Julie Pearson has Joined Merchants Bank as a Correspondent Mortgage Account Executive


Julie Pearson has joined Merchants Bank as an Assistant Vice President and a Correspondent Mortgage Account Executive, according to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Sue Hovell.

Pearson will be covering Wisconsin, Iowa and a portion of Minnesota in her new position. Merchants Bank provides mortgage correspondent services for 86 separate financial institutions that include 193 separate locations. Merchants Bank also provides mortgage correspondent services in the remainder of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

“Julie’s position is important to our organization and to the financial institutions she will help meet their goals to provide their customers with good rates, timely underwriting and effective servicing,” Hovell said. “One of the great parts of having Julie on board is that she is very familiar with the process.”

Pearson has been working with financial institutions in mortgage lending since 2001. Her career has taken her to two different banks where she sold home loans to the Merchants Bank Correspondent Program.

“We were fortunate enough to work with Merchants Bank on this venture, and I came to know how wonderful a partner they were in providing services,” Pearson said. “I look forward to providing the same level of service to my customers that I received when I was Merchants’ customer.”

Julie can be reached at (507) 494-0540 or japearson@merchantsbank.com.

Robert Root Has Joined Merchants Bank as Vice President for Network, Datacenter and PC Services


Robert Root has joined the team at Merchants Bank as Vice President for Network, Datacenter and PC services, according to Rodney Nelsestuen, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

“Robert is an important addition to our team as we continue to provide our customers the technology support they need today and in the future from their bank,” Nelsestuen said.

Root has more than 20 years of Information Technology experience, including the past 15 years with Eastwood Bank. He has a well-rounded background in infrastructure management, business analysis, information security and project management.

“I look forward to putting my skills to work for Merchants Bank and learning first-hand why it has the reputation as an industry leader in our region,” Root said.

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.

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.