Meet Our Staff

Melissa R. Hamilton

Melissa R. Hamilton

Public Counsel

The current Public Counsel, Melissa Hamilton, was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott in December 2017 and began serving as Public Counsel on January 2, 2018.

Before being appointed, Ms. Hamilton served as the Director of Government Relations for the Texas Department of Insurance.  Prior to her tenure at TDI, Ms. Hamilton worked as Staff Counsel for Texas State Senator Glenn Hegar. Ms. Hamilton has also previously served as a regulatory attorney for the Nationwide Insurance Company, as a staff attorney for The Justice Project, and as a Fair Trial Initiative Fellow at Texas Defender Service.

Ms. Hamilton graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas A&M University and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Kara Mace

Kara Mace

Deputy Public Counsel

Kara Mace is our Deputy Public Counsel, who assists the Public Counsel in her administrative and legal duties.
Ken Lovoy

Ken Lovoy

Deputy Director

Ken Lovoy is Deputy Director at OPIC. He is responsible for review and analysis of personal lines rate filings as well as insurance market research. 

Patricia Zapata

Patricia Zapata

Chief of Operations

Patricia Zapata serves many functions under the title of Chief of Operations. Patricia periodically prepares agency reports to the Legislative Budget Board and produces annual HMO reports for the public. She helps Spanish speaking consumers and serves as the agency’s Accessibility Coordinator.
Kimberly Donovan

Kimberly Donovan

Chief Policy Analyst

Kimberly Donovan is our Chief Policy Analyst responsible for overseeing all agency activities related to personal lines insurance including policy form review and analysis; maintenance of the agency’s Policy Comparison Tool; and representing the agency at the Texas Legislature and various board and committee meetings.
Talia Bright

Talia Bright

Policy Analyst

Talia Bright serves as OPIC’s Policy Analyst, assisting in personal lines insurance policy form review and analysis; and maintenance of the agency’s Policy Comparison Tool. 

Patrick Tyler

Patrick Tyler

Government Relations & Policy Analyst

Patrick Tyler serves as OPIC’s Government Relations Specialist and health insurance Policy Analyst.

Riki Lee Burhans

Riki Lee Burhans

Communications & Media Specialist, ISO, IRM

Riki Lee Burhans is our Communications & Media Specialist responsible for all communications at OPIC. Riki manages our website, social media channels, and creates all our communications materials. She also serves as the agency’s Information Security Officer and Information Resource Manager.

Mary Alice Costilla

Mary Alice Costilla

Administrative Assistant III

Mary Costilla started as an Administrative Assistant at OPIC in 2002.
Christina Muniz

Christina Muniz

Administrative Assistant II, Wellness Liaison

Christina Muniz joined OPIC as an Administrative Assistant in 2012 and is in charge of the office’s wellness program.