Chair's Award of Excellence and Achievement

The Chair’s Award of Excellence and Achievement is a special honor given at the discretion of the AAMVA Chair of the International Board of Directors to an individual or organization whose contributions and service have left a lasting impact on the AAMVA community. The award is presented each year at AAMVA’s Annual International Conference.

2021 Award Recipient

Richard D. Holcomb

Commissioner (Retired)
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles

On September 2, 2021, during AAMVA's Annual International Conference, Mike Dixon, Outgoing Chair of the Board, presented the prestigious Chair’s Award of Excellence and Achievement to Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. A mainstay of the AAMVA Community for nearly 20 years, Holcomb is known as an active member and fierce cheerleader of the association and its members. Since his first appointment as Virginia DMV commissioner in 1994, Holcomb has served five different governors from both political parties, preceded by time on the Hill as congressional staff and interrupted by several years of service as general counsel to the American Trucking Association. While he has been an innovative leader for the Virginia DMV, it is his service to AAMVA that makes him worthy of this recognition.

His AAMVA resume includes countless committees, working groups, and boards. From his early days as a member and chair of the AAMVAnet Board, he has always been willing to serve, culminating with his term as chair of the AAMVA International Board of Directors from 2015-2016. Being the forward-thinking leader he is, it was during his tenure as chair that AAMVA had some significant accomplishments. It was under his leadership that AAMVA expanded its Law Enforcement Program to better serve the DMV investigator community. Also as chair, he tasked then-treasurer Kurt Myers to lead the association’s first enterprise-wide financial sustainability exercise which has guided AAMVA’s financial strategy since. He also helped AAMVA to live up to our promise of being a fully North American association, dedicating a seat on the International Board of Directors to a Canadian representative.

Often, when someone finishes their board term, they return their focus to their home agency as an engaged AAMVA member, fulfilled that they have completed their term of service, but Holcomb’s service continued. He has come back to the International Board time and again to serve as treasurer for three separate chairs. Though his current term as treasurer has ended, he will begin a new three-year term on the board.

He has unending energy to further the greater good of the community. Whether that is leading a coalition of states to petition the federal government on any number of regulatory matters or encouraging new people to become active in AAMVA, he is always willing to speak up when a voice is needed. 

Past Recipients

2020: Dianne Graham, AAMVA
2019: Philippe Guiot, AAMVA        
2018: Chrissy Nizer, Maryland              
2017: Cathie Curtis, Director, AAMVA
2016: Betty Serian, TML Information Services, Inc.
2015: Brad Simpson, Utah
2014: Pat & Velva Crahan, U-Haul International
2013: Dennis A. Kamimura, Hawaii
2012: Jerry Dike, Texas (retired)
2011: Debra Hilmer, South Dakota
2010: Berta Phelps, Manheim Auctions
2009: Judy Brown, Texas
2008: Julie Allen, Missouri
2007: Michael R. Calvin, Interim President & CEO, AAMVA
2006: Anne Witt, Director, Department of Motor Vehicles, District of Columbia
2005: Texas Department of Transportation, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division Staff
2004: AAMVA Staff
2003: Dan Gill, The Gill Group