September_October_2014 - page 12

Wisconsin Community Banker
September/October 2014
Horicon Bank CEO Named Banker of the Year
Mary Lou Santovec
rederick F. Schwertfeger,
president, CEO, and chairman
of the board of Horicon Bank, was
named Banker of the Year at the 2014
Community Bankers of Wisconsin
Management Conference & Expo in
“Receiving the CBW’s Banker of
the Year is a distinction that delights
me because it reflects well on the man-
agement team and wonderful staff that
we have developed at Horicon Bank,
as well as the dedicated directors that
have helped me lead our organization
for the past 30-plus years,” Schwert-
feger said.
“In my acceptance speech … I
noted the advice of Jesus in Matthew:
Chapter six to first seek God’s righ-
teousness and then these other things
will be added to you.
“So I accepted this award in that
Schwertfeger grew up in Horicon
and graduated from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in
economics. He furthered his educa-
tion at Northwestern University where
he earned an M.B.A. in finance.
Through ROTC, Schwertfeger was
commissioned as a lieutenant in the
U.S. Army and served in Hawaii dur-
ing the Vietnam War with the Army
Security Agency. He met his British
wife, Ruth, at the U.S. Military Pacific
Headquarters base. “She was teaching
German; I was trying to learn it.”
The couple moved to London after
getting married where they lived for
three years. Schwertfeger joined a
branch of First Wisconsin Bank there
and in 1973, was transferred to Mil-
waukee. Schwertfeger then worked in
international and commercial banking
for 10 years before being asked by his
father to become a community banker
in Horicon.
In nominating Schwertfeger, Hori-
con Bank staff and local nonprofits
pointed to his philosophy of staffing
the bank with bankers who CARE.
CARE-ing banks have Communities
who value its presence; Associates
who are growing in skills and success;
Relationships with customers who
trust the bank, and Expectations that
are being satisfied.
“Our mission is dynamically
reflected in our culture, and we believe
it contributes to our commitment to
community,” Schwertfeger said.
The 70-year-old Schwertfeger
joined Horicon Bank in 1977. Over
the years, this quiet, unassuming man
has led the bank to fiscal health all the
while keeping a laser-like focus on
Jay Vanden Boogart, executive vice
president, branch banking, noted,
“Whether we are discussing officer
and employee involvement in commu-
nity organizations, the financial sup-
port of local charities, or the financing
of projects that benefit the communi-
ties we serve, Fred is there, always.”
David Konrath, a local Horicon
small business owner, said, “Fred is an
outstanding banker who not only does
business in the communities where
the branches are located, but also
serves, supports, and believes in the
same communities.”
Schwertfeger serves as development
board member of the Beaver Dam
Community Hospital. He’s an emeri-
tus board member for the Friends
of the Horicon Marsh International
Education Center, and a board mem-
ber of both Emmaus Bible College in
Dubuque, Iowa and the Perrin Foun-
dation in New Jersey.
He received a Key Leadership
award from Dodge County and the
bank was named “Business of the
Year” in 2013 by the Beaver Dam
Chamber of Commerce. Horicon
Bank won top workplace awards for
two consecutive years (in 2013 and
2014) from the Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel and Workplace Dynamics.
“As president of Horicon Bank,
Fred has personally and professionally
invested in our facility, envisioning the
incredible opportunities it supports
for so many people,” said Jen Kruel,
director, Dodge County YMCA. “He
is deeply engaged in a volunteer com-
mittee that supports financial devel-
opment efforts; understanding that a
financially healthy operation is needed
to fulfill our mission for generations
to come.”
Schwertfeger’s community activism
doesn’t stop with him. He encourages
his 150 employees to volunteer their
time both in their communities and
within the financial services indus-
try. He helped the bank establish an
Employee Stock Ownership Program.
“I decided to join Horicon Bank
because of the people and the family-
oriented culture,” said Mark Nelson,
senior vice president, chief informa-
tion officer. “Horicon Bank is a model
and a leader when it comes to true
Horicon Bank senior management team— front row, from left: Sharon Kirsh, Fred F. Schwertfeger,
and Mark Nelson; back row: Byron Pyzik, Jay Vanden Boogart, Fred C. Schwertfeger, and Al Schwab
1...,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,...48
Powered by FlippingBook