Tami Krause has added Mortgage Lender to her responsibilities at Merchants Bank in St. Charles, according to Jim Allen, President for Merchants Bank in St. Charles.
“As a mortgage lender Tami will continue to show her dedication to our customers by providing them with the best possible service,”Allen said. “In her career, she has consistently shown that attention to detail and personal needs that our customers deserve and expect.”
Krause started her banking career with Merchants in 2002 as a lead teller. She has held various positions in her time with Merchants. In 2007, she took on Consumer Lending responsibilities. She will continue with her consumer lending responsibilities in addition to her new mortgage lending responsibilities.
“It’s a privilege to help people get into their next home –whether that’s a first, second, third or fourth home,”Krause said. “It remains a great time to buy or refinance a home. Rates are still low.”
Krause will be filling the mortgage lending role in St. Charles that had been filled by Rhonda Merchlewitz. Merchlewitz remains with Merchants Bank as a mortgage lender in Winona.
Kari Johnson, Personal Banker
Personal Banker Kari Johnson has added Mortgage Lending to her duties and will be helping customers with mortgage loans in both Merchants Bank’s Rushford and Lanesboro locations, according to Ken Graner, President for Merchants Bank in Rushford and Lanesboro.
“Our customers will benefit from Kari being able to help them with their mortgage loans. She has always embraced the chance to do what she can to help customers meet their goals, and I know she will excel in providing the best service to families in Rushford and Lanesboro,”Graner said.
As a Personal Banker, Johnson helps customers open new accounts and with consumer loans. Johnson joined Merchants Bank in November of 2013 after Merchants acquired the Rushford location from Associated Bank. Johnson has been in banking for 20 years.
“Helping customers with their mortgages is a better opportunity for our customers to receive the full-service solutions they deserve in our locations,”Johnson said. “With the current rate environment it’s a fantastic time for someone to refinance or purchase a home. I look forward to helping customers in any way I can.”
Rhonda Merchlewitz had been assisting customers with mortgage loans in Rushford, Lanesboro and St. Charles. Merchlewitz has moved to Merchants Bank’s Downtown Winona location.
Mike Swanson, Commercial Banker and Cash Management Specialist
Mike Swanson has been promoted to Commercial Banker and Cash Management Specialist at Merchants Bank in Hastings, according to Bruce Goblirsch, President of Merchants Bank in Hastings.
“I’m looking forward to working with business customers to help meet their goals on the lending side of the business and showing them how our Cash Management products may be able to help those businesses in ways they may not have expected,” Swanson said.
Swanson has been with the Merchants Bank organization for four years and in banking for 15 years. Most recently he served as the Senior Consumer Banker and Branch Manager in Merchants’ Lakeville location. He started with Merchants Bank in Apple Valley.
“Mike has been successful at every aspect of banking because he always puts the needs of customers first. I expect that he will do an exceptional job helping the businesses in and around Hastings,” Goblirsch said. “Plus, his understanding of how we can help businesses with Cash Management is really an incredible benefit as they make their money work smarter.”
Swanson will be part of the team supporting Merchants Bank locations throughout the Twin Cities –including Apple Valley, Lakeville, Cottage Grove, Rosemount and Hastings –with his Cash Management expertise. Merchants Bank’s Cash Management products and services are designed to save businesses time and money, protect against potential fraudulent activity and create opportunities for those businesses to grow. It is an area of focus for the Merchants Bank organization.
Randy Bachman, Branch Manager and Personal Banking Officer
Randy Bachman has been promoted to Branch Manager and Personal Banking Officer at Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove, according to Lawrence Stovern, Regional President for Merchants Bank in the Twin Cities.
“Randy reflects the very best of our company values. He is respected by our staff and our customers,”Stovern said. “He’s always looking to improve the experience for everyone who comes into the Bank, and he’s dedicated to making the community better as well.”
In addition to his duties in Cottage Grove, Bachman will help to oversee Merchants Bank’s transition to a renovated facility at 8479 East Point Douglas Road South in the Fall. Currently, the Bank is at 7200 East Point Douglas Road South, which has been sold to Hy-Vee to make room for its expansion.
“We’re looking forward to the new facility and meeting the needs of our customers there,” Bachman said. “For us, it’s all about being a community partner and making sure we are exceeding the needs of our personal and business customers.”
Bachman has been with the Merchants Bank organization since 2012. He has been in banking since 2007. He is active in the Cottage Grove community, including the Holiday Train committee, Cottage Grove Area Chamber Government Affairs Committee and the Cottage Grove Area Chamber Golf Classic, a fund raiser for the Chamber Scholarship Fund.
Since you were a little kid with a piggy bank, you’ve heard about the importance of saving money. Building your savings – whether for an emergency or retirement – is a practice preached repeatedly by financial advisors, economic experts and probably even your parents.
But while we know how important it is to save, the fact remains that 52% of Americans don’t have a savings plan or savings goals, according to a May 2016 Bankrate.com study.* So why should you start?
- Build Your Savings Habit
The easiest way to get used to putting some money into savings is by creating an automated deposit from your paycheck into your savings account. You won’t have to remember to set aside savings each month and you’ll hardly notice the extra money missing from your checking account.
- Prepare for Unforeseen Expenses
According to the same Bankrate study, 66 million Americans have absolutely nothing saved in case of an emergency.* In fact, 47% said they would not be able to cover an unexpected expense of $400.*
You never know when you might need to replace the tires on your car, pay for a trip to the hospital or cover an unexpected bill. Typically, most financial experts agree that setting aside enough money to cover 6-8 months of expenses is a sufficient start for an emergency fund.
- Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Your financial independence and the amount you have in savings are typically closely tied. The more you’re able to the save, the more you can base your financial decisions on your total financial picture and not simply your monthly pay.
- Save for Annual Expenses
Give yourself the gift of a stress-free financial life by planning ahead for annual expenses. These could include holiday gifts, vacations, weddings, taxes, childcare, home repairs and more.
How Merchants Bank Can Help
Now that you have four more reasons to save, get started with a Saving Account at Merchants Bank. We offer a variety of options, including our Summer and Winter FUNd accounts that help you automatically save from August-May or January-November each year with an extra special rate.
Learn more about our Savings Accounts or apply now on our website.
Teresa Fegyak, Personal Banker
Teresa Fegyak and Tina Bechtel have taken on additional responsibilities at Merchants Bank in Spring Grove. Fegyak is now a Personal Banker and Bechtel is now Customer Service Representative/Lead Teller, according to Matt Schuldt, President of Merchants Bank in Spring Grove and Caledonia.
“Teresa and Tina have great relationships with our customers in Spring Grove, and those customers will benefit more from the additional skill and service they will provide,”Schuldt said.
As a Personal Banker, Fegyak will now be able to help customers with consumer loans in addition to deposit accounts. She has been with the Merchants organization since 2000, when she started working with Merchants Bank in Caledonia. She moved to the Spring Grove branch in 2010.
Tina Bechtel, Customer Service Representative/ Lead Teller
“Instead of having to refer customers who may need a loan to another banker, I’ll be able to help them. This will be more convenient for our great customers,”Fegyak said.
Bechtel, who has been serving as Lead Teller in both the Spring Grove and Caledonia locations, will add the Customer Service Representative responsibilities to her duties and focus on the Spring Grove location.
“With my additional responsibilities I look forward to helping people even more when they see us in Spring Grove,”Bechtel said.
Rhonda Merchlewitz, Mortgage Loan Officer
Merchants Bank Mortgage Loan Officer Rhonda Merchlewitz has moved from St. Charles to Winona to meet the expanding need in the Winona market, according to Sue Hovell, Director of Retail Banking Performance.
“We’re excited to have Rhonda join our team in Winona,”Hovell said. “In addition to her skills with conventional mortgage loans, Rhonda is also very knowledgeable with other types of loans, including VA, FHA, Rural Development and Minnesota Housing. She is also an expert in our construction loans, which is perfect for people considering building.”
Merchlewitz has been in banking since 1998 and has been part of the Merchants team since 2004, working with customers in Merchants Bank in St. Charles, as well as serving the mortgage needs for the Merchants Bank locations in Rushford and Lanesboro.
“It’s been a great joy to work with my customers over the years, and meet their needs. I’ve enjoyed working with people several times as repeat customers and then helping their children as well,”Merchlewitz said. “I look forward to building the same sort of relationships with customers in Winona. It’s an exciting time for me.”
Merchlewitz spent time living in Winona before her move to Merchants in St. Charles. She said she is looking forward to a smooth transition, where she will meet the needs of current customers as she establishes her presence in Winona. Tami Krause will be taking on the new role of serving mortgage customers in St. Charles, as will Kari Johnson in Rushford and Lanesboro.