Get to Know Jon Marley, Market President in St. Charles

Q: What is your background?

Well, it’s largely Ag-focused. I grew up on a farm and ran a farm for many years. Then I got into Ag lending and have been able to use a deep understanding of agriculture to help farmers make the most of their business.

Q: What drew you to Merchants?

I’ve always liked working with community banks, and that was reinforced while I was going through the hiring process: it’s clear that Merchants has a strong commitment to our communities.

Another factor was that this region of the Midwest really intrigued me. It’s beautiful with the rolling hills, bluffs, lakes and rivers, but also has access to more bustling communities like Rochester and the Twin Cities. I’ve found the people to be kind and friendly. And yet another thing, the farmland is quite productive! Always a good sign.

Q: What do you like best about banking?

Getting to know people and figuring out how we can best help them. When we build those relationships we’re better able to help our partners, friends and neighbors achieve their dreams.

Q: Do you have a “best tip” for Ag and small businesses?

Well, what’s most helpful for us as lenders is when the customer has a vision for what they want to achieve. If you can articulate what your goals look like, and where you currently are in the process of reaching them, we can help identify the best route to take to get there. So as a business owner, I’d think about what your dreams, or at least upcoming needs, are.

Q: How are you hoping to get involved in the community?

In the past I’ve always been part of Chamber organizations, so I will be getting involved that here in St. Charles. I also understand there’s a wonderful fair here, so I look forward to that as well.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Well, this is just something funny my dad used to say when he was teaching me to plant: “Son, the more you look back the more crooked your rows are going to be.” But I’ve kept it in mind all these years.

I think for me, I interpret that phrase as keeping an eye on your goals and your values, adhering strongly to those, and making sure you’re always heading in the right direction.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

As I mentioned before, it’s beautiful around here, so I enjoy walking around the various trails, parks and exploring the local communities. I’m looking forward to getting to know the area and the people.