Help us welcome the new faces at Merchants Bank

New to MerchantsAt Merchants Bank, we are committed to providing you with the best customer service as possible. We want you to be satisfied with all of your banking needs. To ensure that all of your needs are met, we hired qualified employees to help make the most of your banking experience. Please join us in welcoming the new front-line members of the Merchants Bank team.
Tamara Baker joined the staff at Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove as a Lead Teller. Tamara previously worked at US Bank as a Teller/Banker and at Graphic Design Inc., as a Customer Service/Accounts Payable-Receivable Clerk. Tamara and her fiance reside in Farmington with their 6 children and their St. Bernard, Matileta.
Dawn Garms joined the team at Merchants Bank in Onalaska as a Mortgage Loan Officer. Dawn previously worked at Altra Federal Credit Union as a Mortgage Loan Officer. Dawn grew up in Cedar Falls, IA and attended the University of Northern Iowa where she received her Finance/Real Estate degree. She enjoys hiking the bluffs, kayaking through rivers and all of the great things that the La Crosse area has to offer. She also loves to travel and cook. Loans are subject to credit approval.
Libbie Longfield is a full-time Teller in the Winona Lakeside facility. Libbie graduated from WSU with a major in Marketing and minors in Business Administration and Communication Studies. Libbie previously worked at Menards as an Assistant Cabinets and Appliance Manager. Libbie and her husband have a three-month-old daughter.
Cindy Luedke joined Merchants Bank, Apple Valley team as a Mortgage Lender. Cindy previously worked at 1st Trust Mortgage as a Mortgage Sales Professional. Cindy has been in the mortgage industry for 28 years. Cindy and her husband have been married for 28 years and enjoy fishing and spending time on Big Sandy Lake in McGregor, MN. Loans are subject to credit approval.
Shelly Reining joined the staff at Merchants Bank in Onalaska as a Mortgage Loan Coordinator. Shelly previously worked at Home Federal in Rochester as a Mortgage Loan Officer. Shelly and her husband have been married for eight years and have three children. They enjoy anything outside, watching and playing baseball and football, camping and fishing. In her spare time she loves to read and go for walks. Loans are subject to credit approval.
Tara Selig joined the Merchants Bank team and will work in Rosemount as a part-time Teller. Tara will be a senior at Rosemount High School and previously worked at The Commons on Marice as a Waitress. Tara enjoys hanging out with family and friends, and traveling.
Chris Thrune is a part-time Teller in the Winona Drive-up facility. Chris is a sophomore at WSU with a major in Accounting. He previously worked at Fastenal and Dick’s Marine.
Michael (Mick) Wald joined the Merchants Bank team in Winona as a part-time Teller. Mick recently graduated from Winona State University with his Bachelor of Science in Sociology with specialization in Criminal Justice (Corrections). He previously worked at Fastenal and currently volunteers with the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Minnesota. Mick is an avid hunter and fisher. He enjoys being outside and loves hanging out with his close group of friends.
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Planting Seeds; Growing Business

Ryan BruceIt was after a storm in the Spring of 2001 that Merchants Bank in Rochester President John Doyle asked his insurance agent for a referral for someone to repair the Green Meadows branch after it had been damaged in a storm.

The insurance agent suggested Bruce Ryan, owner of Ryan Windows & Siding, Inc. By 2003, Ryan was a member of the Winona Board of Directors and then later the Merchants Financial Group, Inc. Board of Directors.

“Bruce has an excellent reputation in the Rochester area,” Doyle said. “We are fortunate to have him as a friend, board member and customer.”

Ryan’s relationship with Merchants grew and soon he started referring Merchants to the people he knew. He understands that referrals can have a great impact, especially when those referrals are low-key.

“Being on the board, I know how good the bank is. How sound and secure it is. I like to spread the word, but I don’t do it in a direct manner,” Ryan said. “If the subject comes up, I’ll share information about the Bank and let them know if they’re interested in other options, that they should consider Merchants. When you do it that way, you get to plant the seed with a lot of people. Sometimes, It takes a while. I planted a seed six or seven years ago that’s just now beginning to grow.”

Ryan is involved in his community. He is the past President of the Ronald McDonald House, where he continues to volunteer. He also volunteers at Gift of Life Transplant House and Hiawatha Homes, which promotes independence and community involvement for those with disabilities. He is also involved in supporting other causes throughout the Rochester area and often sees members of Merchants’ staff at those same events.

“It’s great to be able to talk to others about the quality people who work at the Bank, and then those employees happen to be at the event and you can introduce them,” Ryan said.

Ryan looks at his Board involvement as part of being on a big team that includes staff and other Board members from across all Merchants’ locations. He said he likes to look at Merchants from a customer’s perspective and he’s proud of what he sees.

“I’m very, very happy with the level of service I receive and my experience as a customer,” Ryan said. “I know the people I refer to Merchants will be treated the same way.”

This story is an excerpt from our 2012 Annual Report. Click here to view the full Annual Report.

Take the Vacation You Want

Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas. Are you having trouble saving money for the trip of your dreams? Merchants Bank Vacation Club can help make that dream a reality.
 Vacation Club Account

Merchants Bank Vacation Club is a savings account that allows you to save money and earn interest at the same time. You set the goal of how much you would like to save for your vacation and automated deposits from your checking, savings or payroll are made to the Vacation Club account August through May. Accrued interest is paid on the Vacation Club balances the first day of June, when the funds are made available. Enjoy 24 hours access to your Vacation Club account with online, mobile and telephone banking.


You don’t just have to use the Vacation Club account to save for a vacation either. Other uses of the account have been for increased child care costs in the summer, or even weddings. Why not take advantage of the great interest rate for other important events in your life?


With Merchants Bank Vacation Club and as little as $25 per month, you can start saving for your dream vacation now, or maybe pay for that dream wedding. Don’t make any more excuses for putting your dreams on hold. With Merchants Bank there’s no easier way to save for vacation fun. Visit our website for additional details.

Merchants Family Cookbook is Back

Looking for a great cookbook and a great way to help people in need in your community? Then, you’ll want the Merchants Family Cookbook.

The Merchants Family Cookbook is a collection of recipes first shared by Merchants’ staff, family and friends in 2005. The cookbook is available at all of our locations, and the proceeds from the book will go to support local food shelves.

These cookbooks are great gifts for any occasion, like weddings, showers, birthdays, Christmas presents, or just for someone who loves great recipes.
Who do you think would love this great cookbook? The new edition is slightly revised and available for $15 each. Stop in today and pick yours up, so you can start preparing great recipe from the Merchants family tonight.