Mike Carlson Named Finance Officer of the Year
VERMILLION – The City of Vermillion is pleased to announce that the South Dakota Municipal League has named Mike Carlson Finance Officer of the Year. This honor is awarded to an individual who not only excels in the profession, but goes above and beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the community in which they serve. Mike certainly meets these criteria and is much deserving of this recognition.
Mike has annually coordinated reporting efforts which for 24 years has resulted in the City receiving the Government Finance Officer Association Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Mike leads change in the office as the City has over the last couple of years implemented malt beverage markup, hotel occupancy fee, and other changes to enhance the customer experience. He is trusted and respected by elected officials and community members to provide a straight-forward, detailed response to their questions. Mike is the organizational watchdog who is quick to help guide and teach all employees about finance and the organization in general. His immense knowledge of the organization and community is extraordinary.
Mike is the ultimate team member. City Staff agree that this is where he really shines. Department Heads were asked to send a note about extra, unique, or special things Mike does to help. The list exceeded 25 different submissions of the extra things Mike does to go above and beyond for the organization, many of which noted how he drops everything to assist in any way. Mike somehow keeps track of everything going on in every department and is willing to help or offer support. Whether it is a finance question, maintaining furnace filters and light bulbs at City Hall, or assisting to retrieve a set of keys dropped down the elevator shaft, Mike is there.
Carlson has served the City as Finance Officer for more than 30 years, but his service reaches far beyond the boundaries of traditional city work. Mike selflessly serves the community in many capacities. He is always willing to lend a hand to assist a neighbor, organization, or community. Mike has served on the Dakota Hospital Foundation Board and served his church as moderator, Trustee, Trustee Stewardship, Church Board, and helps with the weekly meal for approximately 80 youth attending religious education classes. Mike is a very active member of the Clay County 4-H Board. This Board provides the opportunity to help with finances, but also provides hands-on work getting the property ready for the fair, selling tickets, and running events. Mike truly does it all. Mike’s wife, Kathy, has been volunteering at the Vermillion Food Pantry the last couple of years, and as Mike is always willing to pitch in and help, he has become a de facto Food Pantry volunteer. Mike also volunteers to staff USD track and field events and is a member of the Vermillion Lions Club. Mike is a dedicated volunteer. He is the dependable volunteer who will be there early to set things up and will stay late to clean up. It doesn’t matter what the task is, Mike is willing to help. He often does the behind the scenes tasks to make sure everyone has what they need to enjoy the event. Mike taught hunter safety education classes for many years. He actively works Lions Club pancake feeds. When his kids were in the K-12 system, Mike worked numerous track events, After Prom events, soup suppers, and wherever help was needed.
The City of Vermillion couldn’t be more proud of Mike’s accomplishments and contributions to not only the organization, but the community at large and wish to congratulate him on being named Finance Officer of the Year.