Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Gulf States Toyota executive Laura Ryan to the Texas Transportation Commission on Monday, for a term set to expire in February.
Ryan currently serves as chair of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board, a post she will be stepping down from with her new appointment.
Ryan, who is the vice president of market representation and dealer development for Gulf States Toyota, will fill the remainder of Commissioner Jeff Moseley's term. Gulf States Toyota owner Dan Friedkin is one of Abbott's largest campaign donors, having donated more than $800,000 to him over the years.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Abbott's office highlighted Ryan's work on the DMV board "to make the department more innovative, customer-oriented, and efficient" as well as her "various executive level positions during her twenty-plus years in the automotive industry."
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"As chair of the board she provided exceptional leadership and direction on important issues related to the self-sufficiency, fiscal certainty and transparency of this agency," said DMV Executive Director Whitney Brewster in a statement. "I thank Ms. Ryan for her dedication, leadership and commitment to improving services for the citizens of this great state.”
The five-member commission oversees the Texas Department of Transportation. Ryan is Abbott's third appointment to the commission, following the appointments of former state Rep. Tryon Lewis and San Antonio banker J. Bruce Bugg Jr. last year.
Disclosure: Gulf States Toyota has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. J. Bruce Bugg is chairman of The Tobin Endowment, which has been a major donor to The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.