By HOWARD WIEDENHOEFT
In the first 100 years for Ixonia Mutual Insurance Company and Watertown Mutual Insurance Company, the bylaws of both mutuals required the secretary to be the manager of the mutual.Eventually, each changed its bylaws to allow the directors to hire someone other than a director or secretary to run the mutual. Watertown Mutual was the first to make this change, when in 1987 it hired Gary Trebby to serve as its first non-director manager.
Ixonia Mutual, on the other hand, continued to employ its secretary as the mutual manager for another 20 years. In 1981, Howard Wiedenhoeft was hired as secretary-treasurer and he served under this title until the mutual changed its corporate structure in 2006
In addition to hired managers, the mutuals also began to hire support staff. Watertown Mutual hired its first additional employee in 1978.
Ixonia Mutual had very limited help until 1980, when Secretery-Treasurer Theodore Degner hired Lois Wiedenhoeft to type policies and bills. Interestingly, Lois made one requirement before accepting the
position. She asked the mutual to provide an electric typewriter since she wasn’t familiar with a manual. Ixonia Mutual obliged. (This same request had been made nine years earlier by Gladys Dietzel when she was elected as Watertown Mutual’s first female secretary. Watertown Mutual had
When the two mutuals merged in 2010 to form Forward Mutual, Watertown Mutual had three full-time employees. Ixonia Mutual had two full-time and one part-time employee.
Presently, Forward Mutual has three full-time and two part-time employees, with Lois Wiedenhoeft serving as president and CEO. Our dedicated staff works to provide the best service possible to our policyholders.