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2020 Scholarship Recipients June 5, 2020

Forward believes in supporting the dreams of higher education for graduates at our local schools. Scholarships are awarded annually to one individual in each community that Forward Bank has a branch location. Forward also awards one employee or employee’s child for the Bob Lotzer Scholarship. The Scholarship Committee is amazed every year by the remarkable applications received.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Employees at Forward, we are proud to announce the 2020 Forward Bank Scholarship Recipients:

  • Courtney Murkowski (Athens High School)
  • Michael Decker (Colby High School)
  • Laikyn Johnson (Greenwood High School)
  • Isaac Meverdon (Marshfield High School)
  • Austin Shaw (Medford High School)
  • Blake Richard (Chequamegon High School)
  • Hannah Angelo (Phillips High School)
  • Lexi Chaplinski (Gilman High School)
  • Danielle Stroinski (Thorp High School)
  • Matthew Fischer  (Owen-Withee High School)

The 2020 Bob Lotzer Scholarship Recipient is Lilah Peason (Chequamegon High School).

Forward is proud of the close relationship that we have with our schools and our students. It has been our privilege to watch each graduating class excel as they’ve moved through their high school years. Our mission of “Moving Our Communities Forward” start with helping students further their education and bring their knowledge back into their hometowns. Living up to that mission is why we are awarding these scholarships.

Learn more about our Scholarship Program.


Putting Our Money Where Your Heart Is May 21, 2020

The ripple effect on the economy of the COVD-19 pandemic and the measures we all needed to follow to keep one another safe has continued for two months. With businesses closed and employees furloughed or working reduced hours, tough budget decisions have been made in homes throughout the state. The first item often sacrificed in tough times is support of local charities.

Forward Bank – including Forward Insurance and Forward Investment Services – has been working with the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) to reach out to area charities in a big way. This partnership of community support includes maximizing grant funds and a loan program from the FHLB to benefit non-profits in each of the communities that Forward has offices in.

“Our team was committed to creatively using the opportunity created by the FHLB to give additional support for charities that need it during this unprecedented time,” commented Bill Sennholz, CEO of Forward Bank. “We asked our team to nominate non-profits in our communities that they felt needed the additional support. Using our Facebook pages, we encouraged our communities to vote and help guide our selection of one charity per community to receive $10,000. The recipients will have a wonderful opportunity to invest those funds in the projects that help them fulfill their missions.”

Over 15,000 votes were cast for non-profits over a one-week time period. The top vote recipient in each market received a check for $10,000. Here are the recipients:

  • Athens Fire Department
  • Abbotsford School District
  • Greenwood Fire & EMS
  • Marshfield Area Pet Shelter
  • Marshfield Area United Way
  • Black River Industries (Medford)
  • Catkins Animal Rescue (Park Falls)
  • Red Apple Counseling & Development (Phillips)
  • Orioles Give Back (Stanley)
  • Thorp Fire & Ambulance
  • Owen-Withee Ambulance

The FHLBanks are 11 regionally based, wholesale suppliers of lendable funds to financial institutions of all sizes and many types, including community banks, credit unions, commercial and savings banks, insurance companies and community development financial institutions. The FHLBanks are cooperatively owned by member financial institutions in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The steady supply of lendable funds from FHLBanks helps U.S. lenders invest in local needs including housing, jobs, and economic growth.


Is it a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home? May 11, 2020

young man sitting at computer

The opportune time to buy or sell a home is not carved in stone. There are three primary factors that will influence you as to when you should move forward with buying or selling a home.

Buyers and sellers can benefit from knowing what their local market activity is at any given time. The Mortgage Lenders at Forward Bank can help you with that. Since supply and demand of available properties dictate price and availability, our role is to provide you with the statistics to properly time listing or selecting your home.

As a buyer, you will want to house shop when there are a lot of homes on the market, but that may not always be possible. You will have not only many choices but also more opportunity to negotiate with anxious sellers.

Conversely, sellers will want to list their homes during times of shrinking inventory so they can attract more buyers and be tighter with their pricing.

The direction of trending interest rates will also be key in determining if you can buy more or less of a home than you like and when you should move forward with your search. During times of low rates, sellers can be rewarded with stronger pricing, knowing that more buyers will qualify to buy their homes.

The seasons and where you live play a part in any real estate market. While buying and selling during the late spring through early fall may seem to be the most logical time to enter the market, it doesn’t hold true across the board.

Wintertime markets can even cause attraction in zones with better buying options. However, sellers should always give consideration to listing during these perceived slow market times because their competition will be far less and there will always be a number of buyers on the prowl.

With the experience of the Mortgage team at Forward Bank, we can put the market numbers and the seasons together for your recipe for buying or selling success.

What Types of Home Insurance Do You Need? April 24, 2020

In most typical homeowners insurance policies, there are a few items of standard coverage that help ensure that losses are mitigated. Below are the types of coverage you can expect to see in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

  • Dwelling: This type of coverage is for the structure of the home, from roof to floors and ceilings to walls. Dwelling coverage provides the peace of mind that you have protection up to the limit of your individual policy when natural disasters, theft, and other incidents occur.
  • Contents: This coverage ensures that your valuables at home are replaced in the event of a covered loss, so that you don’t have to worry about your furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items that fall under this policy.
  • Personal liability: Accidents can happen in your home, but luckily, insurance can help cover injuries to an invited guest in your home. Additionally, if property damage occurs, your policy may cover it if it happens as a result of a qualifying accident.


young couple making pizza in kitchen


Understandably, there are unique situations that call for additional coverage, depending on your circumstances, which every homeowner should take into account. Residents in areas with high amounts of rainfall might consider flood insurance, depending on the likelihood and severity of floods, while those in areas with earthquakes should consider appropriate coverage.

Additionally, homeowners who want updated replacements of damaged items might consider replacement coverage that provides for new items, as most insurance policies will only cover the value of items when they were damaged, not their original price.

No matter your home insurance needs, we’re here to help determine and customize homeowner’s insurance coverage that is right for you. No two homeowners are the same, so contact Forward Insurance today to get the policy that will offer you maximum protection.


Forward Bank Celebrates Power of Community Week April 20, 2020

Banks devote time, effort, and resources daily in support of their communities. During the week of April 19-25, 2020, banks from across the Badger State will be participating in the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) Power of Community campaign to highlight the role banks play in the communities they serve.

This year Forward Bank is using Power of Community Week as an opportunity to deliver baskets full of healthy snacks to healthcare workers. Forward gives thanks for their help in “Moving our communities Forward to better health.” Forward is also hosting a Stronger Together Photo Challenge on Facebook to raise funds for the Marshfield Area COVID-19 Relief Fund.

“During this time, we have seen where communities need our help more than ever. This is a great opportunity to reach out, give appreciation and provide guidance,” said Bill Sennholz, CEO. “It’s exciting to be coordinating our usual service efforts with other Wisconsin banks during the Power of Community week to really showcase how banks help their communities.”

Launched by the Wisconsin Bankers Association, the Power of Community campaign is a way that banks can celebrate the communities they serve, whether it’s volunteering at a local non-profit, fundraising for a charitable organization, using a bank office to collect items to be shared with a local group, or participating in National Teach Children to Save Day.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing nearly 250 commercial banks and savings institutions, their nearly 2,300 branch offices and 23,000 employees.

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