1989, she earned her Juris Doctorate degree. Lopez has 30 years of legal experience working in state government and private practice.
Leigh Martinez, Executive Deputy Director, Support Services
Leigh Martinez has been an employee of the WCA since 1996, working as a financial auditor in the Self Insurance Bureau and then as an economist in the agency’s Economic Research and Policy Bureau. Prior to joining the WCA, Martinez was financial manager for Sandia Casino. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting from the University of New Mexico. Martinez oversees the WCA’s support services, which includes the bureaus of Finance, Facilities, Safety, Field Programs, Medical Cost Containment, Economic Research and Information Systems.
Kenneth Owens, Acting Executive Deputy Director, Operations
Kenneth Owens joined the WCA in 2018 and was later hired as the Mediation Bureau Chief. Since June of 2020 he has served as the Acting Deputy Director of Operations, which includes the Workers’ Compensation Court, Clerk of the Court, Mediation, Ombudsman and Self-Insurance Bureaus. Owens is a native New Mexican and a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law and New Mexico Military Institute, where he received his commission as a United States Army officer. He is a Persian Gulf War era Army veteran and served as an Air Defense Artillery officer. Owens has worked in the New Mexico legal community for over 25 years for both civil legal services and state government. He designed and managed the first statewide public benefits unit for New Mexico Legal Aid and worked with the State Human Services Department in utilizing an alternative dispute resolution process to help families access the public benefits to which they were legally entitled. As a former Assistant State Attorney General (AG), he established and managed the AG’s Keep Your Home New Mexico program and worked with the Administrative Office of the Courts and District courts in developing residential foreclosure mediation programs. Owens is a certified mediator, an at-large member of the State Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) committee and has been appointed to the IAIABC Dispute Resolution Committee.
Michael Holt, General Counsel
Michael Holt graduated from Northern Arizona University in 1984 with a degree in geology and received his law degree from the Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1990. Holt was in private litigation practice in Illinois for 27 years with a focus on workers' compensation and personal injury. Prior to his promotion to General Counsel, Holt was the WCA Enforcement Bureau Chief. Holt began as General Counsel in February, 2021.