Heroes at Work and Home
April 1, 2022
It’s been quite a busy time of the year, as spring always seems to be for RMA and the customers we serve. The more I have gotten to know the RMA Team, the more I am learning that many have worked at our agency for quite some time and grown professionally.
This week I want to highlight one of those employees who is respected throughout RMA. Arian Gilyot, is a native of Louisiana, with degrees in accounting and finance from Xavier University and the University of New Orleans. She moved to Kansas City in December 2013 and began working for RMA Product Management. She worked with the Product Analysis and Accounting Division’s Financial Oversight and Debt Management Branch as an Accountant.
Arian’s management describe her as a strong leader during times of change, providing alternatives and solutions for her team. In learning more about Arian and her journey, I discovered that that much has happened in her life since coming to RMA, most notably the arrival of her son. As we near the close of Women’s History Month, it was great to meet and get to know a woman who has accomplished so much while supporting work and her family.
Marcia: You began as an accountant for RMA in Kansas City, but a lot has taken place in the last ten years. Tell me about your other roles and endeavors.
Arian: I worked on a 2014 Farm Bill project to create and implement the Late Payment of Debt RMA Administrator and Approved Insurance Providers Authorized Reinstatement options that are available to farmers and ranchers to remain eligible in the federal crop insurance program. I represent my team as a liaison with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Since 2019, I have been a member of the Federal Executive Board Veterans Affairs Committee working with other federal employees from different agencies to service the Veterans in our community. I believe my key to success with RMA is my willingness to learn and tackle any challenge that comes my way.
Arian Gilyot, RMA Financial Oversight &
Debt Management Branch
Marcia: That is a lot to take on, and you have another job outside of RMA—being a mom! How do you balance everything?
Arian: It can be tough sometimes to balance work and family life, especially at the start of the pandemic. Trying to manage work and virtual school sessions with a pre-kindergartener was a challenge to say the least. This is where good time management skills helped me to coordinate all of son’s activities around my work. One thing I have always really appreciated with RMA is how understanding and accommodating everyone is when there are work/life challenges, especially when it involves your family.
Marcia: You have been with the agency for some time now and seem to like working here. What are some things that you like about working for RMA?
Arian: Flexibility of work schedules is what I liked the most upon working with RMA. In my previous agency, we were only offered fixed tours of duty and there were no maxi-flex or telework options as we have at RMA. The option to telework and flexible tours helped me to have a better more positive work/life balance. The people I work with make RMA great! Another one of the things I quickly noticed is how knowledgeable our staff is and how much pride we have in improving and maintaining the federal crop insurance program. I have met and worked with so many good stewards of this program and it is an honor to work with people who care so much about the farmers and ranchers we serve.
Marcia: What advice would you give to others on striking a good balance between work and home?
Arian: Now that we have been working from home for the last two years, I have found it imperative to have a space in your home that is a dedicated place for work. When you are in that space, work is your focus. Over the last two years, I have established that space in my home and it really helps me to separate work and personal time.
I thank Arian for talking to me and sharing her story! March just wrapped up and it’s been a wonderful Women’s History Month. This administration and all of us took time to recognize the value of having women in agriculture and what women have done throughout time—their day-to-day work and supporting their partners, children, and families.
Marcia Bunger is the Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). Prior to her appointment, she served as a County Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency. A native South Dakotan, Bunger is also the owner and operator of a 2000-acre farm, a cum laude graduate of Augustana College, and the first member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and first woman to serve as RMA Administrator.