Al Gathje Joins Merchants Bank as a Business Banker

AlGathjeAl Gathje has joined Merchants Bank in Rushford as a Business and Ag Banker. He will help people in the Rushford and Lanesboro area with business and agriculture loans.

“We are excited to have Al on our team at Merchants,” said Ken Graner, President of Merchants Bank in Rushford and Lanesboro. “He lives here, he works here, and he will be an exceptional fit serving the needs of the people in our area.”

Gathje, who lives just outside of Lanesboro, has been working in sales throughout the area for the past 17 years. He has an agriculture related degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. A Stewartville native, he started working on area farms when he was just 13 and has a deep interest in the ag industry.

“I am customer oriented and customer driven. I was attracted to Merchants because of its customer service reputation,” Gathje said. “I look forward to building long-term relationships where together we will be able to see real signs of success as our relationship grows.”

Click here to learn more about business banking at Merchants.

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.

Retreat Away for a Good Time

Have you ever wanted to have a family gathering but didn’t have a space big enough to host everyone that you wanted to invite? How about being able to quilt or scrapbook with a large group of friends but never had the space to use your creativity to the max? Well don’t fret; you can do all of this at Glad Gatherings.

Glad Gatherings, which opened November 2013, is a retreat house in Spring Valley, Minnesota, that is perfect for crafters but can be rented out for any occasion. “It is the perfect space for bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, weekend getaways, girls’ weekend, and much more,” said Co-Owners Denise Erichsen and Jenny Gurenwald.

According to co-owner Alissa Gibson, “It sleeps 12 people comfortably and has a dedicated craft space which comfortably accommodates 12 people plus their craft supplies.”

Denise Erichsen with her sister, Dolores Bierbaum, niece, Jenny Gruenwald, daughter, Alissa Gibson, are all co-owners of Glad Gatherings.

What started off as a special family occasion for the owners and their family is now a successful retreat away for families or big groups that are looking to be crafty or looking for a big enough space to fit all of their guests. The girls would get together a couple times a year to quilt or scrapbook and had done so in many other retreat houses. “We just really loved the memories we were making and we thought it would be really fun to find a place we could do our crafts that was big enough for all of our nieces and daughters. It is something really special that we wanted to share with everyone.” Erichsen said.

When it came to relying on a lender to help with getting Glad Gatherings started, Levi Livingood from the Merchants Bank Rochester, Northwest Plaza, location was an easy choice and is highly recommended by the owners. “He has been so helpful every step of the way,” stated Erichsen.

“He is fantastic, answers my emails right away, and has been here to visit us in Spring Valley multiple times already. Merchants Bank is great to work with because they make you feel warm and welcome. We would highly recommend any start up business to work with Merchants Bank. They really help make what may seem like work, easy.”

 

Loans are subject to credit approval.

Some Faces You Might See

NewtoTeamPhotosJuly

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.

Greg Borcherding has joined Merchants Bank as a Commercial Banker/VP at the Winona-Downtown location. Greg recently moved to the La Crosse area and previously worked at Citizens State Bank and the Bank of Wisconsin Dells for 21 years. He enjoys golfing, ice fishing, biking, participating in triathlons, traveling and community service.

Georgeann Freeman joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Hastings. Georgeann previously worked at Augustana Nursing Home as a Therapeutic Aide and at Marcus Theaters as a Projectionist.  Georgeann is currently attending the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where she is studying Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance. She recently adopted her beagle, Penny.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her nieces.

Lily French joined Merchants Bank as a part-time Teller in Cannon Falls. Lily attends Cannon Falls High School.  She is excited for the opportunity to work at Merchants and is looking forward to getting to know everyone.

Greseth Joins Business Banking Team

GresethLauraLaura Greseth has joined the Business Banking team at Merchants Bank in Winona as an Assistant Vice President and Business Banker, according to Randy Domeyer, Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer for the Winona Region.

“Laura is an excellent banker. She has provided outstanding service to business banking and Ag banking customers over the past several years,” Domeyer said. “In addition to her banking skills, she has outstanding personal skills, which her customers have found to be valuable.”

Greseth has been with the Merchants organization since 2004 and was a Senior Credit Analyst for Merchants before joining Merchants Bank in St. Charles as Business Banker in 2009. A graduate of Winona State University, she grew up on a dairy farm in southern Fillmore County.

“My experience in St. Charles will benefit business and Ag customers in the Winona area. I’m excited to be back,” Greseth said. “I look forward to the new opportunities to help businesses meet their goals.”

During her time in St. Charles, Greseth maintained her home in Winona and was actively involved in Steamboat Days as a board member and officer and also volunteered with the Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation. She is looking forward to more community involvement.

Greg Borcherding Joins Merchants

BorcherdingGregGreg Borcherding has joined Merchants Bank as Business Banker/Vice President according to Randy Domeyer, Senior Lender and Business Banking Manager.

“Greg is a valuable addition and brings more than 20 years of business lending experience to our team. His familiarity with this region will be an asset to area businesses,” said Domeyer.

Most recently, Borcherding worked with Citizens State Bank in La Crosse and has also spent time in the Wisconsin Dells market. Borcherding has small business and business start-up experience. He is looking forward to contributing to the Winona community.

“I enjoy being involved in the community and appreciate Merchants’ strong partnerships in many Winona community efforts,” Borcherding said.

A native of Platteville, Borcherding is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Additionally, Borcherding is a member of the Lake Delton Lions and the finance committee for the Children’s Museum of La Crosse.

Randy Domeyer Promoted

Randy Domeyer

Randy Domeyer

Randy Domeyer will succeed Dave Grewe as Manager for the Business Banking Department in Winona and as Senior Lending Officer for the Winona Region, according to Merchants Bank President & Chief Banking Officer Greg Evans.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Randy’s experience poised to carry on the commitment to excellence that Dave has demonstrated in that capacity for the past several years,” Evans said.

Domeyer joined Merchants in 2008, returning to Winona. Domeyer spent the first 20 years of his banking career with Norwest Bank and then Wells Fargo. He left in 2000 to become the President of Wells Fargo in Blue Earth and later transferred to become Wells Fargo’s Business Banking Manager in Faribault.  From 2005-2008, Domeyer was Chief Credit Officer for Roundbank in Waseca.

Grewe has led the Business Banking Department for the past five years. He has been with Merchants two times, first from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, and then again beginning in 2002. He has also worked in the La Crosse market with First Bank and State Bank.

Both Domeyer and Grewe have been exceptionally active in community activities. Domeyer is actively involved in the Winona Rotary Club, Winona County Chapter for the American Red Cross, and the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. Grewe has been a member of the Winona Chamber of Commerce, a Chamber Ambassador, a long-time member of the Winona Jaycees, and a past Winter Carnival Chairman. He has been very involved in Steamboat Days, serving as President in 2006. Currently he is president of Westfield Golf Club and serves on both the Latsch Board and CEDA (Community Economic Development Association) Board.

Grewe, who will retire June 30, has already started transitioning his management responsibilities for oversight of the lending functions to Domeyer. Grewe will also work with members of the business banking team in Winona to make sure the needs of all customers are met.