Mike Frerichs has been the Champaign County Auditor since 2002 where he has established a reputation as a watchdog over County spending and been awarded for his financial reporting. Before serving as County Auditor, Mike was twice elected to the County Board where he fought against wasteful spending and was recognized for his independence.
Mike’s values were shaped in the East Central Illinois farming community of Gifford (pop. 800), where he as born and raised. The son of a truck driver and stay-at-home mother, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He worked his way through Yale University while competing for four years on the varsity crew. Upon graduating, Mike studied Chinese and taught English in Taiwan.
After completing a year-long fellowship in public affairs with the Coro Foundation, Mike returned home to serve the people of Champaign County. In addition to his time on the County Board and as Auditor, Mike serves on the local volunteer fire department, on the board of a local non-profit Nursing Home, and is a member of the Urbana Rotary Club.
Mike’s experience in County government and in business as Managing Director of a local engineering firm, allowed him to hit the ground running as County Auditor. As County Auditor, Mike’s annual financial reports have received the Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. Mike was also awarded this year with one of two national scholarships for promising, young finance officers to attend the Advanced Government Finance Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Winning candidates were selected on the basis of demonstrated competence, creativity, dedication, and potential for a career in government finance. In addition to regular continuing professional education, Mike has become a Certified Public Finance Officer.
Mike previously ran for a seat in the General assembly at age 24, giving then State Representative (now US Congressman) Tim Johnson the closest race of his 22-year career, holding him to 53% of the vote. Previously Johnson had never received less than 61% of the vote.
In 2000, Mike ran a coordinated campaign for County Board Democrats that picked up five seats in the 27 member County Board, giving Democrats a majority for the first time in the history of Champaign County government. Mike currently lives in Gifford with his wife Laura.