Meet Ashley Wagner, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants

Ashley with her daughter, Everly.

Ashley with her daughter, Everly.

How long have you been with Merchants?

Ashley: Two weeks! I’m really excited to be part of team…at my previous job I worked solo. Merchants is also the first bank that I’ve worked for. I’m really enjoying it so far…you never know what’s going to happen when you pick up the phone. I always like a change of pace. Things are different every day.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Ashley: Do your best to remember your password. But, Electronic Banking can always help you if you don’t know it. Just give us a call.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Ashley: Try to save when you can, but also have a little fun with your money.

If you won the Powerball (currently estimated at $50 million) what’s the first thing you would buy?

Ashley: I would pay off my student loans, my mortgage and then go on a trip to Europe.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Ashley: Green Haribo gummy bears and my daughter in her green winter jacket. She looks like Randy from “A Christmas Story.”

For more information on our electronic banking options, visit our website.

Pork Tenderloin


What’s on your menu for Christmas this year? Try this delicious Pork Tenderloin recipe, found in the Merchants Family Cookbook.

1 package pork tenderloin
1/2 cup flour
minced dried garlic or onion salt, to taste
1 can Beef Consommé soup

Cut loin into 1 1/2 to 2″ slices. Dredge in flour and flatten with palm of hand or glass. Brown in skillet. Put in baking dish and sprinkle each piece with garlic or onion salt. Pour soup over top. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Leaving town for the holidays? Tell us!


Are you planning a trip out of state this holiday season? It’s important for you to contact Merchants before you leave to ensure the best service while you are out of town. If you make purchases in a state or country where you don’t normally use your Merchants Bank debit or credit card, we may think these transactions are fraudulent unless we know otherwise.

When contacting the Bank regarding your travel plans, we will ask for the following information:

  • Dates of your trip(s)
  • Exact travel locations
  • How we can contact you while you’re gone

If you have a Merchants Bank Debit Card – Please call us at (800) 944-6285 and ask to speak to a Customer Service Representative about your travel plans.

If you have a Merchants Bank Credit Card – Please call us at (800) 944-6285 and ask to speak to our Credit Card department about your travel plans.

We strongly recommend that you carry more than one form of payment during your trip. Interruptions within any card network are always a very real possibility. Carrying multiple forms of payment reduces frustrations when trying to complete a needed purchase.

Meet Tayler Swanson, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants Bank

Tayler Swanson, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, on a trip to Alaska last summer.

Tayler Swanson, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, on a trip to Alaska last summer.

How long have you been with Merchants?

Tayler: I’ve worked in the Electronic Banking department at Merchants for two years. I enjoy working with customers and helping them solve a problem. It’s a great feeling when things “click” and they value my help.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Tayler: Always double check everything. Simple accuracy can be the problem half of the time when typing in your password or PIN.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Tayler: Whenever you have something you want to buy, wait and see. I’m actually giving that same advice to my younger brother right now, who is considering making a large purchase.

If you won the Powerball (currently estimated at $50 million) what’s the first thing you would buy?

Tayler: I would buy back my childhood home. I grew up out in the country in Faribault and my parents sold our house shortly after I left for college at Winona State.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Tayler: I like exploring the outdoors. I actually got to visit Alaska this past summer with my girlfriend, which was amazing. We went mountain climbing, visited Lake Eklutna and went on an eight hour whale watching cruse. We saw seals, puffins, dolphins, sea otters, humpback whales, fin whales and a massive glacier.

For more information on our electronic banking options (including Online and Mobile Banking), visit our website.

220,555 Pounds Collected in Winona

10DaysofGivingEventsFinal tallies put the 2014 “10 Days of Giving” at 220,555 pounds of food, the third highest total in the food drive’s 26-year history.

The total breaks down to $94,069 in cash and 32,417 pounds of food. The two years where more food was collected were 2013, when just over 280,000 pounds of food was collected, and 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. The 26-year total for pounds of food collected now stands at 2,597,782.

“We are thankful for the success of this year’s drive in supplying food for Winona Volunteer Services and helping to meet our goal that no one in Winona County goes hungry this winter,” said Jennifer Welch, who is co-chair of the food drive. “It means a lot to our employees to take part and help meet the needs of the food shelf and the people it serves.”

More than 30 area schools and child-care centers and more than 150 businesses participated in this year’s drive. See photos of the schools and a listing of this year’s participating businesses.

Community Spirit Brings Us Together

Winona area schools and daycare centers took part in the 26th Annual 10 Days of Giving” Food Drive, December 1-10, by collecting food at their locations to help stock food shelves in Winona County. Representatives of the schools and daycare centers are pictured below. Thanks to you, no one in Winona County will go hungry this winter.

Holiday Gift Guide


With the holidays right around the corner, everyone seems to be filled with joy and cheer. But if you haven’t done your holiday shopping yet, the mantra, “It’s better to give than to receive” is probably repeating over and over in your head. And if you’ve exhausted earrings for mom or ties for dad, holiday shopping can turn stressful.

Don’t fret: Below are several unique present ideas that are sure to satisfy every mom, dad, or kid this holiday season.

Gifts for Mom

Book pillow – How often does your mom curl up on the couch with a good book — and then has to re-angle herself repeatedly to find a comfortable position? A book pillow is specifically shaped to help you prop up a book when reading — no matter if you’re at a table or on your bed. The pillow does it all — even holds the book — so hands remain free to have a snack or even take notes as you read.

Jewelry armoire – Does your mother always seem to be untangling her necklaces or wondering where the matching earring is her favorite pair? A jewelry armoire mounts directly to a bedroom wall to open up more space on the dresser. It features tons of hooks and drawers for jewelry storage, and sometimes a mirror is included, so Mom can easily see which piece you’d like to wear that day without going too far.

Spa gift card – Every mom deserves to get pampered from time to time. Give her the gift of stress relief with a prepaid massage, manicure/pedicure or skin treatment. Take it a step further and get yourself a spa card as well so that you and Mom can relax together.

Gifts for Dad

Remote control cooler – What father wouldn’t want the beverage of his choice delivered right to the couch he’s sitting on? Up to 60 feet away, Dad can use a remote control to operate a cooler, which glides directly to you on its four wheels. The cooler holds up to six bottles as well as ice to keep them cold, and it can be used both indoors and out.

A good razor – Chances are, Dad hasn’t invested in what most men should — a good razor where blades stay sharp, nicks are scarce and one that will help make a close shave a breeze. Introducing King of Shave’s razor with Hyperglide. The razor’s hydrophilic self-lubricating cartridge creates a HydroGel on your face when it makes contact with water, so there’s no need for any shaving creams or gels — and the shave is as close as it gets. Other options for good razors include Gilette or Schick.

Front-pocket wallet – Does Dad ever complain of back pain? A unique culprit could be from wedging a wallet in his back pocket and sitting on it. A front-pocket wallet is uniquely designed to be kept in the front pocket of any type of pants, making grabbing a license, money or credit cards even more convenient than before. This thin, compact wallet will also help eliminate the risk of Dad being pit-pocketed.

Gifts for Kids

TV buds – If your kids are into watching TV, it may get pretty loud in the house sometimes. With TV buds, a personal TV listening system, they’ll be able to hear the TV clearly, but you won’t. It’s not just a gift for you, though, as these buds make the TV watching experience even better for the youngsters. TV buds offer sound enhancement, added range, and quality, plus they’re super comfortable and lightweight to boot.

Kid-approved coupons - You don’t need to spend hundreds on a popular toy — especially when you can make your child a gift they’ll really appreciate. Create an envelope of coupons that they can use whenever they please  —things like “stay up a half hour after bedtime” or “get out of a chore free card.” You could even make the coupons about hosting a movie and popcorn night or doing an activity the child is interested in. They’ll love getting to use their gift over and over again.

Hooded towel – For children ages 2 and up, bath time may not be their favorite time of day. Make it fun with a hooded bath towel that comes in different characters. The kids will love taking a bath knowing that they get to put on an adorable, comfy towel afterwards.

With these holiday gifts, you are sure to see some smiling faces. Head to the stores now to beat the holiday rush!

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