The Forst Family
This year’s Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence honors the Forst Family—and celebrates their deep-rooted family history and commitment to community, education and giving back to others, particularly those in early recovery.
In 1968, Nick and Agnes Forst founded Lincoln Investment, committed to helping everyday people secure a financial future. Nick left a successful career as an engineer at RCA Camden to fulfill his dream, and with the support of his wife and motivation from his six children, the company continued to grow through hard work and resolve.
Nick pioneered risk management in the 403(b) market, making him the first to offer educators a fee-based advisory program using mutual funds, turning savers into investors. Eventually, the client base went from local to regional to statewide. The Forst children joined the business, and Nick would leave it to his successors to take Lincoln Investment nationwide. Nick and Agnes’ son, Ed Forst, became President & CEO in 1992. Ed along with his siblings Karen, Rosemarie, Mariellen, Tom, Harry and several members of generation three have since exceeded expectations.
In 1991, Nick and Agnes started the Forst Foundation to give back to the community. Their mission- provide food, shelter, health and education to those less fortunate, and to protect the environment. The Foundation matches contributions of Advisors and employees within the company.
In 2018, Lincoln Investment celebrated its 50th anniversary and that same year formed LincolnCares, a grass roots initiative by employees to further Nick’s philosophy to help people and enhance the quality of their lives. The committee supports charities important to Lincoln’s employees, and seeks volunteer opportunities for employees who want to participate. Employee donations, Lincoln Investment and the Forst Foundation donate an average of $100,000 to multiple charities each year.
The Forst Family also remains committed to supporting others in recovery, having personally experienced the realities of this disease. While they have faced tragic loss, they have also experienced tremendous rebirth as a family, and have quietly and generously supported many on their journeys over the years. In 2009, the Forst family became connected to Caron with two of the Forst grandchildren entering treatment at Caron Wernersville and Renaissance in Florida. In 2017, through both family Foundation and personal commitments, Ed and his daughter Sam established the Forst Family Endowed Fund at Caron, providing scholarships to individuals with financial need participating in the My Recovery Connection Program, which provides counseling, monitoring and family support to patients and their loved ones in their first-year post treatment.
In 2016, the Forsts tragically lost their beloved family member Danny Paulus to overdose at the age of 25. To honor Danny’s memory, his mother Mariellen Forst Paulus and family founded Danny’s House, a sober living recovery house for women. Danny’s House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission “To help women reclaim their lives from addiction by providing subsidized and supportive recovery housing for one year after completion of long-term addiction treatment—providing a much-needed bridge between a life in addiction and a life of recovery, giving women time to build a strong recovery program and become financially sufficient.” Danny’s giving spirit is one shared by the whole family, and at Danny’s House a woman’s true self and worth are seen and celebrated. The Forsts understand firsthand the importance of support during the first year of recovery, investing in programs and scholarships that provide extra levels of support in the critical days following inpatient treatment.
As a family-owned business led by the Forsts, Lincoln Investment is committed to educating those within their organization on the realities of substance use disorder. Caron has provided educational sessions to Lincoln employees for the past 8 years, and has provided the opportunity for Caron to present at the Lincoln Investment Wealth Management Forum (in 2016 and 2022), a national conference with over 600 Lincoln Advisors. Through this partnership between Lincoln Investment and Caron, the Forst family has provided meaningful opportunities for their employees to learn about the disease of addiction and how to support loved ones seeking support, helping to reduce the stigma and provide tangible paths to recovery.
Through prevention and education seminars to supporting those in early recovery, the Forst family’s vision and generosity helps families find healing and community in recovery. We are honored to present the Forst Family with the 2022 Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence.
The Forst Family will be presented this award at the Caron Greater Philadelphia Gala held on November 1, 2022, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. If you would like to participate there are several ways to give.
Forst Family Photo Credit: blacklevel photography