January 2018

AAMVA begins to write the story of its new culture


With the transition of seasons from fall to winter comes the end of AAMVA’s 2017 conference cycle. It’s a time to put away the suitcase, wrap up travel notes and file the last expense report for the year.

For those of us who travel a lot for AAMVA—including our Chair, AAMVA staff and associate members—it’s a time to say goodbye to our conference siblings and traveling partners with whom we share cab rides, airport delays, meetings and meals from January until October each year. The goodbyes bring a moment to reflect on the contributions and talent that make so many of AAMVA’s events and services possible.

Come January, AAMVA’s Board of Directors will meet to check-in on the FY2018 spending plan and provide strategic direction for AAMVA to best serve its members on emerging innovations, regulatory challenges and information technology (IT) systems, to name a few. The board will also talk with association and federal partners like the Industry Advisory Board, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators and International Registration Plan. We expect to hear from our federal partners at the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security.

This coming year is sure to bring advances in self-driving vehicles, digital identification and ID security that we could not have imagined a year ago. With this fast and furious pace of change comes a responsibility to learn as much as possible and sustain the networks that help the public sector serve its citizens. It is as important as ever to be at the table exchanging ideas, recommendations and best practices. AAMVA offers a host of ways that you and your staff can serve on committees and working groups; attend AAMVA conferences, workshops and meetings; and stay connected.

For AAMVA the organization, 2018 brings a chance to write a new story together about our internal culture and our effort to create a workplace that puts employees’ well-being and their ability to contribute their best at the forefront of managers’ focus. This organizational culture initiative is awkward at times and sometimes feels uncertain or slow, but it brings with it the reward of replacing old biases and leadership filters with new ones built around the golden rule of serving others as we would like to be served.

In the midst of wrapping up this year’s projects and preparing for the next, let’s pause and consider why we do what we do: to make our communities better places through safe drivers, safe vehicles, secure identities—saving lives. This higher purpose in our work presents daily opportunities to touch people’s hearts. Whether it’s a traffic stop that prevents a crash or a DMV employee asking a license applicant if he or she wants to be an organ donor, the difference your staff make with each customer transaction can be profound.

Connecting through AAMVA creates opportunities to do this work better all the time. For AAMVA staff, the opportunity to collaborate in this work is inspiring and rewarding.

Anne Ferro

AAMVA President and CEO


P.S. Watch our “2017 Year in Review” video below to get a sense of what AAMVA’s many accomplishments over the last year look like!