Gov. Martinez Appoints New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board


SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has made appointments to all positions on the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors. The appointments come as the Martinez administration continues to review all boards and commissions to make necessary adjustments and ensure that New Mexico’s taxpayers receive the best possible return on their investment. Each member has agreed not to conduct business with the Spaceport for two years after leaving their position on the board.

“I believe that with the right leadership and the right approach, the Spaceport can be a successful venture that brings jobs to New Mexico,” said Governor Martinez. “New Mexico’s taxpayers have made a significant investment in the Spaceport project. It’s time to see the project through to completion by bringing in private funding. In order to let taxpayers know that their government will operate in an open and honest manner, I have also asked each board member to make a commitment that they will not conduct business with the Spaceport for two years after their tenure on the board ends. I look forward to working with the new board members to ensure that we responsibly develop the Spaceport to its full potential, bring new jobs into New Mexico, and give taxpayers a healthy return on their investment.”

The members of the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors are listed below.

  • Chairman Richard Holdridge is a retired Air Force officer from Deming whose military service included a heavy focus on satellite program acquisition and overseeing the manufacturing, planning, and operation of United States Department of Defense satellite programs. After retiring from the Air Force, Holdridge was elected to the Deming City Council, where he served from 1998 to 2000. He currently manages his family’s real estate development and farming businesses in southern New Mexico. Holdridge earned his B.S. in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy, his M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Dayton, and his PhD in Astronautical Engineering from Stanford University.
  • Irvin Diamond is a Certified Public Accountant and a Senior Principal at REDW Stanley Financial Advisers in Albuquerque. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and chairs the Board of Directors at Amerinst Insurance Group. Diamond holds degrees from John Carroll University and the University of New Mexico.
  • Sid Gutierrez is a former NASA astronaut who currently serves as Director of ES&H and Emergency Management as well as Chief of Safety for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. Gutierrez piloted the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1991 and served as Mission Commander for the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1994. He also served on NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and International Space Station Management and Cost Evaluation Taskforce. Gutierrez earned his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and his M.A. in Personnel Management from Webster University.
  • Jerry Stagner is the President of Citizens Bank in Truth or Consequences. He also served as President of State National Bank and has an extensive background in the banking field. Stagner holds a B.B.A from Eastern New Mexico University. He previously served as a member of the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors.
  • David Buchholtz is an attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Albuquerque. His practice includes government finance law, economic development and state tax incentive law, financial institutions law, securities law, and corporate law. Buchholtz has been a private practice attorney since 1976. He is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of Think New Mexico and also served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico Law School. He earned his B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
  • Scott Krahling is a marketing consultant from Las Cruces who specializes in developing and implementing marketing plans for small businesses and real estate clients in Doña Ana County. Krahling also serves as a member of the Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners. He holds a B.A in Government and Journalism & Mass Communications from New Mexico State University.
  • Benjamin Woods serves as the Senior Vice President for External Relations and Chief of Staff at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, managing the Office of Government Relations as well as the University Communications and Marketing Services in that capacity. Woods has served as an administrator at NMSU since 1987, working in multiple fields for the university, including Planning, Physical Resources, and University Relations. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and earned his M.B.A from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Woods previously chaired the Spaceport Authority Board of Directors.