Phil Ford was appointed General Manager of the Brazos River Authority in March, 2001. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Ford served for more than 34 years in the United States Air Force. He retired in July, 2000 with the rank of Lieutenant General. His last assignment was as deputy commander in chief of the U. S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The command included responsibility for all U. S. Air Force and Navy strategic nuclear forces.
Ford was born and raised in Fort Worth. He attended Fort Worth public schools and graduated from Arlington State University in 1965 with a B. S. degree in business administration and management. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1966 and was commissioned through Officer Training School in 1967. He earned his master’s degree in counseling and human development in 1978 from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. He attended the National War College in Washington, D. C. and a program for senior executives at Harvard University.
Ford’s assignments in the Air Force have included command of the 8th Air Force, the 384th Bomb Wing, and the 524th Bomb Squadron. He also served as commandant of the Air Command and Staff College. Ford is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flight hours. He has flown a variety of aircraft, such as the KC-135, the KC-10, and the B-52, B1-B and B-2 bombers. He earned numerous decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Defense Superior Service Medal.
Ford and his wife, Kristen, live in McGregor. They have one son, Jeff, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, and a daughter, Meri, who works in the banking industry.
Lower/Central Basin Region Manager
David Collinsworth serves as the Brazos River Authority’s regional manager for the Central and Lower Basins. In this position, he manages a staff of more than 80 employees and is responsible for reservoir/dam operations, water & wastewater treatment and project development. A Brazos River Authority employee for nearly 20 years, Mr. Collinsworth previously managed field operations for the BRA including the functions of the water quality laboratory. In 2001, he took over the role of business manager for the Central Basin. He was named to the position of regional manager in March, 2014.
Mr. Collinsworth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aquatic Biology and Organic Chemistry from Southwest Texas State University. He has served on the Texas Utility Council of the American Water Works Association and currently serves on the Inland Fisheries Advisory Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and as a staff representative of the Brazos River Authority Board of Directors Retirement Committee.
Mr. Collinsworth, his wife Tara, and daughters live in Robinson.
Courtney Dobogai been employed by the Brazos River Authority for 10 years and currently serves as the organizations’ Information Technology Manager. Prior to being promoted to her current position, Mrs. Dobogai worked as the BRA’s programmer and web developer, Helpdesk coordinator and an IT technician.
Mrs. Dobogai received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management and Information Systems from Baylor University.
Planning & Development Manager
James Douglas (Jim) Forte joined the Authority from Government Resource Associates, LLC/GoverNet Solutions, LLP in Forth Worth where he was senior vice president and partner of the firm.
In the newly established position of planning and development manager, Forte serves as primary financial and rate analyst for the Authority’s water supply system, projects and development initiatives.
Forte brings more than 25 years of experience in government finance to the Brazos River Authority. Prior to establishing his own financial management consulting firm, he worked for Fitch Ratings as a senior director and regional manager. He also served as director of finance, budget director and capital projects coordinator for the City of Plano as well as a budget analyst for the City of Austin.
Forte received a bachelor of Environmental Design and a master of Urban and Regional Planning from Texas A & M University.
He and wife, Diane, live in Hillsboro.
Technical Services Manager
Terry Lopas has served as President/CEO of Landmark Oil and Gas Corporation since 1986. He is a senior executive with diverse management experience, including operations, finance, strategic planning, turnarounds, startups, and problem solving.
While CEO at Landmark, Mr. Lopas increased business by 20 percent over a six-year period and managed daily operations of four startup companies; each generating profits within the first year.
Mr. Lopas has worked in management positions for both systems and operations engineering for Delhi Gas Pipeline Corporation, a subsidiary of Texas Oil and Gas Corporation of Dallas. He was a senior planning and economics engineer for Mobil Oil Corporation in Houston.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University.
In his current position, Mr. Lopas provides leadership, management and technical support for the entire Brazos Basin.
Upper Basin Regional Manager
Mike McClendon serves as the Regional Manager for the Upper Basin of the Brazos River Authority. Before accepting his current position, Mr. McClendon served as the Regional Customer Relations Business Manager for six years.
Mr. McClendon earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree in OSHA/Hazardous Materials Management from Texas State Technical College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and his Master of Science in Environmental Science from Baylor University.
Prior to joining the Authority, Mr. McClendon worked in the Wastewater Program for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, now the TCEQ. While at the TNRCC, he focused on water quality issues within the Confined Animal Feeding Operations and Onsite Sewage Facilities Programs. In addition, he has worked for Brazos Electric Power Cooperative as a Regulatory Coordinator responsible for obtaining environmental and regulatory authorizations for electric generation and transmission projects.
He and his wife, Gayla, have two sons.
Government & Customer Relations Manager
Matt Phillips joined the Brazos River Authority from the office of State Senator Steve Ogden where he served as a legislative aide for five years.
Prior to joining Senator Ogden’s office Matt served as an assistant clerk for the Senate Finance Committee.
Matt also worked for two years as Director of Government Relations and Freshwater Protection at the Texas State Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit conservation organization.
He received his bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Government from The University of Texas. Matt and his wife Kari reside in Liberty Hill with their son, Sadler.
Chief Financial Officer
David Thompson joined the Brazos River Authority in August, 2015 in the role of chief financial officer. Mr. Thompson returns to the Central Texas area from Northern Virginia where he worked with Ericsson/OCEUS, a telecommunications company selling to the US Federal Government.
Over his more than 19 years with Ericsson/OCEUS, Mr. Thompson worked in both the Plano, Texas and Reston, Virginia locations; positions held at the company included account CFO and vice president of Strategy, Pricing, Business Development and Business Operations. Prior to his employment with Ericsson/OCEUS, Mr. Thompson worked with Disctronics a Mitsubishi startup, and Texas Instruments.
Mr. Thompson is a certified public accountant who holds Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and finance from Texas Tech University. He brings over 38 years of financial management experience to the BRA.
Lauralee Vallon joined the Brazos River Authority from the city of Hillsboro where she served as City Attorney. Her position included a wide range of responsibilities including the administration of all civil litigation for the city. She also served as advisor to the City Council.
Prior to her employment with the city of Hillsboro, Vallon worked for Clay Dugas and Associates, the top-rated plaintiff’s firm in Beaumont/Orange and for the Orange County District and County Attorney’s office.
Mrs. Vallon received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Christian University and her doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law. She and husband Jeff have four children.
Human Resources Manager
Monica Wheelis joined the Brazos River Authority in 2004 as the HR Specialist and was promoted in 2006, to her current position, as the Human Resources Manager.
Monica graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Occupations. She has her SPHR certification and more than twenty years’ experience in Human Resources and Payroll administration.
She and husband Matt have two children and one grandchild.