New Staff Here to Help You

Merchants Bank 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

Chad Anderson has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Winona. Chad has over 14 years of experience in the banking industry and previously worked at Winona National Bank as a Business Banking Officer. He graduated from Winona State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance degree. Chad and his wife, Emily have a 18 month old daughter and reside in Trempealeau. Chad enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, curling and golf.

Alyssa Connolly has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Hastings. Alyssa also currently works at the American Legion as a server and was previously at Dominos as the Assistant Manager. Alyssa loves spending time with her beautiful two year old girl.

Holley Fenton has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Hastings. Holley previously worked at Crazy 8 as an Assistant Manager and at Treasure Island as a Front Desk Clerk. Holley has four children, a daughter-in-law and one grandson. She also has two horses, two dogs and a cat that they rescued when they lived in Kentucky.

Mary Heise has joined Merchants Bank as a Lead Teller in Rochester. She previously worked at Olmsted National Bank as a Lead Teller and at Sterling State Bank as a Teller. Mary is originally from the area and grew up in Pine Island. She enjoys playing music and spending time outdoors with her pets.

Kevin Finke has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Winona. Kevin previously worked at Fidelity National Bank as the Vice President of Commercial Lending. He is originally from Maple Lake, MN and graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor’s degree is Business Administration and an Associates degree in Business Management. Kevin and his wife, April welcomed their first child in July of 2014. He is an avid bow hunter and also enjoys fishing, golf, and spending time with family and friends.

Kim O’Reilly has joined Merchants Bank as a Business Banker in Cannon Falls and Red Wing. Kim previously worked at Associated Bank as a Commercial Relationship Manager and at US Bank as a Commercial Banking Relationship Manager. Kim and her husband, Casey have three boys, Carsyn, Cayden and Jack. Kim and Casey both grew up on a dairy farm and now they own and operate O’Reilly Organic Dairy together. Kim is involved in many volunteer activities, including serving on the United Way Board, being a Red Wing Chamber Ambassador and a Sunday School Teacher.

Jennifer Verrkamp has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in St. Charles. She previously worked at Endless Journey Child Care as a Teacher’s Assistant and at First National Bank of Bagley as a Teller. Jen grew up in St. Charles, has two sisters and is a twin. She likes to help out on her grandparents’ farm and is planning to have her first garden this spring.

 

Meet John Aarness, Mortgage Lender at Merchants Bank

John Aarness Merchants Bank Mortgage LenderWhen did you start your lending career?

John: I started my lending career in southern California in March of 1972. The bulk of my time was spent originating FHA and VA loans. Eventually I moved to Minnesota with my wife and started at Merchants in 2001.

What is your top tip for someone looking to build a home?

John: Be patient, talk to an experienced builder and know what you want. Knowing what you want is the hardest part. I would also suggest building a traditional house…remember, you have to sell it eventually.

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

John: Earn it before you spend it. I always earned money to pay for something I wanted, whether it was shoveling sidewalks when I was younger or getting a part-time job when I was old enough.

If you won the Powerball what’s the first thing you would buy?

John: I have three boys and I would pay off their mortgages.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

John: I have a 1984 ugly green Vespa scooter. It’s a real beaut, despite the color. A fun machine.

Picture your dream house. What’s your favorite room and why?

John: I think it would be a luxury garage…heated, with a refrigerator, a large work bench and fully equipped with all the tools I need. Of course, it’d have a big TV too.

Contact John today to get start the application process for your home building or buying project. To find current mortgage rates and apply online, visit our website.

We Hope to See You at These March Events

Merchants Bank Community Events

Our staff invites you to join them at these great events throughout March. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed.

3/7 Eau Claire Home Buyer’s Seminar: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
At Legends Title Services in Eau Claire, WI

Learn about the keys to successfully buy a home of your own:

  • What’s Title Insurance?
  • Home Inspection-Why?
  • Mortgage Process
  • Choosing a Realtor

RSVP by March 4 to Rick at (715) 855-0816.

3/7 Winona Area Home Expo: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
At Riverport Inn & Suites

Buying, selling or renovating? You won’t want to miss Winona’s most extensive home event! Stop by and see us at the Merchants Bank booth. Admission is $5.00 for adults and free for children. Food and exhibitor giveaways available.

3/14 Lakeville Landscape, Home Expo and Consumer Show: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
At Lakeville North High School

Stop by and see us at the Merchants Bank booth.

3/16 and 3/31 “Time to Switch” Evening Hours: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
At Merchants Bank Winona-Downtown

We make it easy to switch your checking account to Merchants. Stop in – and bring a friend – to enjoy a bowl of chili and open your account.

3/21-3/22 Winona Better Living Show
At Winona Senior High School

Stop by and enjoy a cookie on us at the Merchants Bank booth. Enter for a chance to win an outdoor fire column patio warmer.*

Show Hours
Saturday, March 21: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 22: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m

*No purchase or customer relationship necessary to enter to win. On person per entry. Drawings will be held the first business day after each Home Show. Winner will be notified by telephone. Employees or Merchants are not eligible to win.

Kim O’Reilly Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President and Commercial Lender

KimOReillyWelcome

Kim O’Reilly has joined the Merchants Bank team as a Vice President and Commercial Lender, according to Brian Hokanson, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender for the Cannon Falls region.

A well-known banker through the region, O’Reilly will be working with customers throughout the area and will have offices in both Cannon Falls and Red Wing.

“What makes Kim an exceptional banker is her desire to understand the goals of her customers and then put together a solution that helps the customer realize those goals,” Hokanson said. “She does that for the smallest companies to the biggest with an equal amount of energy and knowledge.”

O’Reilly has been in banking for 19 years, including the past 11 at Associated Bank in Red Wing. She said she’s looking forward to being a part of the Merchants Bank team.

“Merchants has an excellent reputation because it’s committed to its customers.” O’Reilly said. “That’s important to me.  I am committed to my family, our farm, our church and our community, and my customers know that I deliver that same level of commitment to everything I do for them.”

O’Reilly lives in the Red Wing area, where she, her husband, Casey, and their three sons operate an organic dairy farm with 200 head of livestock. She is active in the community as a Red Wing Chamber Ambassador, a member of the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties Board of Directors, and she also teaches Sunday School at the Eidsvold Lutheran Church. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a Masters’ in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Contact Kim today: kjoreilly@merchantsbank.com or 507-263-7561.

Is ACH Fraud Affecting Your Business?

ACH Fraud Detection Merchants Bank

Use a service like Merchants Bank’s ACH Blocks and Filters to detect fraud on a daily basis.

What is an ACH Block or Filter?
ACH Blocks and Filters help you detect fraudulent electronic transactions that are presented on your account. By setting up ACH Blocks and Filters, only ACH transactions that you have told us are allowed post to your company’s checking account. All other transactions must receive authorization from you or will be sent back to the originator.

How does it work?
Simply let Merchants Bank know which, if any ACH transactions should be allowed to post to your company’s checking account.

  • ACH Block – You can completely block all ACH debits and/or credits from posting to your account.
  • ACH Filters – You can set parameters that allow certain ACH debits/and or credits to post to your account, while at the same time excluding other debits and/or credits from posting.

Why should my business use it?
With ACH Blocks and Filters, you can virtually eliminate the possibility of fraudulent ACH transactions being posted to your business account. Plus, in addition to the money you’ll save by preventing fraud, there is no need to purchase additional equipment to use ACH Blocks and Filters.

How can I start using ACH Blocks and Filters?
Contact one of our Cash Management specialists today.

Banana Bread

BlogRecipe-BananaBread

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripened bananas, mashed, to equal one cup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour

 

Directions:

Blend sugar, salt and egg into bananas. Stir in butter. Dissolve soda in water and add with flour. Mix and bake in loaf pan for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 1 loaf.

 

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

New Staff Here to Help You

NewtoTeamPhotos2-15
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.
Kelsey Banicki has joined Merchants Bank as a Peak Time Teller in Winona. Kelsey previously worked at Fastenal in Scanning Support as well as WinCraft and Reds IGA. Kelsey is excited to be part of Merchants.
Dawn Buck has joined Merchants Bank as a Part-Time Teller in St. Charles. Dawn and her husband, Daryl, have three teenage boys who all love to bow hunt. They reside in rural St. Charles and have acreage to support wildlife and hunting. She enjoys cooking and hosting family events.
Veronica Colletti has joined Merchants Bank as a Part Time Teller in Winona. Veronica is a graduate of Winona State University with a Political Science major. She is excited to be able to now serve the community that has become her home with her new position.
Amy Engrav has joined Merchants Banks as a Teller in Winona. Amy previously worked at Perkins as the General Manager. She enjoys family time with her husband of 16 years, Eric, and their sons Graham and Ian. Amy loves to run and just completed one 5k every month in 2014.
Jorge Espinoza has joined Merchants Bank as a Part-Time Teller in Lakeville. Jorge previously worked at Office Max as a Sales Consultant and at Panera Bread as a Cook. Jorge is excited to be working at Merchants and is looking forward to getting to know everyone.
Julie Pearson has joined Merchants Bank as Correspondent Mortgage Account Executive. Julie previously worked at The State Bank of Richmond as a Loan Officer and at Security State Bank of Aitkin as a Real Estate Loan Officer. Julie and her husband, Paul, have four wonderful children and two grandchildren. She enjoys quilting and started a non-profit chapter in 2013 called “Just Because Quilting”. Julie and her husband love traveling, camping, dining out and getting out and meeting people.
Emily Werber has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Rochester. Emily previously worked at Kohl’s as a Customer Service Associate and in the cash office for the past 10 years. Emily is married and has a nine year old daughter. They also have three cats. Her family enjoys gardening in the Spring and Fall.