TADA recently had a chance to sit down with the newest members of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) board. The Governor appoints these nine members to the TxDMV Board with the advice of the state senate, which also designates one board member to serve as chair.
Charles Bacarisse was appointed as chair, Sharla L. Omumu and Christian Alvarado are the newest board members. TADA enjoyed getting to know more about these amazing individuals, and we look forward to tenure on the board.
Charles Bacarisse of Houston is Vice President of Major Gifts at Houston Baptist University. He is a former board member of the Department of Information Resources, where he served as chair. He served for 13 years as the elected District Clerk of Harris County. Previously, he served on the boards of the County and District Clerks Association of Texas, Neighborhood Centers Inc., the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Houston Chapter, and Downtown Houston Association. Bacarisse and his wife, Jana Fay, are both native Houstonians who are active in their church. Their two adult children are busy young professionals. Charles enjoys golf, reading history and biography, hunting and fishing, traveling on cruises and attending HBU athletic events. Charles received a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University.
You have been serving on the TxDMV board, but recently have been appointed as chair. What are your thoughts about this new venture?
I’m honored that Governor Abbott asked me to serve the agency in this way. After being a board member for about two years, I have been amazed to learn the scope of services and responsibilities for which the agency is responsible. I’m also very thankful for our talented fellow board members who bring energy and passion to their work. I have learned from each of them and I’ve told them I’d be relying on them even more going forward. We have a great team, and the TxDMV professional staff is the best. I’m always impressed by their customer focus and “can-do” attitude, whether it’s working with one of our customer partners, such as auto dealers or county tax assessor collectors, the public, a member of the Legislature, or law enforcement, they pride themselves on service. I think we live up to our motto, “Helping Texans go, helping Texas grow,” and I look forward to our future together.
How do you think your background experience will enhance your contributions to this board?
My 20-plus years in government from the federal to the local level give me a clear understanding of how to listen first and collaborate with others in navigating through complex problems to reach solutions. From day one of my time at the DMV, I’ve said that I’m here to lend my experience and support to our mission. Whatever I can do to help our professional staff, I’m here to serve. We have great people on the board and in the agency. We all work well together.
In your perspective, is the agency fulfilling its mission to the public? To the regulated community?
I do believe the TxDMV is fulfilling its mission. It’s a growing and dynamic one, which the Legislature and the Governor have charged us to work toward every day. The regulated community, and auto dealers in particular, are critically important to the state. The motor vehicle industry provides the needed transportation to millions of Texans so we can all get out to work, move our products to markets all over the world, and make the Texas economy the best in the country. We have a strong staff, who are working to assist our customers every day.
What are the agency’s future challenges?
As Texas continues to grow, our ability to work efficiently with our regulated entities and county partners to serve these new Texan’s needs is on the top of my mind. The rapidly changing markets for and types of transportation will challenge the TxDMV in the years ahead as well. Everything from electric vehicles, the transportation infrastructure, our partnership with law enforcement in serving their needs, to technology and cybersecurity improvements will all be a part of the challenges ahead. It is critical that the TxDMV, both professional staff and Board members, work together with all stakeholders to ensure that the motor vehicle industry operates as a whole in a fair, consistent and predictable manner.