Q&A with Mike Dixon
Incoming AAMVA Board Chair and Senior Director for the Division of Motor Vehicles, Colorado Department of Revenue, shares his vision for the future of the association
How long have you been working in the traffic safety industry?
While I’ve only been directly involved in the traffic safety industry for nine years as senior director of the Colorado DMV, I was actively involved in aviation and vehicle safety for more than 28 years in the U.S. Army. As an officer and helicopter pilot, assessing risk and reducing accidents was an important part of my responsibilities. The same is true today with work the Colorado DMV team does in support of public safety. I would have never imagined this being my first job out of the Army, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working in the DMV as well as with AAMVA and the industry.
What qualities have made you successful as a leader over the years?
I have been fortunate to have served in numerous leadership positions, but just as important were the jobs I had in supporting roles, where I learned from other leaders. Whatever success I’ve enjoyed, I attribute to always learning, respecting every individual and commitment to the organization and its mission. A quote that is relevant to my past experience and is likely relevant to many AAMVA members is, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Few can predict what jobs we will have in the future, but we can prepare, build relationships and do great things along the way.
What are your top priorities as incoming chair of the board? What are your goals for the organization?
My top priority is to continue to ensure the association fulfills its obligations and provides the best services to its members. I want to continue the work AAMVA president Anne Ferro and past chair Whitney Brewster have begun with AAMVA’s response to COVID-19, ensuring protection for employees while continuing to provide essential services and support.
Previous board members developed AAMVA’s Strategic Framework, which ends in 2021. We need to update it and consider what we have experienced and learned through the COVID-19 pandemic.
I also want to focus attention on our associate members, who have been affected by COVID-19 as much as our members. We want to continue to strengthen ties with these important members of our association.
How do you plan on moving AAMVA forward into the future?
COVID-19 has thrust many jurisdictions into the future faster than they planned. As this situation improves, there will likely be lessons learned that the board may consider for further evaluation. I plan to continue to identify and advance initiatives that are focused on the future. A few of the future-focused initiatives that are expected to be published in the next year include: a joint Transportation Research Board (TRB)-AAMVA study titled, “Trends Impacting DMVs of the Future,” a best practices guide on managing data privacy and access, and the creation of an e-title working group next year, which will assist jurisdictions in selecting e-title solutions to accomplish what is allowed in the recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule.
What initiatives that you’ve been a part of have you been most proud of in the past?
In Colorado, I am most impressed with the growth of our team and how well they accomplish all assigned tasks and missions. COVID-19 has created a very challenging situation for everyone. Our team has successfully operated in a sustained crisis mode, consistently providing very favorable results. I’m also proud of the 2019 AAMVA Region 4 conference. It provided me a window into the AAMVA staff, which showcased their dedication and professionalism.
What transportation issues are you most passionate about?
Issues that impact our customers and prevent our employees from providing great customer service.
Outside of work, what are some of your favorite hobbies or pastimes?
I enjoy hiking and walking my dog, spending time with my family, and day trips with my wife, Crystal, before or after AAMVA conferences to visit historical or interesting sites across North America.