BRA welcomes new CFO to guide financial future

BRA welcomes new CFO to guide financial future

The Brazos River Authority has named Michele Giroir the new Chief Financial Officer. She replaces David Thompson, who is retiring after 9 years with the BRA.  

BRA GM/CEO David Collinsworth said Giroir's leadership skills and knowledge of the organization's financial needs will help guide the agency through major projects. 

"Michele is outstanding, long-tenured, and very dedicated to the BRA's mission," Collinsworth said. "Many of our customers know and trust her. Not only does Michele understand BRA's future financial challenges, but she understands our customers and their challenges. She will be a great."

Giroir said she's grateful for Collinsworth's confidence in her.

Giroir grew up in what she terms the "swamps of Louisiana," in a little town outside Lafayette called Arnaudville. One year in high school, she took a bookkeeping class with a wonderful woman named Patricia Stelly. It was there that Giroir discovered her love for numbers. 

"I enjoyed it. For whatever weird genetic formation I have that makes me like numbers, I just stuck with it," Giroir said with a laugh.

She liked it enough to make it a career.

One day, when Giroir's son was about six years old, he walked into the room where Giroir was tutoring a Baylor University student. They were both sitting in front of a laptop discussing the numbers on the screen.

"He walked over to us and said, "Oh, that's the video game mommies always play," Giroir said. "I'm a total Excel nerd."

Giroir received a bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, home to the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns. She was the accounting manager for the city of Cedar Park for about five years before she and her family decided they wanted to leave the greater Austin area to move somewhere "less crazy" to raise their family. She learned of the BRA when she met then-CFO Susan L. Morgan, and soon applied for a position. In March 2001, Giroi was hired as the accounting manager. The position was later reformed in 2003 to become the budget manager, where she has been ever since this promotion.

"I like playing with numbers," Giroir said. "I like that everything is organized. It makes sense. You have a good set of rules to work with."

Giroir will now oversee a team of 16 for the Brazos River Authority. She said she was inspired to apply for the position because she wanted to help keep the ongoing momentum going within the department. "There is a long learning curve when people come to work for the BRA," she said. "And there are several large projects ongoing and on the horizon for the BRA which factor into the long-range financial plan." 

"When someone says, 'What happens if we do this project?' or 'What happens if we do that project?' Running those numbers, those scenarios through the long-range financial plan to see what makes sense and how it would affect the system rate moving forward, well, that's in Excel too so I love that."

For more than 20 years, Giroir has been in charge of putting together and monitoring the use of the BRA's annual operating and capital budgets. It's of utmost importance that the BRA's budget is in good standing. The BRA Board of Directors, stakeholders, and customers all need to be kept informed, and their feedback gathered as big projects help direct the future of the organization.

"We've got such a good crew right now and I'm excited about the things we have coming up. I want to be a part of it," she said. "That's why I've stayed at the BRA. It's the people. That's so easy. The people I've met and the things they've taught me. It's what I love."

When she's not working, Giroir can be found hiking the trails, reading a good book, cooking Cajun food, or spending time with her family. She's been married to her husband, Scott, for 36 years. They have a daughter, son-in-law, son, and a second grandbaby on the way.