I Believe Leadership Series Class of 2019-2020

A group photo of Merchants Bank I Believe Leadership Series staff participants
The I Believe Leadership Series Class of 2019-2020 poses with the “Cheer Boxes” they assembled for their service project, a partnership with Cheeriodicals.

Meet the I Believe Leadership Series Class of 2019-2020.

Randy BachmanRandy Bachman, Consumer & Commercial Banking Officer, Cottage Grove
Tina BechtelTina Bechtel, Customer Service Representative, Spring Grove
Maralee BergMaralee Berg, Retail Lending Assistant, Winona
Mollie Brink, Lending Assistant Team Lead, Winona
Kerri BronkKerri Bronk, Senior Operations Officer, Winona
Kelly Donohoe, Personal Banking Manager, Lakeville
Blake KoebkeBlake Koebke, Commercial Banker, St. Charles
Katie LundKatie Lund, Mortgage Lender, Rochester – Northwest
Meghan Manor, Customer Service Representative, Winona
Nicole MessengerNicole Messenger, Human Resource Officer, Winona
Angela ModjeskiAngie Modjeski, Mortgage Lender, Goodview
Ellen MorehouseEllen Morehouse, Credit Support Manager, Winona
Michelle SeligMichelle Selig, Branch Manager, Rosemount
Lucas StanglLucas Stangl, Treasury Sales Support Lead, Winona
Tirzah WarrenTirzah Warren, Teller Administrator, Winona
Chad WoyczikChad Woyczik, Branch Manager, Lakeside

I Believe Leadership Series Class of 2018-2019

Merchants Bank I Believe Leadership Series Logo with a photo of young professionals in the background.

Meet the I Believe Leadership Series Class of 2018-2019.

Andrew AlthoffAndrew Althoff, Mortgage Loan Processor, Rosemount
Sue BlagsvedtSusan Bagsvedt, Quality Assurance & Compliance Review Analyst, Winona
Wendy CagleWendy Cagle, Loan Review Officer, Winona
Sarah DanielsonSarah Danielson, Commercial Lender, La Crescent
Rachel LarsonRachel Larson, Assistant Vice President/Audit & Compliance Officer, Winona
Kenneth GranerKen Graner, Market President, Rushford and Lanesboro
Vicky KamrowskiVicky Kamrowski, Loan Servicing Officer, Winona
Marcus Krings, Credit Card Officer, Winona
Libbie LongfieldLibbie Longfield, Credit Administration Representative, Winona
Dawn StenbergDawn Stenberg, Mortgage Lender, Winona
Mike SwansonMike Swanson, Commercial Banker, Hastings
Heidi ViestenzHeidi Viestenz, Benefits Specialist, Winona
Kim KubisKim Kubis, Mortgage Processing Supervisor, Winona

The I Believe Leadership Series

Merchants Bank I Believe Leadership Series Logo

How our employees develop the leader within.

What if you could learn more about yourself, and immediately begin to enhance your leadership skills?  Start using them your daily life, both at work and at home?

The Merchants Bank “I Believe Leadership Series” is an annual, home-grown leadership development training program that does just that for Bank staff. The program was developed by our Training Director, Kristine Valk, who built the course over 5 years to ensure the training was tailor-made to fit Merchants’ culture and core values.

With a maximum class size of 20 students, employees can dive into honing their leadership skills through classroom style sessions, one-on-one coaching, an accountability partner, a service project and final capstone presentation. The program is 12 sessions throughout the year and covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Temperament assessment and working with different personalities
  • Effective coaching skills
  • Understanding and applying strengths
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Communication and conflict resolution
  • Leading through change
  • Employee motivation and accountability
  • Team building

The series brings coworkers from all different departments, branches and leadership roles together to grow:

“As we go through the program, attendees learn more about one another and are embracing each other’s talents. It’s really become an environment of trust and openness that’s resulted in more collaborative work,” Kristine said.

As part of one of five strategic priorities for the bank, talent management and leadership development will continue to be a key focus for Merchants in the years to come. Our I Believe in Leadership Series graduates will help all of us strive to serve each other and you better.

To learn more about working at Merchants Bank:

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.

Merchants Bank Lobbies Open to Limited Visitor Traffic

Open sign hanging on front door of a business.

Merchants Bank has reopened its lobbies across all 23 locations to limited visitor traffic as of Monday, June 22, according to President & CEO, Greg Evans.

“As we look forward to the economy reopening, we know our customers are anxious to conduct banking business in person again and we are providing that option with several precautionary health and safety measures in place,” said Evans. “We are still encouraging customers to use one of our alternative banking methods, including Online & Mobile channels or our Drive-Up facilities, whenever possible.”

Those wishing to conduct banking business in person are asked to follow guidelines to help keep fellow customers, Merchants Bank employees and our communities safe and healthy. To meet with a Banker, customers should make an appointment ahead of time by calling their local branch. Lobby visitors will be asked to observe social distancing of at least six feet, consider wearing a face masks, use complimentary hand sanitizer before conducting bank business and cover coughs or sneezes.

Merchants Bank has equipped all branches with additional hand sanitizer stations and provided personal protective equipment to employees, including shields for customer service areas, such as teller windows, where required social distancing may be difficult. Distance markers and guides have been installed to ensure proper social distancing of at least six feet. All of these guidelines and procedures will remain in place in Merchants Bank branches until further notice.

“We want to thank our customers for their patience and understanding as we managed your banking needs through alternative banking channels over the last three months. The Merchants team is grateful for your flexibility and willingness to modify your usual banking routine for the health and safety of all,” said Evans.” 

More information about Merchants’ lobby reopenings and coronavirus financial resources can be found at www.merchantsbank.com/coronavirus.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Jon Marley Named Market President for Merchants Bank in St. Charles

Jon Marley, Market President/Ag & Commercial Banker

Experienced Ag/Commercial Banker, Jon Marley has been named the new Market President for Merchants Bank in St. Charles, according to Andrew Guzzo, Winona & Southeast Regions President.

“Jon brings a broad and deep agriculture centric background to Merchants, which will be critical to his role in St. Charles. Moreover, he embraces the community service culture that Merchants Bank embodies,” said Guzzo.

Marley has 30 years of commercial/ag banking and sales experience. In addition to working for two community banks in Indiana, he was a crop mix and hog farmer for more than three decades. Marley was most recently the Community Market President for Salin Bank and Trust in Indianapolis. He was also previously a Seed Dealer and Crop Insurance Agent for Pioneer Hi Bred International.

“I’m proud to say I’ve been in farming for more than 30 years, ever since my dad bought a farm when I was in elementary school,” said Marley. “I’m looking forward to being a resource for Merchants Bank ag and business customers and becoming a part of the St. Charles community.”

Marley attended Purdue University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics. He and his wife, Julie, will be relocating to the St. Charles area and are looking forward to becoming involved in the community. His hobbies include reading and gardening and he also enjoys spending time with his four grown children.

Since 1989, Merchants Bank has been a community partner in St. Charles helping individuals, businesses and farmers achieve their financial goals. With a focus on personal deposits and ag/business financing, Merchants has been fortunate to grow with the St. Charles community. In addition to traditional banking services, the Bank also offers a full line of business loan, lease and floor plan finance solutions, digital banking, security apps, treasury management tools and wealth management services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Two Local Leaders Named to Merchants Bank Advisory Board for Cannon Falls, Hampton and Red Wing

Mark Poss and Brenda Stelter, Advisory Board Members

Mark Poss and Brenda Stelter have been named to the Merchants Bank Advisory Board for Cannon Falls, Hampton and Red Wing, according to Dan Massett, Regional President.

“Our local Advisory Board members are instrumental in guiding our branches in Cannon Falls, Hampton and Red Wing. I am looking forward to the experience and insights Mark and Brenda will bring to our organization,” said Massett.

Poss recently sold his family owned newspaper publishing company and is currently a lead investor with Golden Triangle Angel Fund, assisting local and regional startup companies with early stage targeted investments. Stelter is the Owner of Anchor Promotions, Apparel and Signage, a provider of promotional products, branded materials and apparel and custom signage. Both businesses are headquartered in Red Wing.

“Being a part of Merchants’ Advisory Board is an opportunity to build greater connections in the community and learn more about the local impact banking can have on my friends, neighbors and fellow business owners,” said Stelter.

The Board and Advisory Board leadership structure is well established in the Merchants culture and has contributed to the growth of the organization. The Cannon Falls, Hampton and Red Wing Advisory Board was established in 2009. 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.

“I am honored to join the Merchants Bank Advisory Board during this time of company growth,” said Poss. “It is exciting to be a part of a team that is not only growing a business but working to make our communities a better place to work and live.”

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin, a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina and a loan production office in Bloomington. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875.

First National Bank of Northfield Completes Systems Conversion and Name Change to Merchants Bank

Merchants Bank - Northfield locations

First National Bank of Northfield is now officially Merchants Bank, according to Tim Viere, President for Merchants Bank-Northfield.

The computer systems conversion took place starting Friday, May 15. First National closed at 4:00 p.m. on the 15th and opened as Merchants Bank on Monday, May 18. When Merchants Bank lobbies reopen, both Bank locations will continue to be open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The South drive-up facility will also continue its regular hours of Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Bank phone numbers will remain the same.

“The same friendly, experienced professionals you worked with at First National Bank now look forward to serving you as Merchants Bank. We appreciate your loyalty during this transition and are excited to share the benefits of being a Merchants Bank customer with you – including new services, enhanced digital banking tools, 23 branch locations and the ongoing commitment to community that the Merchants organization is known for,” said Viere.

Merchants Financial Group, Inc., the parent company for Merchants Bank, acquired the First National Bank of Northfield on August 31, 2019 and continued operating it as a separate bank charter until systems conversion the weekend of May 15. The two banking locations in Northfield are located at 329 Division Street and 1611 Honey Locust Drive.

Merchants Bank is a community bank headquartered in Winona, MN and established in 1875. As a true community partner, Bank staff volunteer more than 15,000 hours annually to the communities Merchants Bank serves. With the systems conversion complete, Merchants Bank now has 23 locations and one loan production office. Merchants is owned largely by its employees and local community members and is the fifth-largest banking organization headquartered in the state of Minnesota with more than $2.1 billion in assets.

Congratulations, New and Promoted Staff


We are happy to have these new employees on our team! If you’re interested in working with these local experts, find your branch.

New Staff

Cadi Beavers Cadi Beavers, Teller, Rosemount
Drew Carter Drew Carter, Electronic Banking Specialist, Winona
Steve Christopherson Steve Christopherson, Commercial Banking Manager, Winona
Jon Dahl Jon Dahl, Market President, Cannon Falls
GietyrchAnna Anna Giertych, Teller, Onalaska
Halle Hustad Halle Hustad, Teller, Cannon Falls
Jarett Jones Jarett Jones, Commercial Banker, Rochester – Northwest
Casey McCarraher Casey McCarraher, Teller, St. Charles
Kallee Nelson Kallee Nelson, Customer Service Representative/Lending Assistant, Lanesboro
Becky Porter Becky Porter, Teller, Hastings
SchoenerColleen Colleen Schoener, Customer Assistance/Vault Assistant
Stephen Swenson Stephen Swenson, Chief Information Officer, Winona
Morgan Wright Morgan Wright, Teller, Eau Claire
Sheila Vokoun Sheila Vokoun, Teller, Rochester – Green Meadows

Transfers and Promotions

Maralee Berg Maralee Berg, Retail Lending Assistant, Winona
Karley Brink Karley Brink, Personal Banker, St. Charles
Josh Broom Josh Broom, Mortgage Closing Specialist, Winona
Kayla Reimer Kayla Reimer, Project Manager, Winona
Matt Rodenburg Matt Rodenburg, Customer Service Representative, Winona
Nathan West Nathan West, Credit Analyst/Officer, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance

Online & Mobile Banking: FAQs


We’d like to extend a very warm and heartfelt thank you to the over 20,000 customers who have logged in to our new Online & Mobile Banking system. We know that change doesn’t come without a few bumps in the road, and we so appreciate your patience with the new system and our staff while call volume was high.

We wanted to provide answers to some frequently asked questions, as well as highlight some convenient features you may not be aware of in Online & Mobile Banking.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is a security enhancement that will confirm your identity through a code to your mobile device, phone call or personal security questions when you log in for the first time from a new device or unknown internet connection. Learn more about this process.

How do I make a mobile deposit?

Mobile deposit allows you to deposit a check without having to go to the Bank. Access Mobile Deposit with the latest version of the Merchants Mobile Banking app.

    1. From the menu, select Deposits.
    2. Select Account.
    3. Enter the Amount.
    4. Snap a Picture / Endorse Your Check.
      Take a clear picture of the check front, then flip it over. Endorse the check “For Deposit Only to Merchants Bank” and then take a picture of the back of the check.
    5. Choose the Deposit button.
    6. Confirmation.

What are the mobile deposit transaction guidelines?

  • $2,500 limit per check
  • $2,500 mobile deposit limit per day
  • May deposit up to 10 checks per day
  • $5,000 mobile deposit limit per month
  • May deposit up to 20 checks per month
  • Limits are not independent of each other. For example, if you deposit 10 checks for $100 each in one day, you have reached your per day limit of 10 checks even though you have not reached your total daily mobile deposit limit of $2,500.

What if I can’t see the menu when I log in from my computer?

Our Online Banking system adapts to whichever device you use to log in, whether that’s a computer, tablet or mobile phone. This adaptation, also known as responsive design, can affect how you are able to access the menu.

If you log in on your computer and the menu seems to have disappeared or collapsed into three white bars on the right side of your screen, you may need to adjust the size of your browser. To do this find the Zoom option in your browser menu or press the CTRL and minus or plus keys on your keyboard at the same time.

To zoom in: CTRL and +
To zoom out: CTRL and –

Tips and Highlights:

External Transfers (transfers to a non-Merchants Bank account): You can easily set up external transfers to accounts you own outside of Merchants Bank using this feature. Depending on the other financial institution’s set up, you may be able to choose instant verification to confirm your account ownership immediately or micro deposit verification to confirm your account ownership within a few business days. Once ownership is confirmed, you can make external transfer happen same day, schedule in advance or schedule them to repeat based on your preference.

Alerts: with this feature you can set up various kinds of notifications for transactions in and out of your accounts (checking, savings, lines of credit and loans), as well as profile updates. Get started with our top five alerts, including “Debit transaction was posted,” and “Account balance above/below threshold,” and over 20 more to chose from!

IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you’ve had updates to your primary contact information, please let us know! We are better able to serve you when we have your updated phone number and email address. You can make sure we have your current information by logging into your online banking and clicking on the “Profile” tab and then “Profile Updates.”

Log into your online banking to check out these sections and make sure you’re getting the most out of the system! Once again, thank you for your patience, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local branch.