Joselyn Raymundo Named to Merchants Bank Advisory Board

Joselyn Raymundo, Rochester Advisory Board Member

Joselyn Raymundo has been named to the Merchants Bank Advisory Board for Rochester, according to Dan Nistler, President for Merchants Bank in Rochester.

“Our local Advisory Board members play an important role in guiding our branches in Rochester. Joselyn’s insights into the local economy and perspective as a small business owner will be beneficial to Merchants in serving the local businesses and families in the Rochester area,” said Nistler.

Raymundo is the Founder/CEO of Rochester Home Infusion (RHI), a provider of intravenous medication in the comfort of a patient’s home, headquartered in Rochester. She was also a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. In addition to the Merchants Bank Advisory Board, Raymundo also serves on the Board for Destination Medical Center EDA, The Reading Center, and the Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

“I am humbled and excited to join the Merchants Bank Advisory Board for Rochester. My experience running a woman-, minority- and veteran-owned business brings in a unique perspective on how Merchant Bank could further help our business community,” said Raymundo.

The Board and Advisory Board leadership structure is well established in the Merchants culture and has contributed to the growth of the organization. The Rochester Advisory Board was established in 2017. Advisory Boards across Merchants’ footprint ensure the Bank is connected with the communities served and provides key insights into the local population and economies. Advisory Board members contribute meaningful feedback about what is important to community members and business owners and how Merchants Bank can collaborate on a local level to create thriving communities.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.7 billion in assets and is the 4th largest bank chartered in the state of Minnesota. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Andrew Guzzo Promoted to Chief Banking Officer at Merchants Bank

Andrew Guzzo, Chief Banking Officer & President (Winona)

Andrew Guzzo has been promoted to Chief Banking Officer & President (Winona), according to Greg Evans, President & CEO.

Guzzo will continue to have primary leadership responsibility for Merchants Bank’s Winona and Goodview locations, along with meaningful community engagement for the Winona area. Additionally, Guzzo will now also oversee the strategic direction of the Wealth Management division, Marketing and other key centralized business units.

“Andrew has provided outstanding leadership for our Winona and Southeast Region market locations over the last five years and constantly models the servant leadership approach that is at the core of our culture,” said Evans. “His promotion will help ensure that Merchants’ strong leadership culture continues into the future as we work to continue to be the community bank of choice for individuals, families and businesses across our footprint.”

Guzzo joined Merchants Bank as Winona & Southeast Regional President in 2017. Prior to Merchants he spent more than a decade in the banking industry, working for American Bank & Trust in the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois) area and leading NXT Bank in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He also has more than 15 years of sales and sales management experience with US Foods.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue serving our loyal clients, the Winona community and providing leadership to our talented group of associates who are devoted to helping our clients fulfill their hopes and dreams,” Guzzo said.

As part of his community engagement efforts, Guzzo serves on the Community Leadership Advisory Board for Winona State University College of Business and the President’s Advisory Committee for Minnesota State College Southeast. He also serves on Board of Directors for the Winona Family YMCA, Winona Community Foundation and Family & Children’s Center and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Transportation Policy Committee.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.7 billion in assets and is the 4th largest bank chartered in the state of Minnesota. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Tom Pasch Named Market President for Merchants Bank in Red Wing

Tom Pasch, President, Red Wing

Tom Pasch has been named Market President for Merchants Bank in Red Wing, according to Dan Massett, North Region President.

“Tom is a great addition to our already amazing team in Red Wing,” said Massett. “His background, integrity, emphasis on relationship-based banking and leadership skills truly align with our culture and the strategic focus here at Merchants.”

Pasch has nearly 15 years of banking experience, serving mainly in leadership and commercial banking roles. He is also an experienced Small Business Administration (SBA) lender. Pasch was most recently a Market President for Bank First in Watertown, WI and also previously worked at Ixonia Bank and Wells Fargo. In addition to his banking career, he served in the Army for six years.

“What I value most in my role is the ability to connect and build genuine relationships with people in the community, business owners and the team I work alongside. Merchants understands the importance of personal relationships and the difference that makes in truly being able to serve customers with their best interests at heart; it’s their approach to community banking that really appealed to me,” said Pasch. 

Pasch is a native Minnesotan and graduated from Brown College. He, his wife, Julie, and their four daughters are relocating to the Red Wing area and look forward to getting involved in the community. In the past, Pasch has been involved in local city government, civic groups and other organizations to help better the communities that he has lived in. His hobbies include tennis, golf and alpine skiing and he is an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

Since 2007, Merchants Bank has been a community partner in Red Wing, when the Bank acquired 1st National Bank of Cannon Falls and Red Wing. As a regional banking leader, the Bank offers a full array of traditional banking and mortgage solutions, wealth management services and can assist businesses of any size with their business financing and treasury management needs.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.7 billion in assets and is the 4th largest bank chartered in the state of Minnesota. Merchants was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.

10 Days of Giving Collects 272,162 Pounds for 2021

The final total for the 10 Days of Giving food drive through the end of the day on Friday, December 17 was 272,162 pounds of food. This is the second highest total in campaign history, after the 25th anniversary of the campaign that collected over 280,000 pounds. The 10 Days of Giving supports the food shelf programs at Winona Volunteer Services.
 
“The Winona area community never fails to impress us with its generosity. We are so appreciative of your support in our endeavor to ensure no one in Winona County goes hungry this winter. Because of this community working together, we’ve been able to donate over 4 million pounds of food throughout the 33-year history of the campaign. That’s something this community can be very proud of, and it’s an honor to coordinate the effort in support of Winona Volunteer Services food shelf program clients,” said Merchants Bank Winona and Southern Regions President Andrew Guzzo.
 
This year’s total breaks down to $126,578 in cash and 19,006 pounds of food. For the purposes of calculating the total, two pounds of food are counted for each dollar. Last year’s total was 260,211 pounds. The total for 33 years now stands at 4,286,853 pounds. 
 
“Seeing the community come together again to show its support for friends and neighbors really warms your heart,” said Co-Chair Jennifer Welch. “It was great to see people come out for events like Pack the Bus to Drive Out Hunger and Apps & Taps.” This was Welch’s eighth year chairing the drive, and she’ll be turning over the reins to Co-Chair Dave Pierret and a new co-chair next year. We are grateful for Welch’s leadership over the past eight years.
 
“Once again we are so moved by our community’s generosity and appreciate everyone who supported this worthy cause. This campaign continues to demonstrate that when we work together, we can make a difference. We are fortunate to have such a warm, caring community,” said Co-Chair Dave Pierret.
 
Merchants collected monetary and food donations at its branches as well as at participating schools, businesses and organizations around the area (view a full list at https://www.merchantsbank.com/10dayspartners).
 
The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 4 million pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

Ellen Morehouse Promoted to Vice President/Credit Administration Manager

Ellen Morehouse, Vice President/Credit Administration Manager

Ellen Morehouse has been promoted to Vice President/Credit Administration Manager at Merchants Bank, according to Cindy Harrison, Senior Vice President and Director of Credit Administration.

“With a decade of experience in credit support, Ellen has been a true leader for our behind-the-scenes team as we help individuals, families and businesses through the loan process,” said Harrison. “She has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills and innovation as we continue to improve our processes for the best possible customer experience.”

Morehouse joined Merchants Bank in 2011 as a Credit Analyst. She was promoted to Credit Support Manager in 2019, overseeing the Credit Support area and ensuring that the backroom processes for the credit administration of consumer and business loans are completed accurately and efficiently. This promotion brings two additional departments, Document Preparation and Credit Analysts, under Morehouse’s supervision.

“I am excited to continue supporting our consumer and business lending teams here at Merchants,” Morehouse said. “We have a great team that works hard every day to help our customers fulfill their hopes and dreams.”

Morehouse graduated from the Merchants Bank “I Believe Leadership Series” in 2020. The “I Believe Leadership Series” is a home-grown leadership development training program for Merchants Bank employees to strengthen and grow their leadership skills.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has more than $2.7 billion in assets and was founded in 1875.

Greg Evans Appointed to American Bankers Association Government Relations Council

Greg Evans, President & CEO

Greg Evans, President & CEO for Merchants Bank and Merchants Financial Group, Inc. has been appointed to serve as Minnesota’s representative on the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Government Relations Council. 

Council members are appointed by ABA’s chair with typically one representative from each state. Each serves a one-year term with the possibility of appointment to one additional term.

The Government Relations Council (GRC) is the leadership committee with the exclusive responsibility for recommending annual policy priorities to ABA’s Board of Directors. The Council provides ongoing policy guidance to ABA leadership as policy issues arise during the year. Its diverse membership is reflective of the industry at large, representing banks from across the country of varying asset size, charter type, and business structure, making it a critical committee in representing both the specific interests of the industry segments and the broader industry. GRC members also participate in ABA’s political engagement programs.

Most importantly, Evans and other members of the GRC serve as essential advocates of ABA’s policy positions before members of the legislative and executive branches and related agencies, local media and fellow bankers.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve on this important council,” said Evans. “I look forward to participating and helping further the critical role our nation’s banks, especially community banks, play in both their communities and the broader economy.”

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has more than $2.7 billion in assets and was founded in 1875.

3 Big Benefits to Buying a House Off-Season

Buyingintheoffseason

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should put off searching for the perfect house. In fact, now may be one of the best times to buy. Really. Here are three reasons why buying your house in the off-season (November-March) may bring you big benefits.

House Sellers are Motivated

Many homeowners are eager to finalize a house sale now, saving them from the work of winter home maintenance – think shoveling, heat bills for house showings and more. The burden of keeping a house on the market can be even more pressing for sellers who have relocated or retired.

If you’ve found a home you’d like to put an offer on, dealing with a motivated seller can work to your advantage. In the off-season, sellers may be more willing to negotiate:

  • The price of the home
  • Closing costs or closing date
  • Terms of the sale, including things like household appliances or other items

Fewer Buyers in Competition

Generally, when the housing market slows down each winter fewer houses are for sale and buyers become less interested in shopping. Use this to your benefit.

Less competition from fellow buyers means:

  • Fewer competing offers when you find a house you’re interested in.
  • More leverage during negotiations with sellers since they aren’t picking from a slew of buyers.

Potential Savings

The first two benefits on our list can add up to potential savings. Motivated sellers who aren’t juggling multiple offers may lower the asking price or throw in other perks for a qualified buyer.

Take for example the median home prices for Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to their respective Realtor Associations:

  • Minnesota – Median home price for homes sold in January 2021 was $272,000 compared to $315,000 for July, which is a cost difference of $43,000. For the past three years, the difference in median home price between these two months falls between $26,000-$43,000.
  • Wisconsin – Median home price for homes sold in January 2021 was $210,000 compared to $250,000 for July, which is a cost difference of $40,000. For the past three years, the difference in median home price between these two months falls between $30,000-$40,000.

Bonus Benefit: This time of the year is slower for many businesses, including moving companies. If you’re looking to hire movers, it should be easier to coordinate compared to the busy summer months.

Give sellers no reason to hesitate when you place your offer by being pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s an easy step to take to show sellers you’re serious and get an accurate picture of what you can afford.

To learn more about pre-approval, contact a local Merchants Bank Mortgage Lender today to get your questions answered and schedule an appointment.

Sources: Minnesota Realtor Association and Wisconsin Realtor Association

Loans are subject to approval.

Merchants Bank’s 10 Days of Giving Food Drive Kicks Off 33rd Year

WINONA, Minn. – Merchants Bank kicked off the 33rd annual 10 Days of Giving food drive on Monday morning. The drive runs December 1-10 and benefits the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services (WVS). Through the first 32 years, more than 4 million pounds of food have been collected. Co-Chairs Jennifer Welch and Dave Pierret will be leading campaign efforts this year.

At the kick-off press conference were Merchants Bank Winona and Southern Regional President Andrew Guzzo, WVS Executive Director Sandra Burke, Winona Mayor Scott Sherman and other participants. The drive was kicked off with a ceremonial first gift of food from Everly Wagner and Anastasia Welch, both in second grade, as well as a $500 donation from Engrav’s Decorating Center.

“It’s an honor to lead this effort year after year. We are so grateful to the Winona community for their generosity and hope that you’ll join us again in support of this worthy cause. It is so inspiring to see the involvement from schools and local businesses as well, given the continued need in our community,” said Guzzo.

Last year, the 10 Days of Giving campaign collected 265,529 pounds of food. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in. One area that keeps improving is the amount of monetary donations that are brought in to support the drive.

“As a food shelf, our monetary dollars go farther at the grocery store than an individual’s,” said Burke. “What that means is, Winona Volunteer Services can purchase $50.00 worth of food with just $15.00 through resources such as the region’s food bank. Having sufficient funds helps us make sure we have the variety that the community needs.”

Burke said there continues to be a need in the area. Through 2020, an average of 597 households were registered for the supplemental food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services and more than 3,000 individuals were served. In total, WVS distributed 524,630 pounds of food.

The drive has also received a $10,000 donation in memory of Gina Craney by the Craney family, Sean, Erin and Steve.

Monetary donations can be made out to 10 Days of Giving and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, visit the Winona Volunteer Services website: www.winonavs.org/donate*. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name. The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 4 million pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

*You will be linking to another website not owned or operated by Merchants Bank, NA. Merchants Bank, NA is not responsible for the availability or content of this website and does not represent either the linked website or you, should you enter into a transaction. We encourage you to review their privacy and security policies which may differ from Merchants Bank, NA.

Lucas Stangl of Merchants Bank Earns Accredited ACH Professional Certification

Lucas Stangl, AAP, Treasury Management Sales Support Officer Lead

Lucas Stangl has earned the Accredited Automated Clearing House Professional (AAP) designation according to Kerri Bronk, Vice President/Senior Operations/eChannel Officer for Merchants Bank.

“We strive to be a resource for our customers and Lucas becoming an AAP exemplifies our commitment to being a true financial partner. Automated Clearing House payments can be complicated so having another AAP on staff at Merchants is a huge benefit for our customers who want to implement payment strategies or improve payment efficiency,” said Bronk.

Stangl is the Treasury Management Support Officer for Merchants and has been with the Bank since 2013. To obtain his AAP accreditation, he completed course work and testing on the Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments system through the National Automated Clearing House Association.

“I enjoy working with our customers every day and knew that becoming an AAP would help me better serve them. With this accreditation, I’ll stay up-to-date on ACH best practices and related regulations and be able to share my in-depth knowledge with customers and fellow co-workers,” said Stangl.

Stangl has been in banking since 2011 and led the Merchants Bank Electronic Banking team from 2013-2019. He then transitioned to Treasury Management Support Officer for the company to focus solely on the digital needs of the Bank’s commercial treasury clients.

The Merchants Bank Treasury Management & Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. Merchants’ Treasury Management experts can help with cash flow strategies, custom account protection tools and effective options for collecting and making payments. As a regional banking leader, Merchants Bank can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including traditional commercial loans, leases and special loan program offerings.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has more than $2.7 billion in assets and was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.

Jordan Frederick Promoted to Assistant Vice President/Commercial & Ag Banker at Merchants Bank

Jordan Frederick, Assistant Vice President/ Commercial & Ag Banker

Jordan Frederick has been promoted to Assistant Vice President/Commercial & Ag Banker at Merchants Bank, according to Steve Christopherson, Senior Vice President & Commercial Banking Manager.

“Jordan puts our customers’ needs first and his hard work deserved to be recognized,” said Christopherson. “He continues to take advantage of every opportunity to learn about our business customers and their industries so he can be the best possible community banker.”

Frederick has been with Merchants as a Commercial & Ag Banker since 2019. He is an expert in Farm Service Agency (FSA) lending and understands farming from first-hand experience as a dairy farmer.

“Our business customers are passionate about what they do and it’s extremely rewarding to help them as a financial partner. I feel fortunate to be able to play a role in their growth and work together toward their future goals,” said Frederick.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.7 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to approval.