Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Increases Shareholder Dividend by Five Cents Per Share; Success Continues Through First Three Quarters of 2014

Rod Nelson, President & CEO

Rod Nelson, President/CEO

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) reported net income of $9,749,529 through the first three quarters of 2014. The figure is $281,644 ahead of last year’s net income and ahead of MFGI’s plan. Based on the performance, the MFGI Board of Directors voted to increase the shareholder semiannual dividend by five cents to 50 cents per share, according to MFGI President & CEO Rod Nelson.

“I am pleased that we can continue to reward our shareholders for their confidence and continue to bring value to those shareholders, our customers and our employees,” Nelson said. The dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of November 21, 2014. “I do expect that we will finish the year on a positive note.”

Nelson said the main drivers for the continued success are the work of business bankers across all locations in securing new business, maintaining loan credit quality and the success of the mortgage area.

MFGI has a strong correspondent mortgage network that supports smaller banks across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Nebraska by helping those banks provide mortgages to their customers. That work, coupled with the efforts of the mortgage lenders at Merchants Bank locations, has continued to have a positive impact on the organization.

“The reason for our success is our people and their ability to create and enhance relationships with customers in all our markets. We continuously strive to add the very best people to our team and are focused on continued talent enrichment as we grow,” Nelson said.

Stop By and Meet Our New Staff Here to Help You

eNews-Staff

At Merchants Bank, we are happy to welcome new employees and celebrate new positions filled by current staff. These frontline employees are all looking forward to serving you. Take a moment to congratulate them.

Kelly Carter has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Lakeville. Kelly lives with her husband, Jeff and their three beautiful daughters in Hastings. For the past seven years, Kelly has ran a day-care out of their home, which has allowed her to be home to raise their daughters.

Sam Ebner has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Winona. Sam previously worked at Target. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Metropolitan State University. He is originally from Apple Valley and recently moved here with his fiancé, Jackie.

Paulette Reinhardt has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Cottage Grove. Paulette previously worked at the Hastings Co-op as a Cashier and is currently attending Dakota County Technical College working towards her Supervisory Management degree. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Malissa, reading, listening to music and spending time with family and friends.

 

$50,000 Pledge for Confluence Community Arts Center

Mark Willer

Mark Willer

Merchants Bank has pledged $50,000 in support of the new community arts center that is part of the proposed Confluence Project in downtown Eau Claire.

“We believe that the Confluence Project and the new community arts center are important for our community, and as a community bank, we believe it’s our privilege to join our neighbors in our support,” said Merchants Bank – Eau Claire President Mark Willer. “We expect that the project will contribute significantly to both the cultural and economic development of Eau Claire and the entire Chippewa Valley. One of the cornerstones of the Merchants Bank philosophy is to support its customers and the communities it serves by donating volunteer time and making monetary contributions to important community projects.”

Merchants is a full-service bank and is a regional leader in mortgage and business lending. The Eau Claire location, just off London Road, opened in February of this year.

The Confluence Project is a proposed revitalization of property commonly referred to as the “Haymarket Site” at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers. The public-private partnership seeks to construct a community arts center, which is the centerpiece of the project. A privately developed commercial/retail complex that includes housing suitable for University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students also is part of the project.

The Eau Claire City Council has pledged $5 million in city funds toward development of the community arts center. The arts center project also seeks $25 million in state funding and $5 million from Eau Claire County. The remaining arts center construction costs are sought from donations and tax credits. The $26 million commercial/retail and student housing complex is being privately financed.

Other members of the Confluence Project public-private partnership are Haymarket Concepts LLC, composed of Market & Johnson Inc., Commonweal Development Corp. and Blugold Real Estate LLC, a subsidiary of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, and UW-Eau Claire. For information about making a commitment to the Confluence Project, contact Wally Rogers, Confluence campaign director, at wallacegrant@msn.com or 715-225-8685.

Enter our Halloween Coloring Contest

HalloweenColoringContest

It’s easy to enter!

  1. Color your coloring sheet
    0-5 years coloring sheet
    6-9 years coloring sheet
    10+ years coloring sheet
  2. Complete the Registration Information at the bottom of this page
  3. Drop off or mail your completed coloring sheet to your nearest Merchants Bank location by October 29 to be entered in our contest. You could win a prize!*

And, because you and all of our young savers are important to us, we’ll have a special Halloween treat waiting for you for returning your entry. We look forward to seeing you and don’t forget to tell a friend about our Halloween coloring contest!

*Please submit entries by October 29, 2014. Judging will take place on October 29, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. Three age groups: 0-5 years, 6-9 years, and 10 years and older. A prize will be awarded to each age group. No purchase or customer relationship necessary to enter or win. One entry per person. Winner will be notified by telephone. Children of Merchants employees are not eligible to win.

Cheer on your high school football team and more at these October events!

eNews-Calendar

10/3 Lakeville North vs. South Football Game: 7 p.m.
Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game. Stop by our tailgate party where we’ll be serving food with all the proceeds going to local high school athletics.
10/21 Eau Claire Business Expo: 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth.
10/21 Red Wing Business Expo: 4-6:30 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth.
10/25 Halloween on Main
Bring your kids to Merchants Bank-St. Charles for tricks and treats at this pre-Halloween event.
10/30 La Crosse Chamber Business Expo: 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Stop by and visit our friendly staff at our booth. Free chair massages available.
10/30 Events & Adventures: 8:30 a.m. doors open, 9:30 a.m. movie begins
Winona 7 Theatre Movie Day
Join us for a free movie and light breakfast. Free will donations will be accepted for the 10 Days of Giving Food Drive. Please RSVP to Jen by Monday, October 27 (507-457-1108 or jewelch@merchantsbank.com).

New Staff Here to Help You

NewtoTeamPhotosSept

At Merchants Bank, we are happy to welcome new employees and celebrate new positions filled by current staff. These frontline employees are all looking forward to serving you. Take a moment to congratulate them.

Theresa Anderson has joined Merchants Bank as a Peak Time Teller for our Twin Cities locations. Theresa also works as a Paraprofessional at Rosemount High School. Theresa recently got married and is a proud mom of three wonderful children and four dogs. She enjoys bowling, cribbage and fishing.

Serguei Barylo has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Lakeville. Serguei also works as a Personal Care Attendant at Integra Health Care. Serguei is originally from Sochi, Russia and is currently attending St. Cloud University. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and staying healthy by going to the gym.

Kristen Borseth has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in La Crescent. Kristen also works at Kwik Trip and Justice and previously worked at Centurylink. She enjoys horseback riding and has owned horses for eight years. She and her boyfriend love camping on the river, taking boat rides, fishing and snowmobiling. Kristen is a huge Badger fan and enjoys attending as many games as possible.

Nate Birkholz has joined Merchants Bank as a Trust Department Manager/SVP. Nate is an attorney with 14 years of Wealth Management, Estate Planning and Tax experience. He has worked at accounting firms, law firms, Wells Fargo Private Bank, and most recently as the Trust Department Manager at Eastwood Bank. His areas of expertise include personal wealth management, endowment fund management and retirement planning.   He grew up in the Winona area and has two children, a son and a daughter. When not at work, he can be found cheering on his kids at soccer fields or basketball courts.

Emalee Bluhm has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Rosemount. Emalee previously worked as a Customer Service Representative at Massage Envy and as an Assistant Manager at Snap Fitness. Emalee has been a dancer for 16 years and graduated high school from the Perpich Center for the Arts. She is now attending Normandale College where she is completing her general education credits.

Markell Jorgensen has joined Merchants Bank as a Mortgage Loan Coordinator in Rosemount. Markell previously worked Wells Fargo and US Bank. She enjoys spending time on the boat fishing and spending time reading. She has two pitbulls.

Rodney Nelsestuen has joined Merchants Bank as a Chief Information Officer/SVP. Rodney previously worked at Eastwood Bank as the Vice President of Information Technology. He has been in the financial services industry for his entire career. Rodney is married to Diane and both are enjoying their time as empty nesters.

Haley Schultz has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Winona. Haley is currently attending Winona State University majoring in Marketing and Statistics. She previously worked as a Barista at Winona Health and a Courtesy Clerk at Winona Hy-Vee. She enjoys running and doing cross-fit.

Andrea Senset has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Rochester. Andrea previously worked as a Cashier at TJ Maxx and as a front desk assistant at RAC. Andrea is currently studying massage therapy at the Minnesota School of Business. She enjoys spending time outdoors, playing Frisbee golf and fishing. Her favorite activity is hiking in Whitewater State Park.

Shawna Whalan has joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Winona. Shawna is also currently working at as Pub Server at Cedar Valley Golf. She is studying accounting at Winona State University. She enjoys being active outside and spending time with her family and friends.

John Diersen Joins Board of Directors

DiersenJohnWell-known local Dairy Farmer John Diersen has been appointed to the Merchants Bank in Caledonia and Spring Grove Advisory Board of Directors, according to Matt Schuldt, President for Merchants Bank in Caledonia and Spring Grove.

“John is a valuable addition to the Board. He brings us a lot of knowledge about farming and the ag community, especially the dairy industry,” Schuldt said. “Plus, he’s about improving the community. He and his family give a lot back and are a big part of our area.”

Diersen is looking forward to giving his time and knowledge to the Board.

“I want to be able to contribute to the Board, not just be someone sitting in a chair,” Diersen said. “I’ll be able to provide input as far as farming, helping to pinpoint what to look for when it comes to the business of agriculture.”

Diersen, 62, farms with his wife, Karyl, and two sons, Joshua and Jayson, at Minnigan Hills Farm outside of Caledonia. The farm has been in the family since John’s grandfather. Currently, they farm 500 acres and milk between 135 and 150 Holsteins. Diersen is involved in the embryo business with three other local dairymen in Four Cal Genetics. The Diersens have also been involved in the American Dairy Association for many years and take a lead role in the Houston County Fair. John is a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and has served on the board of directors at the church.