Crow Wing County Human Resources Director Tami Laska was recently honored by the Association of Minnesota Counties for "exhibiting excellence, innovation and dedication to their work in county government."

Association President Susan Morris, an Isanti County commissioner, presented the Outstanding Service awards at the association's annual conference Monday, Dec. 3, in Bloomington. The recipients were nominated by their counties and selected by a committee of county officials.

In Crow Wing County, Laska initiated an "outcomes-based, results-driven" performance review process, which provided a solid foundation for the introduction and institutionalization of a "pay-for-performance" compensation system during her 13 years of service.

She also introduced a leadership development training program for talent to take on leadership roles within the organization and initiated an annual employee engagement survey program to measure the return on investment from the county's human capital spend.

She also restructured retiree benefit plans and enrollments requirements to reduce Crow Wing County's long-term other post-employment benefits liability by more than $10 million.

The association is a voluntary statewide organization that assists the state's 87 counties in providing effective county governance. The association works closely with the legislative and administrative branches of government seeking legislation and policies favorable to counties.