Crow Wing County earns national Triple Crown financial award

The award recognizes governments who have received three awards from the Government Finance Officers Association

County board members and staff stand in boardroom.
Crow Wing County Board members pose with financial staff Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, showing off three financial awards the county received. Back row, from left: Commission Chair Doug Hogue, commissioner Bill Brekken, commissioner Paul Koering, commissioner Steve Barrows. Front row, from left: Senior Business and Finance Analyst Korie Wiggins, commissioner Rosemary Franzen, Finance Director Nick Mielke.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Crow Wing County earned a Triple Crown Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting for fiscal year 2020.

The award recognizes governments who have received three awards from the finance officers association — Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting, Popular Financial Reporting Award and Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

“This is a very unique opportunity for us,” County Finance Director Nick Mielke told County Board members during their meeting Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Mielke noted Crow Wing County is one of four Minnesota counties to receive the award for 2020 and one of 317 out of more than 89,000 government entities nationwide.“I wanted to have an opportunity to come up here and tell you that we have been very dedicated to getting this done and that we are proud of our staff,” Mielke said.

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The designation, County Administrator Tim Houle said, is a noteworthy achievement that reflects the county’s commitment to the public.


“The point is that it is for the public — for the public to have accurate accounting of what’s going on in county government in our annual comprehensive financial report, for us to put that information in an easily digestible form in our popular annual financial report, and to be transparent in what we’re seeing as priorities for budgeting,” Houle said.

While the county has received all three awards several times in the past, this is the first time the Triple Crown designation is being recognized.

“So it’s not the first time we’ve gotten it,” Houle said. “It reflects a continuing history of outstanding performance by our financial team.”

To qualify for the designation, the county’s financial services division must meet the standards of all three separate award programs set by the Government Financial Officers Association.

The county’s financial reports are available to the public at and

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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