BROWNSVILLE, RGV—The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) on Wednesday Nov. 11, 2015, awarded the Brownsville Navigation District of Cameron County the Certificate for Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for the fourth consecutive year.


“This recognition is an acknowledgement of the board of commissioners’ dedication to full financial transparency, as well as the hard work of the port’s finance department staff,” said Ralph Cowen, chairman of the Brownsville Navigation District (BND).


“The finance department staff works diligently to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting and financial reporting,” said Stephen B. Fitzgibbons, director of finance for the Port of Brownsville. “I’m proud to be part of this team, and am grateful to our audit firm, Long Chilton LLP, for its help and support throughout this process.”

Mr. Fitzgibbons accepted the honor on behalf of the of the port authority Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015, at the BND board meeting. Sergio Villasana Jr., City of Harlingen deputy finance director, made the presentation as a GFOA representative.


The GFOA uses an impartial panel of judges to review and select those reports demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read and use the CAFR.


The Port of Brownsville is the only industrial deep water seaport directly on the U.S./Mexico border, and the largest land-owning public port authority in the nation with 40,000 acres of land. Port of Brownsville activity adds more than $2 billion to the state’s economy (Source: The Local and Regional Economic Impacts of the Port of Brownsville report, Martin Associates, 2012)