Heavy Highway All Stars: Vivian Garza-Steele

Vivian Garza-Steele is Vice President and Controller at Zachry Corporation in San Antonio, TX. The Zachry Company was founded by H.B. “Pat” Zachry in the mid-1920s, when he resigned from the Texas Highway Department to pursue his own business. Zachry’s first project as a Texas-based contractor comprised of a series of four concrete-reinforced bridges in Laredo, TX, built in part by mule-drawn wagons. Today, in its third generation of family ownership, Zachry Corporation works on all types of projects including transportation, heavy civil, underground utility, and federal work. Zachry uses innovative solutions to plan and build infrastructure that meets the growing demands of the 21st century.

Vivian has been employed by Zachry since 1980. In her current role as Vice President and Controller, she oversees the company’s financial reporting, payroll, and retirement plan compliance as well as audits for the various entities under the Zachry Corporation umbrella. During her tenure at Zachry, she has held several key financial roles including Financial Accountant, Financial Accounting Supervisor, Retirement Plan Manager, and Senior Manager of Benefits. While 39 years is almost unheard of in today’s workforce, Vivian attributes her length of service to working with an outstanding group of people. “Zachry is such a great company and I could not imagine it any other way,” she said.

Vivian received a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Vivian is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Charted Global Management Accountant (CGMA). She is a member of the San Antonio Chapter of Certified Public Accountants, the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and is a past board member for the Profit Sharing 401(k) Council of America.

Vivian is an active member of CFMA and has served as the President of the San Antonio Chapter in addition to being a current board member. This past year she served as the Chairperson for the Lone Star regional conference and is a member of the CFMA Heavy/Highway committee. Being a member of CFMA has provided Vivian with the opportunity to build amazing relationships with other members both locally and nationally. She has seen the significant expansion of resources provided by CFMA, specifically noting the Benchmarker and the Connection Café. Vivian mentioned that “the resources offered continue to get better and better each year.”

When Vivian is not busy at work, she and her husband enjoy volunteering at their church. Vivian also serves as the board chair for the Alzheimer’s Association of San Antonio and South Texas. She recently became a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Chapter Board Advisory Group, which assists the national organization with chapter activities and work occurring in the field. Vivian has made it her mission to help create greater awareness of the Alzheimer’s Association and to let people know that help and resources are available.

About the Author

David Flynn, CPA

David Flynn, CPA, is the CFO of B2W Software located in Portsmouth, NH.

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