Ogg, who's been a commercial driver license compliance training officer for about a year, was named the 2018 American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' (AAMVA) International Driver Examiner Certification (IDEC) board Examiner of the Year for Region IV during a ceremony May 6 at the Lakewood Driver License Office.
"It's a big honor, a little bit of a shock," Ogg, a Los Angeles native, said of the regional award. "It's overwhelming to some degree -- I'm truly blessed and honored," he said before humbly adding that he is just doing his job.
Although Ogg started working for the DMV in December 2017, he is no stranger to driving commercially, having served as a truck driver while in the military, including a combat deployment in support of Operation Desert Storm. After his time in the Army, Ogg started driving for commercial trucking companies and soon became an over-the-road trainer and safety operations manager, including an eight-year stint as a CDL instructor/examiner for North Carolina. Ogg, who works at the Lakewood Driver License Office, eventually moved to Colorado where he earned the Commercial Vehicle Training Association's Master Instructor certification.
That wealth of knowledge made him an asset to the DMV's CDL Compliance Unit, Driver Testing and Education Manager Carol Olds said.
"Howard brings experience to the table, not only in the examiner role, but he has been an examiner and third-party tester for years," said Olds, who nominated Ogg. "He understands the AAMVA test model and can easily explain deficiencies to other testing units. He is a valuable team member."
According to Olds, this is the first time a DMV employee has won the award during her 13 years with the division. As a CDL compliance training officer, Ogg has the task of training the trainers -- a near monumental task for him and his three counterparts in the DMV. It's a task Ogg and his comrades are up to though, because of the important role they play in helping ensure Colorado's commercial drivers are adequately trained, he said. Without third-party testers there would be long waits for CDL exams, Ogg said, citing Texas and its six- to eight-week wait list for testing.
"If there wasn't third-party testers and a third-party testing program, the trucking industry would be even more in shortage, because states that don't have a third party program can't produce as many drivers out of that state for CDLs," Ogg said referencing the nationwide shortage of commercial drivers.
That shortage could make cutting corners attractive, but with compliance training officers, such as Ogg, third-party testers are held to AAMVA's standards and must maintain those standards. Ogg's work directly impacts the safety of Colorado motorists and the flow of goods throughout the Centennial State. With properly trained commercial drivers, there are fewer accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as 18-wheelers and buses, which helps save lives and ensure that goods arrive on schedule, Ogg said.
"The biggest thing is human life," Ogg said. "And making sure that the drivers are safe out there and when new ones start out that they understand how the industry works and how to be safe."
Ogg is in consideration for the 2018 IDEC Examiner of the Year for the U.S., which will be announced later this year.
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