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.

Get Fit for the New Year: Attend Our Free Health & Wellness Expo

Events and Adventures Wellness Expo

Have you made a healthy goal for the new year? Attend our FREE Wellness Expo on Saturday, January 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m at our Merchants Bank Winona-Downtown location. There will be vendor booths and free breakout sessions:

Happiness is Serious Business – Presented by John Rislove, Director of Behavioral Health at Winona Health
11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Food Labels: Discovering the Unknown – Presented by Jennifer Hackbarth, Nutritionist at Hy-Vee
11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Health claims on food packages can be confusing, and hard to reconcile the information of the front of the package with what’s on the nutrition facts panel. Learn what to look for when shopping for healthy foods at your local grocery store.

Financial Fitness: Time to Take Charge of Your Financial Future – Presented by Connie Fort, Consumer Lender at Merchants Bank
11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Q & A Session with Local Fitness Experts – Facilitated by Deb McClellan, Community Operations Manager at Live Well Winona
11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Jen Welch at (507) 457-1108 or by email at jewelch@merchantsbank.com. We look forward to seeing you there! Healthy snacks will be served.

New Tellers Here to Help You

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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. 

Heidi Jo Buxengard has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Caledonia. She graduated from Spring Grove Public Schools last spring and will be attending Southeast Technical College in the spring, majoring in Radiography. Heidi previously worked at the Spring Grove Swim Center and Elsie’s Bar & Grill. She enjoys sports and hunting.

Sharon McInnis has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Cottage Grove. She previously worked at Menards as a Plumbing Associate/Cashier and at The Jewelry Exchange as a Sales Consultant. She is looking forward to working with the Cottage Grove team and enhancing customer relationships at Merchants Bank.

Austin Robertson has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Rochester at our Northwest branch location. He graduated from Byron High School last Spring and is currently attending Rochester Community and Technical College. He previously worked at Hy-Vee and Menards. Austin is a Packer fan. He likes coaching and playing soccer, long boarding in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. Austin also plays drums and guitar in his free time.

Karen Rushton has joined Merchants Bank as a Teller in Hastings. Karen comes to us from Wells Fargo where she worked for 20 years in several different roles. Karen is married and has two children, Jordan, 18 and Thomas,17. She enjoys traveling in her free time.

 

Grandma Helen’s Cut-Out Cookies

BlogRecipe-CutOutCookies

Cut-out cookies are a favorite at Christmastime. Here’s a recipe you’re sure to love!

Cookies:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups thick sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (mixed into sour cream)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 cups flour

Mix first 8 ingredients well, then add flour. Roll and cut-out. Bake at 300 degrees. Watch carefully, don’t let the bottoms get brown. When they look a little tan, pull them out of the oven. Makes 6 dozen cookies, depending on size of cut-outs.

 

Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (in cereal bowl)
  • Pour milk until halfway up butter (I know, grandmas’ recipe!)
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, stop every 45 seconds to stir. Add:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Blend with mixer. If it is too thick, add milk; if too runny, add powdered sugar. Split into separate bowls to add food coloring as desired.

Meet Lucas Stangl, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants Bank

Lucas Stangl, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, with his two children in Disneyland.

Lucas Stangl, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, with his two children in Disneyland.

When did you start your banking career?

Lucas: I started at Wells Fargo in 2011 as a Teller and then became a Teller Manager. When I came to Merchants, I knew I wanted to work for a bank I believed in and one that is there for the community. Electronic Banking is a great fit for me because I like helping our customers solve problems. Plus, there’s a lot of variety with my job, which I really enjoy.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Lucas: There are a couple of things that can make using Online Banking easier for our customers.

First, when you’re reviewing your accounts online, make sure check the available balance and not the current balance. The available balance is what you actually have available to spend. Sometimes the difference can be confusing, so make sure you’re looking at the right balance before you make a purchase.

When completing online transfers, review the details of the transfer and click the confirm button. If you don’t click confirm, the transfer won’t go through.

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

Lucas: Don’t impulse buy. Wait a few days and if you still want that particular item, then go buy it.

If you could ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange with anyone, who would it be and why?

Lucas: My kids. Hazen is nine and Ada is six. My wife and I try to teach the importance of experiences and I think that would be a very memorable experience for them.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Lucas: Any golf course. I started golfing when I was five years old and actually worked at a golf course in Pennsylvania for ten years – it was really fun.

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

Meet Marcus Krings, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants Bank

Meet Marcus Krings, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, pictured playing with his band, The Whistle Jacks.

Meet Marcus Krings, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, pictured playing with his band, The Whistle Jacks.

When did you start your banking career?

In 2006, started working at Winona National as a Lead Teller and worked there for several years. In 2012, I came to

Merchants and have been in the Electronic Banking department since. I like working with computers and helping people, so this job combines two things I really enjoy.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

My first tip would be for people traveling outside of the tri-state area: Make sure that you know the pin number associated with your debit card. Merchants has fraud protection rules in place that require you to enter your pin when making purchases far from home. If you don’t know your pin, you can call Electronic Banking a 866-496-0522 and we can help you reset your pin in time for your trip.

For those interested in using our mobile app, it’s important to note you’ll need to sign up for Online Banking first. You can get started with Online Banking by contacting a Customer Service Representative at your local Merchants Bank, calling Electronic Banking or enrolling at merchantsbank.com. Then, when you search for the app in the app store, use “merchants bank na” because that search term will bring you directly to our app page.

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

You have to earn your money. My parents always emphasized that money was something you worked for, whether it was simply doing chores around the house or having a high school job.

If you could ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange with anyone, who would it be and why?

My wife. She really likes to travel and we’d have fun in New York together.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Sour apple green gummies. Those are delicious.

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

You’re Invited: Attend Our Holiday Open Houses in December

HolidayOpenHouses

Please join us to celebrate the holidays at the following Holiday Open Houses and events. We hope to see you there!

12/4-12/5 Onalaska Holiday Open House
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Appetizers and refreshments will be served in our bank lobby. Prize drawings will be held for the following items: 1-$200, 1-$100 and 1-$50 Visa Gift Card and a children’s gift basket.*
12/5 Caledonia Holiday Open House
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/5 Caledonia Winter Wonderland Parade
7 p.m.
Please join us on Main Street in Downtown Caledonia.
12/5 Eau Claire Holiday Open House
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Please join us for homemade cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/5 Spring Grove Holiday Open House
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby. Pictures with Santa will be held from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
12/9 Hastings Holiday Open House
11 a.m.- 2p.m.
Please join us for a light lunch and refreshments in our bank lobby. Please bring a gift of non-perishable food or cash to support the “10 Days of Giving” food drive.
12/12 La Crescent Holiday Parade
7 p.m.
Please join us in Downtown La Crescent.
12/12 Rushford Holiday Open House
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in the bank lobby.
12/12 Lanesboro Holiday Open House
10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in the bank lobby.
12/13 Rushford Holiday Parade of Lights
7 p.m.
Join us for the Parade of Lights in Downtown Rushford.
12/15 and 12/22 Red Wing Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Please join us for refreshments in our bank lobby.
December 15 at 4 p.m. – Red Wing High School Ovation Choir
December 22 – Live music throughout the day by Merchants employees John Anderson, Becky Clark and Shelly Schroeder.
12/15-12/19 Winona Holiday Open House
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby. Live music will be performed throughout the day by area schools.
12/15-12/19 Rosemount Holiday Open House
9 a.m.–11 a.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/18-12/19 La Crescent Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Please join us for cookies, coffee and holiday spirit in our bank lobby.
12/19 Cannon Falls Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
Please join us for cookies, refreshments and live music in our bank lobby.

There will be live music in the lobby throughout the day:
9:00 a.m. Cannon Falls High School 9th grade choir
10:00 a.m. Cannon Falls High School Concert and Jazz Choirs
11:00 a.m. St. Paul’s Lutheran School Choir
12:00 p.m. Randolph High School Chamber Choir
1:00 p.m. Cannon Falls High School Flute choir
3:00 p.m. Holiday music featuring Merchants employees John Anderson on guitar, Shelly Schroeder on flute, and Becky Clark on cello.

12/19 Hampton Holiday Open House
8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby. Piano music will be performed 1:00-4:00 p.m. by Elizabeth Schriever.
12/19 St. Charles holiday Open House
10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Please join us for refreshments in our bank lobby.

*Drawing will be held on December 5, 2014. No purchase or customer relationship necessary to enter or win. One entry per person. Winner will be notified by telephone. Employees of Merchants Bank and their immediate family are not eligible for the drawing.