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March 2018

Q&A with longtime industry member

What led to your career in transportation and the DMV community?

My [former] employer, Polaroid, asked me to transfer from retail sales to government sales because of my ability to establish long-term, productive working relationships with Polaroid’s national accounts. When I met the DMV officials and understood what they stood up for, I decided this was the business I wanted to support. I said ‘Because they stand for saving lives, I’ll work with these folks for the rest of my life, as long as I’m compensated,’ not knowing I’d still be doing it at 79.

How and when did you begin working with AAMVA?

I began training for my assignment as Midwest Government Sales program manager in June 1971. That September, I attended my first AAMVA conference, the AIC, in New York City. My attendance led to introductions to many interesting DMV officials and a preliminary understanding of the depth of their responsibilities.

You founded The Gill Group in 2000—could you tell me about that work?

In June 2000, my employer at the time was sold, so I started my next career move—becoming a sales consultant. To my surprise, six companies requested my services when my availability was made known at the Region II conference in Fort Worth, Texas. That night my career as a sales consultant began, and it proved to be a very beneficial step forward for me.

What transportation-related issue(s) are you most passionate about?

Secure photo driver’s licenses and ID cards, and self-service systems. Secure photo driver’s licenses and ID cards improved safety and helped reduce fraud as well.
Why self-service systems? In the late 1980s, several AAMVA board members stated that because all states were now required to provide locations for image capture, the offices were becoming overcrowded. And many residents who do not have bank accounts and pay with cash need to go to an office rather than use the mail or internet.
My business partners and I were asked to provide self-service systems that would limit overcrowding and reduce the wait times to issue documents. Those self-service systems accept cash so residents can easily use them without a long wait, which improves the customers’ overall experience.

Throughout your career, is there one particular accomplishment you’re most proud of?

Influencing the passage of legislation requiring color photos for driver’s licenses and ID cards, which led to safer highways and reduced fraud. It wasn’t an easy task, because at that time most DMV officials believed they were in the business of evaluating a person’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle, not in the identification business. Legislators began requesting my testimony on the benefits and costs of a driver’s license and ID card system. My ultimate goal in providing photo driver’s license solutions was to save lives—establishing a system that saves lives makes me proud to have contributed to the safety of our citizens.

Dan Gill
Dan Gill (left) interacts with exhibitors at the 2017 Region II Conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In your consulting business, what has been the most important aspect of working with AAMVA jurisdictions?

Developing strong and trustworthy working relationships with DMV management teams. I only represent the companies that deliver on their promises. That reputation of delivering positive solutions spreads, leading to a welcome reception and an attentive audience on state visits.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What do you look forward to in retirement?

I enjoy golfing and traveling, and I read about four books a month. I plan on doing more of the same when I retire.