Pub. 61 2020-2021 Issue 4


TADA Q&A with New Members: Sharla L. Omumu

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This story appears in the
Dealers’ Choice Magazine – Pub. 61 2020-2021 Issue 4

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.

Sharla L. Omumu of Cypress is Director of Incentives for Gulf States Toyota, Inc. She has held several positions at Gulf States Toyota since 2001. She is an active member of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas and the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto, and a supporter of several other local organizations. Sharla received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Sharla will serve as the manufacturer or distributor license-holding representative.

Sharla is a native Texan, raised in Houston and has roots in “the birthplace of Texas, Washington-on-the-Brazos,” dating back to her second great-maternal grandparents. Sharla credits her dad, a minister, and her mother, a retired nurse, who modeled service to others with gratitude as her life’s inspiration. Sharla is married to her husband Chinedu of 15 years, and they share one cherished daughter, Mary.

You just started serving on the TxDMV board. What are your thoughts about this new venture? 

I am absolutely honored to join the TxDMV board. The agency has done great work modernizing department services and improving customer service for the public and the motor vehicle industry. 

This is my first experience working in government, and I am grateful to Governor Abbott for the opportunity. I am captivated by the enthusiasm the TxDMV leadership has for their respective divisions. The level of professionalism and personal ownership is refreshing and aligns with my feelings about the motor vehicle industry and the State of Texas. In my short time serving, the TxDMV staff and executive leadership team have displayed the very best of Texas. I am eager to learn a great deal from the board’s distinguished members, and offer my knowledge of the industry and bring a new perspective. 

Do you think your experience is typical of board members, and how do you think your background experience will enhance your contributions to this board? 

The tie that binds the board members is our willingness to serve and what connects us is that we all interface with the motor vehicle industry as a whole in some way. The board represents a diverse group of well-respected professionals, and it is my intention to enhance the already great work this board has accomplished since its inception in 2009. 

My experience working with the Gulf States Toyota distributorship has lent itself to working with manufacturers and dealers who represent different automotive brands. My background includes years of customer and technical support across several industries. I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with retail automotive dealers as the industry stepped into the digital age in the early 2000s. I also worked with dealers to improve efficiencies and dealer profitability in a “bottom-up” initiative called Toyota Signature. I worked in Market Representation and navigated several buy/sell, ownership and dual transactions during the great economic recession time period. In my current role I develop incentive strategy in an effort to improve retail market share as defined by vehicle registration data.

The greatest contribution I can give is to always listen first, consider the facts, and make the best decision for the constituents of Texas for today and tomorrow while using my experience to add perspective when making those important decisions.

In your perspective, is the agency fulfilling its mission to the public? To the regulated community? 

The agency’s mission is “to serve, protect and advance the citizens and industries in the state with quality motor vehicle-related services,” and I believe the TxDMV’s customer-centric divisions serve as proof that it is successfully fulfilling its purpose.  

The Compliance and Investigations Division supports law enforcement to help detect and prevent fraud. The largest division, Vehicle Titles and Registrations, registered 24 million vehicles in 2020 despite the pandemic. From a manufacturer and distributor perspective, the fact that Texas could continue to register vehicles uninterrupted was important because a major KPI, market share, is defined by the number of new light vehicles registered in the state each month. 

The Consumer Relations Division successfully transitioned to “work from home” and never dropped a phone call or email during the same time period. The stellar website reviews indicate how well this division supports Texans or those moving to Texas.  

Other divisions such as the Enforcement and Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority specifically aim to support and educate citizens of Texas.

What are the agency’s future challenges? 

Texas is the best state in the nation and one of the fastest-growing. The agency currently has several IT projects underway to further the modernization required to best support the demands of the growing number of Texas motorists on the road. The TxDMV team is comprised of top talent committed to best serving Texas and its motorists. In my opinion, there’s no challenge today, or in the future that the TxDMV cannot overcome.