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Taylor County economy is strong and varied

Taylor County economy is strong and varied Taylor County economy is strong and varied

Taylor County has been a hub for financial activity for decades. The county is served by 10 different financial institutions as well as by a number of insurance, financial planning and wealth management agencies that are there to assist people at every stage of their lives.

The financial sector of the local economy has been especially active in the past decade with a number of new names in the local area through consolidations and mergers as well as expansions. The financial services portion of the local economy remains well-positioned to continue to serve the needs of individual consumers as well as the financial needs of business and industry.

When asked what has changed about Forward Financial in the last ten years, Jennifer Sobotta, marketing director of Forward Bank replied, “Ten years ago, right around this time of year, Forward Bank did not have a presence here in Medford at all.” On top of a new branch, Sobotta also credited leaders such as executive vice president Dave Clark and lending specialist vice president Gene Knoll for making the transition to their new and current facility easy.

She was later asked what she is most proud of at the bank? “Really the impact that we make in a community,” replied Sobotta. She would go on to talk about the charity work they have done in the community and how much that means to the entire staff.

There are a few new things that have been happening at this branch, “Well, some new faces, we’ll start with Jesse Kreiner who joined us about a month ago,” said Sobotta. “So faces change a little bit, and technology is constant,” she continued. She proceeded to reference their continuous work on their apps and mobile banking. As technology continues to advance, you can be sure Forward Financial will advance with it.

“This is going to sound cliche, I don’t want to change anything,” said Sobotta when asked what she would like to see change at Forward Financial. “I could say I want to change the pace that we work at, but I would miss the energy it creates,” she continued. Sobotta seemed very confident that Forward Financial was heading in the right direction and change was not a necessity at this time.

Looking ahead another ten years to 2030, “We want to maintain positioning in the community and being that resource,” said Sobotta. “Digitally the presence is going to be different and very, very exciting,” she continued. Of course, the future is always unpredictable, however, Sobotta gave reassurance that there will always be physical buildings that customers can come to for faceto- face interaction. Though the future is uncertain, the positive attitudes and quality banking are a constant at Forward Financial.

Progress 2020 continued on June 17, 2019 with Debra Woods, CEO of Taylor Credit Union.

When asked about what has changed in the last ten years, Woods replied, “We added a branch 10 years ago in Abbotsford.” She continued on to speak about the remodeling of the Medford branch that was completed in March 2019. Woods also spoke about seeing new employees walk in and out in the past 10 years.

“Medford has been wonderful,” said Woods when asked how the community has treated them over the years. Since opening its doors in 1951, Taylor Credit Union has been a big part of Medford, both through the services they offer and everything extra they do for the community. “We’re here for the people of the community,” Woods continued.

With Medford being home to seven banks, Woods was asked why people should bank at Taylor Credit Union. “We provide excellent service, we bring that personal touch to people,” said Woods. With online banking and phone applications in such high demand, it is reassuring that there are still credit unions who serve to see their customers in person.

As far as changing Taylor Credit Union is concerned, Woods could not think of anything that needed to change. However, she was quick to tell about something