Eyes on the Horizon
Messages from the outgoing and incoming AAMVA Board Chairs
This is my final column in MOVE as Chair of the AAMVA Board. Much has occurred since last summer, when we were all in the midst of dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives and our programs. I hope you have found, as I have, that working together to share ideas and experiences has helped us all improve our operations during this time. It has empowered us to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. We’ve collectively covered a lot of ground since last year and, fortunately, are now transitioning out of this crisis.
It has been impressive to observe—and in some cases, participate—with our board members, AAMVA staff and volunteers this past year to accomplish all the work essential to keeping our association strong and supporting our members through this difficult time in history. We may not have been able to meet in person in 2020, but it did not reduce our productivity.
Speaking of meeting in person, as you know by now, we will be meeting in person for the 2021 AAMVA International Conference! This will be a great event and will begin our transition out of the COVID-19 working environment into a post-pandemic world. I hope you are able to join us in Denver from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2.
This edition of MOVE addresses one of the disappointing outcomes of the impact of COVID-19 on public safety and our roadways. Data from the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that, despite a 13% decrease in traffic last year, there was a 7.2% increase in deaths on our roadways. Reducing this trend will be an important topic for our members in the months ahead.
I want to offer my congratulations and best wishes to our incoming chair, Chrissy Nizer. We could not be in better hands.
Thank you to all those who provided support and made contributions this past year!
2020–2021 AAMVA Chair of the Board
As I reflect on the past year and a half, two words come to mind: resilience and reimagination. I have been so proud to be a member of this community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Motor vehicle agencies, law enforcement and associate members found new and innovative ways to serve the residents in our jurisdictions, resulting in valuable insight to help us better serve our customers going forward. Our colleagues displayed a remarkable ability to meet each new challenge, serving on the front lines to ensure that critical goods were delivered and commerce continued.
More than ever, we relied on AAMVA staff and our jurisdiction and industry colleagues for recommendations, innovative practices and discussion of important issues. Most importantly, we relied on each other. I would like to personally thank Anne and Mike for their leadership.
As we embark on a brighter tomorrow and “new normal,” I am grateful and humbled to serve as AAMVA Chair. Since joining the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration over 15 years ago, AAMVA has been an endless resource, with countless colleagues who have provided guidance, insight and friendship. AAMVA is a valuable tool for all of its members, and I encourage you to get actively involved.
I look forward to continuing our work on customer service and highway safety and expanding that focus to new, exciting developments like the ability to exchange driver history records electronically through the State-to-State (S2S) Verification Service. Despite less traffic during the pandemic, too many of us saw this disturbing trend of increasing fatalities on our roadways. A solution will require all of us to work together.
I am confident that we can address these issues and many others that we will face in the next year. Please share with me your ideas and suggestions. I cannot wait to see you (in person!) and to catch up.
2021–2022 AAMVA Chair of the Board