“10 Days of Giving” Raises Food and Money in St. Charles

10DaysLogoST. CHARLES, Minn. – The Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center received 3,300 pounds of food and $500 from the “10 Days of Giving,” December 1-10, at Merchants Bank in St. Charles.

Area businesses and individuals added to the total by bring food and money to Merchants in St. Charles. Also included in the total was $250 that the Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center received from “Swipe Out Hunger,” a Facebook giveaway that Merchants ran to coincide with “10 Days of Giving.” “Swipe Out Hunger” benefited food shelves throughout the region.

“We are thankful for the generosity of our neighbors, and we are grateful that we have the opportunity to help the good people at the Southeast Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center,” said Sandra Pasche of Merchants Bank.

Merchants Bank has been holding the “10 Days of Giving” for the past 25 years. This is the second year for the Facebook giveaway.

Greg Evans Appointed Merchants Bank President/Chief Banking Officer

Greg Evans

Greg Evans

Greg Evans has been appointed Merchants Bank President/Chief Banking Officer, according to Rod Nelson, Merchants Bank President and Executive Vice President of Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI).

“Greg is a true community banker. He gets involved in the community and provides leadership for community efforts. We look forward to him sharing this leadership with all of our locations,” Nelson said. “He is passionate about providing the very best customer service, and his focus on building customer relationships will contribute to our organization being even more successful in the future.

Evans is a Winona native and spent the first 18 years of his banking career in Winona, ending as the Senior Vice President of Marketing before moving to Cannon Falls in 2007, where he currently serves as Merchants Bank’s northern regional president with oversight of the Cannon Falls, Red Wing and Hampton locations.

“I am grateful, humbled, and excited for the opportunity,” Evans said. “I’ve been fortunate over my time with Merchants to work closely with most of the employees throughout the organization. They are talented, energetic, and they care about our customers and the communities they serve.

Nelson will be succeeding Richard L. Mahoney as MFGI President & CEO as of January 1. A date has yet to be set for Evans to take over his new role, which will include a broader role in providing direction and oversight to all of Merchants Bank’s 20 locations. With the help of a national search firm, Merchants Bank conducted an intensive search for the position

“Perhaps most important to me is our corporate culture. That is the true defining aspect of what makes any business great, and that will stay in place,” Evans said.

Target Data Breach

Target is investigating a potential data breach that may have affected millions of debit and credit cards nationwide. Initial reports indicate the breach appears to have started around Black Friday, November 28, 2013, and may have extended through the middle of December.

If you used a debit card, credit card or gift card at a Target store between these dates, please be sure to monitor your account activity closely for fraudulent transactions and report any transactions that you did not initiate to the financial institution that issued your card.

We have not yet received notification that any Merchants Bank credit cards or debit cards were involved in the breach, and even though Merchants Bank has fraud monitoring security in place, we strongly encourage Merchants Bank customers to monitor their own Merchants Bank Credit Card and Debit Card activity. For our customers who would prefer the peace of mind of having their current card(s) closed and new ones reissued, please feel free to stop in your local Merchants Bank office.

To monitor Merchants Bank Credit Card activity, please go to www.merchantsbank.com and click on Credit Card Login.

To monitor Merchants Bank Debit Card activity, please go to www.merchantsbank.com and login to your Online Banking account.

To monitor Merchants Bank Visa Gift Card activity, please go to www.ppdmoney.com or call 1-866-208-3282.

If you notice any fraudulent activity on a Merchants Bank credit or debit card, please report it as soon as possible by calling your local Merchants Bank branch or calling toll-free, 1-800-944-6285. Please note, initial reports indicate that the data breach did not affect purchases made online at Target, just in the retail stores.

For tips on protecting your card information, identity, and more, please visit https://www.merchantsbank.com/files/IdentityTheft.pdf

“10 Days of Giving” Record-Breaking Year Ends by Topping 280,000 Pounds

10DaysLogoWINONA, Minn. – Final tallies put the 25th Anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” at 280,082 pounds of food.

The total breaks down to $127,626 in cash and 24,830 pounds of food. The previous record was set in 2009 when just over 250,000 pounds of food was collected. For the purposes of the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar.

“This year’s drive was successful because we came together as a community to help people, to make sure that no one in Winona County goes hungry,” said Mark Metzler, who is co-chair of the food drive. “Most of all, we are moved by the generosity of our neighbors who have made the effort to make a difference for someone else.”

This is the 25th anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” and the 40th anniversary of Winona Volunteer Services, which benefits from the Winona contributions. The 25-year total for pounds of food collected now stands at 2,393,767.

“At Merchants Bank, we are thankful that we have the ability and employee dedication to help facilitate this drive. It really is a privilege,” Metzler said.

More than 30 area schools and child-care centers and more than 150 businesses participated in this year’s drive. For a listing of this year’s participating businesses, click here.

Area Food Shelves Receive Money from “Swipe Out Hunger”

SwipeOutHungerAppBannerMerchants Bank’s “Swipe Out Hunger” Facebook giveaway has concluded with more than 1,700 votes cast to benefit area food shelves.

Merchants Bank donated 5 cents each time a Merchants Bank credit card or debit card was used between November 29 and December 15, for a total of $10,000 to be split among the food shelves. Votes were placed on Merchants Bank’s Facebook page.

Merchants Bank representatives will be presenting food shelf representatives with checks within the coming week.

The Food Shelves were nominated by bank locations (bank locations making the nomination are noted in parentheses). There were a number of locations that nominated the same organization. The “Swipe Out Hunger” awards break down as follows:

  • 360 Communities (Lakeville): $270
  • Cannon Falls Food Shelf (Cannon Falls): $540
  • Channel One Rochester (Rochester): $569
  • Eagan & Lakeville Resource Center (Apple Valley and Rosemount): $352
  • Friends in Need Food Shelf (Cottage Grove): $387
  • Hastings Family Services (Hastings): $751
  • La Crescent Food Share (La Crescent): $2,383
  • Randolph Food Shelf (Hampton): $264
  • Red Wing Area Food Shelf (Red Wing): $250
  • SEMCAC Houston County Food Shelf (Caledonia and Spring Grove): $387
  • SEMCAC in Preston (Lanesboro): $250
  • SEMCAC in Rushford (Rushford): $370
  • Southeastern Minnesota Education & Resource Center (St. Charles): $250
  • The Hunger Task Force (Onalaska): $2,066
  • Winona Volunteer Services (Winona, Lakeside, Goodview): $1,238
 A minimum of $250 was given to nominated food shelves. Total amount given away was $10,327.

“10 Days of Giving” Continues to be Ahead of Last Year’s Pace

10DaysLogoWINONA, Minn. – Through the end of business Monday, Merchants Bank’s “10 Days of Giving” remained ahead of last year’s pace with 160,300 pounds of food collected.

The totals include $77,774 in cash and 4,752 pounds of food. Included in the updated totals is a $20,000 anonymous gift. Last year at this time, 98,106 pounds of food had been collected, including $46,230 in cash and 5,646 pounds of food. For purposes of the calculation, each dollar counts for two pounds of food.

“We’re moved again this year by the kindness of the people in our community,” said Terry Hawkings, who is co-chair of this year’s food drive. “The next few days are critical to the drive’s success, and we know that everyone will do what they can to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry this year.”

Last year, 195,438 pounds of food was collected, the fourth highest total ever. The 24-year total is 2,113,685 pounds of food. The record collection was more than 250,000 pounds in 2009.

There is still time to give. Merchants Bank employees and other volunteers will collect food barrels and cash cans at area schools, day-cares and businesses Thursday and Friday. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will be at the Amtrak depot in Winona on Wednesday, December 11, at 5:15 p.m.

This is the 25th anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” and the 40th anniversary of Winona Volunteer Services, which benefits from the Winona contributions.

Checks may be made payable to “10 Days of Giving.” Checks not deposited at a Merchants Bank office may be mailed to Merchants Bank, P.O. Box 248, Winona MN 55987; or Winona Volunteer Services, 402 East Second Street in Winona. Merchants Bank is a member FDIC.

Gifts of food may be dropped at any Merchants Bank location in Winona, Goodview or St. Charles. In addition to more than 30 area schools and child-care centers participating in this year’s Drive, there are more than 150 business collection sites throughout Winona County. For a listing of this year’s special events and participating businesses, go to the Merchants Bank blog at http://blog.merchantsbank.com/. You may also access the blog at merchantsbank.com.

The Southeastern Minnesota Rural Education and Resource Center in St. Charles benefits from food and money collected in St. Charles.

“10 Days of Giving” Significantly Ahead of Last Year’s Pace

Through the end of business Thursday, Merchants Bank’s “10 Days of Giving” was at 83,748 pounds of food collected.

The number of pounds of food collected included $40,208 in cash and 3,332 pounds of food. Two pounds of food are counted for each dollar collected. Through the same time last year, 41,642 pounds of food had been collected.

“It is a tremendous start and a wonderful total to build upon,” said Mark Metzler of Merchants Bank, one of this year’s co-chairs. “The generosity of people in our community is truly amazing. It is gratifying to see that people are giving money because it allows the food shelf to do so much.”

This is the 25th anniversary of the “10 Days of Giving” and the 40th anniversary of Winona Volunteer Services, which benefits from the Winona contributions.

Last year, 195,438 pounds of food was collected, the fourth highest total ever. The 24-year total is 2,113,685 pounds of food. The record collection was more than 250,000 pounds in 2009.

“As a community working together, we have the opportunity to do something special this year,” Metzler said. “What greater present could we give to those who need our help and to each other?”

Checks may be made payable to “10 Days of Giving.” Checks not deposited at a Merchants Bank office may be mailed to Merchants Bank, P.O. Box 248, Winona MN 55987; or Winona Volunteer Services, 402 East Second Street in Winona.