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CONGRATULATIONS CLAUDINE MARTINEZ!

Recipient of the Prestigious
2018 Ohtli Award


"Ohtli" is a Náhuatl word meaning "pathway" and the Ohtli medallion, which has an image of footprints, symbolizes the right pathway that women and men will take to their destiny. Every year, the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME) within the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) recognizes the altruistic activities of Latinos/as living in the United States, and offers the Ohtli Award to those who have devoted themselves to improving the quality of lives of our communities. SRE presents the Ohtli Award to acknowledge and strengthen the relationship among Mexican (and other Latino) communities living in and outside of Mexico, and to recognize their efforts.

Join us for lunch and the award presentation on Thursday, September 6, 2018.
12:15 pm – 12:45 pm |  Salon H - 5th Floor
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel



Claudine Martínez
President & General Counsel, MCT Industries, Inc.
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Claudine Martínez is the President and General Counsel of MCT Industries, Inc. (MCT), a family-owned and operated manufacturing business founded 45 years ago by her parents, with $200 and a welding machine. Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1973, MCT has expanded from manufacturing to include 13 other family-owned businesses, specializing in real estate development, environmental protection, and transportation. Ms. Martínez has led MCT to embody her family’s values of tireless work ethic, exceptional quality standards, and an unrelenting dedication to serve clients, employees, and the community. 

In her capacities at MCT, Ms. Martínez collaborates with the federal government and commercial clientele, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, Honeywell FM&T, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems, among others. She demonstrates an unwavering commitment to providing economic and professional advancement opportunities for Latinos. Since its founding, the manufacturing and transportation areas of MCT Industries have employed well over 1,000 people, with approximately 80% of them being of Latino heritage, and the majority of these being Mexican or of Mexican descent. The real estate development companies have secured jobs for approximately 1,000 additional individuals.
 
In addition to her professional contributions, Ms. Martínez has also demonstrated a continued commitment to her community, having served in various Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Board and Member positions including: Vice President of External Affairs, White House Liaison, National Secretary, and U.S. Congress HNBA Advocacy Day Advocate. She also served in the HNBA Justice Sonia Sotomayor U.S. Supreme Court nomination efforts, HNBA Latina Commission, local leadership committee for the 2009 HNBA Annual Convention in Albuquerque, and HNBA U.S. Congress strategies and efforts to pass the DREAM Act – legislation which provides a path to citizenship for the undocumented youth who entered the United States through no volition of their own. 

Ms. Martínez served as the lead author of the HNBA DREAM position statement submitted to the U.S. Senate. HNBA’s position statement was the most comprehensive Senate Judiciary Committee testimony offered by any organization during the (one and only to date) DREAM Act congressional hearing.  Strategically, the testimony focused on the invaluable economic, social, and legal impacts the DREAMERS contribute to the United States societal fabric. Utilizing sophisticated studies conducted by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and other respected institutions, the HNBA made the case that refusing to welcome the talents of DREAMERS would punish minors for legal responsibilities only adults can shoulder; would negatively impact the U.S. economy conservatively in the billions of dollars; would suppress ingenuity that will spur untold technological advancement; and would create a humanitarian crisis with generational impacts. The full testimony and exhibits were published in the HNBA Journal of Law and Policy. She also participated in multiple efforts by the organization United We Dream, a grassroots organization created to protect DREAMERS.  

Over the past 21 years, as an HNBA member, Ms. Martínez has also contributed to the personal and professional development of Latino legal professionals by imparting important practical knowledge via regular presentations, including general plenary and continued legal education sessions. She has enriched Latino attorneys’ networks as well by bringing and providing access to important national leaders. Ms. Martínez began her commitment to serving vulnerable populations during law school, by working at the National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense Fund and completing an internship at the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division, where she worked to ensure that affirmative action remained the law of the land, defeating efforts to curtail the policy which provides a level playing field for members of disadvantaged groups (i.e., racial, ethnic, gender minorities, etc.) who currently suffer or historically have suffered from discrimination.

Ms. Martínez began her commitment to serving vulnerable populations during law school, by working at the National Organization for Women (NOW) Legal Defense Fund and completing an internship at the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division, where she worked to ensure that affirmative action remained the law of the land, defeating efforts to curtail the policy which provides a level playing field for members of disadvantaged groups (i.e., racial, ethnic, gender minorities, etc.) who currently suffer or historically have suffered from discrimination.

Ms. Martínez’s other positions of service include, Honorary Commander assigned to the Chief Financial Officer of Kirtland Airforce Base (2018-present), Honorary Commander assigned to the Kirtland Airforce Base Defense Threat Reduction Agency (2016-2017), Vice-Chair of the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council (2015-2017), member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council (2013-2015), and Pentagon Acquisition Excellence Council (2003-2004).

As part of her service in the U.S. Manufacturing Council (the principal private sector advisory committee to the Secretary of Commerce on the U.S. manufacturing sector) and the International Trade Administration, Ms. Martínez focused on the following objectives:

  • Various agreements, including trade with Mexico focusing on removing obstacles and further opening economic relationships between the United States and Mexico.
  • Advising the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs affecting United States manufacturing and providing a forum for proposing solutions to industry-related problems
  • Ensuring regular communication between government and the manufacturing sector
  • Enhancing government’s focus on manufacturing competitiveness
  • Creating the conditions for economic growth and manufacturing investment
  • Lowering the cost of manufacturing in the United States
  • Investing in innovation
  • Strengthening education, retraining, and economic diversification


Ms. Martínez continues to live in her homeland of New Mexico. While her home and business are located in Albuquerque, her family continues to maintain the ancestral family ranches that have been handed down to each succeeding generation since the 1600s. She received her JD from UCLA School of Law, and her BS in Psychology and BA in Philosophy from Santa Clara University. Ms. Martínez is engaged to be married to U.S. Air Force Colonel Darian J. Padilla.