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Week of October 22, 2012

Staff Spotlight

For analyst, helping her community not ‘strictly business’

Brittany Galisdorfer moved around a lot as a child, living in six different states before college. But she found a home when, as a freshman at U-M in 2001, she volunteered in the city of Detroit and fell in love with it.

Galisdorfer, a business analyst in the Office of Financial Analysis, now uses her skills and education to help not only the university, but the city of Detroit, where she has resided for the past five years and has volunteered for a number of community organizations, including Central United Methodist Church and the Downtown Detroit Citizens District Council.

In 2009, Brittany Galisdorfer was presented the Dave Bing Future Leader Award for her work with the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. Photo by Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography.

She graduated from Michigan in 2005 with a math degree, and decided to stay in the area and work for the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, a nonprofit that organizes, serves and advocates on behalf of metro Detroit’s mature cities.

“I really fell in love with Michigan as a whole, and the idea of supporting local communities,” she says.

In 2009, Galisdorfer was awarded the Dave Bing Future Leader Award for the work she did at the Michigan Suburbs Alliance on regional cooperation and intergovernmental service sharing. It came as quite a surprise, Galisdorfer says, as she didn’t even know she was nominated until after she had won.

“I was completely caught off guard,” she says. “It was a great honor, particularly because it was for work that strives for something that is so crucial to the region’s success: working together.”

This, she says, is the key to continued growth and success in the Detroit area. She believes Detroiters are not afraid to get their hands dirty, but that a lot of the exciting things going on in the city are flying under the radar.

“The city has a lot of momentum,” Galisdorfer says. “It’s great and it’s just going to get better, (but) it’s a long road.”

At the university, Galisdorfer, who last year completed her master’s degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, is part of a team that monitors financial activity throughout the institution to document whether budgets are adhered to and whether transactions, particularly those between different departments, are properly managed.

A key focus of her office, Galisdorfer says, is to support departments in complying with university and federal policies while encouraging innovation and collaboration.

“We actively work with the units in strategic ways that are designed to improve processes and customer service levels. One of our primary goals is to give them the resources they need to pursue the university’s missions of teaching, doing research, and providing patient care,” she says.

Part of the reason she was attracted to the idea of working for the university was knowing that it continues to be one of the top-ranked universities in the country while having a long-term plan to develop and implement innovative ways to contain costs, maximize resources, and increase efficiencies.

“I love my job,” she says. “Having this really high-functioning work setting is impressive.”

The weekly Spotlight features faculty and staff members at the university. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at



Brittany Galisdorfer, business analyst, Office of Financial Analysis, on Detroit: “The city has a lot of momentum. It’s great and it’s just going to get better.”


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