Steve understands what it takes to succeed as a small business owner. Over the years, he and his wife have started several companies, including an early-stage language program for children, a consulting firm, and a venture-backed financial technology company. These experiences have provided Steve with a high degree of respect for the businesses that ForwardLine serves. “Throughout my entrepreneurial career, I’ve seen the value that partners such as ForwardLine can bring to the table in helping to deliver on a business owner’s dreams.” Steve has built his career on using data and technology to assist borrowers in improving their financial health — a passion that he brings each day to his work at ForwardLine. Prior to joining ForwardLine, Steve was the co-founder and CEO of Ascend. In this role, he led a team in defining the next generation of lending by leveraging behavioral economics and real-time data to monitor and reward borrowers for positive financial behaviors demonstrated throughout the life of their loan. Steve has held senior executive roles at HSBC and Washington Mutual. He also advised global financial services firms as co-founder of Sung Carlson Associates and led marketing and business development at Intuit. He is actively involved on the regulatory front, including having served as an inaugural member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Advisory Board. Steve holds a BA in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.