Congratulate New and Promoted Staff for September 2016

New Staff

gelharaustinAustin Gelhar, Teller, Apple Valley
Austin has rejoined the Teller team. He previously worked at Merchants Bank for over two years and left late last year to go on a mission trip in Egypt.




hasscarlaCarla Hass, Lending Assistant, Eau Claire
Carla previously worked at Royal Credit Union as a Business Loan Representative and Home Loan Processor. Carla and her husband have five daughters, eight granddaughters and one grandson. Her hobbies include camping, scrapbooking, and sewing.



kenemorecassieCassie Kenmore, Teller/Back-Up Customer Service Representative at Winona-Lakeside
Cassie previously worked at Ground Round as a Bartender/Waitress. She is originally from Moose Lake, MN and moved to Winona to attend Winona State. Cassie loves fall, dogs, and crafty Pinterest projects. In her spare time she takes care of her 4-month-old lab mix puppy.


kindrickcarolCarol Kindrick, Teller, Eau Claire
Carol recently moved to the Eau Claire area. She previously worked at Standard Bank and Trust in Orland Park, IL as a Universal Banker.




kronerkallyKally Kroener, Teller in La Crescent
Kally previously worked at Hiawatha Golf Course as a Server and at Sue Kolve’s Salon as a Receptionist. She enjoys playing volleyball, watching football and traveling.




LovewellMonikaMonika Lovewell, Trust Department Manager in Winona
Monika has considerable experience in the trust field, including nearly 20 years in her own trust and estate planning law firm in Green Bay and northern Wisconsin. She was also a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer for Wells Fargo in California and taught legal studies and estate planning courses for colleges in Wisconsin and New York. Monika earned her law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.


olsonluanneLuAnne Olson, Personal Banker in Lakeville
LuAnne previously worked at Wells Fargo in Colorado as a Bank Manager and Wells Fargo in Minneapolis as a Branch Manager.




PedersonNickNick Pederson, Commercial Banker, Rochester-Northwest
Nick previously worked at US Bank as a Business Relationship Manager and at Think Bank as a Business Advisor. He is excited to join Merchants Bank because it’s a true community bank with a strong focus on commercial banking.



rolfesmollyMolly Rolfes, Teller in Cannon Falls.
Molly is a junior in high school and has three older brothers. During her free time, she enjoys going to her family’s cabin, reading, and listening to music.




thornmanjenelleJenelle Thorman, Peak Time Teller in Winona
Jenelle currently is an owner of Breezy Point Farm in Winona. She previously worked at Winona Area Public Schools as a substitute teacher and at Fillmore Central High School as an Agriculture Instructor & FFA Advisor.



wegmanrachelRachel Wegman, Teller at our Rochester-Northwest Location
Rachel previously worked at First Day Photo as a Photographer and at Gertens as a Lawn & Garden Associate. She plans to attend RCTC this fall and study for her vet tech degree. She has two kitties, Roxy and Annabelle and enjoys running and training for 5k’s.


Promotions and Transfers

engravamyAmy Engrav, Lead Teller, Winona-Downtown
Amy has been with Merchants Bank since 2014. She started as Float Teller in Winona and was most recently a Teller/Back-Up Customer Service Representative at Winona-Lakeside.




fritznicoleNicole Fritz, CSR and Cash Management Specialist, Rochester-Green Meadows
Nicole has been with Merchants Bank since 2014. She was a Teller at Rochester-Green Meadows.




schatzkristineKristine Schatz, Mortgage/Commercial Lending Assistant, Rochester-Northwest
Kristine has been with Merchants Bank since 2005. She started as a Teller and was most recently a Customer Service Representative.




mortgage loansArlene Schwerzler, Mortgage Lender, Rochester-Northwest
Arlene has been with Merchants Bank since 1998 as a Mortgage Lender in Winona. She has recently relocated to Rochester and is looking forward to guiding customers in the area through the mortgage loan process.




StenbergDawnDawn Stenberg, Mortgage Lender, Winona
Dawn has been with Merchants Bank since 2012. She was a Mortgage Loan Coordinator and most recently an Underwriter. She also previously worked as a Mortgage Lender for Wells Fargo in Winona and John O Melby Bank in Whitehall, WI.



andersoncarleyCarly Anderson, Customer Service Representative/Back-Up Teller, Rosemount.
Carly has been with Merchants Bank since 2015. She was a Part Time Teller in Apple Valley.




SwansonMikeMike Swanson, Commercial Banker and Cash Management Specialist, Hastings
Mike has been with Merchants Bank since 2012. He was a Personal Banking Officer in Apple Valley and most recently a Consumer Banker/Branch Manager in Lakeville.



weisejessicaJessica Wiese, Lead Teller, Caledonia
Jessica has been with Merchants Bank since 2013. She was a Teller in La Crescent.




September Events



9/15: La Crescent Applefest Open House
During regular business hours
At Merchants Bank in La Crescent

Merchants Bank staff will be serving locally-grown apples, apple cookies and coffee in the bank lobby.

9/16: Spring Grove Windshield Washing Fundraiser
2:00-6:00 p.m.

At Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

Join Merchants Bank for a Window Washing Fundraiser to support the Spring Grove Ambulance! Merchants will donate $5 for every car windshield washed from 2-5 p.m. Visit the Merchants drive-thru in Spring Grove for your FREE window washing and help support a great cause!

9/16: Cannon Falls Customer Picnic
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls

Our staff will be grilling hot dogs and serving refreshments in the Bank parking lot.

9/16: Apple Valley Customer Appreciation & One Year Anniversary
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
At Merchants Bank in Apple Valley

Celebrate the One Year Anniversary of our move to Glazier Avenue. In our lobby, staff will be serving breakfast from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

9/18: Applefest Parade
1:00 p.m.
At Elm & Main Streets in La Crescent, MN

Merchant Bank staff will be collecting food and cash donations during the parade. Please consider supporting the La Crescent Food Share Program with a donation.

9/21: Winona Economic Summit
7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tau Center – Winona State University West Campus

Join several speakers, including Phil Gwoke from BridgeWorks and Doug Loon from the Minnesota Chamber, for a morning focusing on the theme of Future Growth Demands Response to Workforce.

9/23: Bomber Spirit Night
5:00-6:30 p.m.
At John Burch Park in Cannon Falls

The Cannon Falls Education Foundation invites you to Bomber Spirit Night. Enjoy a spirit night event prior to the football game vs. the La Crescent Lancers. Food, games, and more!

9/30: Battle for the Apple Football Game
7:00 p.m.
At Eastview High School

Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game.

9/30: Lakeville North vs. South Football Game
7:00 p.m.
At Lakeville South High School

Join our staff for the city’s high school rivalry football game. Stop by our tailgate party where we’ll be serving food with all the proceeds going to local high

EMV Chip Debit Cards Coming Soon


All current Merchants Bank MasterCard Debit Cards will be replaced with an EMV Chip MasterCard Debit Card with an anticipated rollout of November. With this change, you’ll be able to take advantage of the security features of EMV chip technology, which can help prevent fraudulent transactions.

What is an EMV chip card?
The term “EMV” stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa – the original developers of chip cards. These cards increase the security of in-person transactions by generating a one-time use code that can only be read by a register enabled to read chip cards. The code is created from the small chip on the front of your card and is hard to counterfeit, which prevents fraud.

Is paying with a chip card different from paying with my other cards?
Yes, making a payment with a chip card is slightly different than the card transactions you are used to. Instead of swiping your card at the register, you’ll simply follow these instructions:

Step 1: Insert the chip end of your card into the terminal with the chip facing up.


Step 2: Keep the card in the terminal during the transaction and follow the prompts on the screen.


Step 3: Take your card when prompted. It’s that easy!


Do all stores accept EMV chip cards?
Not yet, but the trend is growing. You can still make a purchase at a store that does not yet accept chip cards by simply swiping to pay.

What happens if I swipe my EMV chip card instead of inserting it into the register?
The terminal will display a message asking you to insert your card instead.

If I don’t have a Merchants Bank Debit Card, how can I request a debit card with chip technology?
Just send us an email to let us know you’re interested. If you’d like to learn more about EMV chip technology, contact the Customer Service Representative at your local Merchants Bank.

If you are a business and would like to accept EMV cards, contact our Credit Card department.

Are Your Kids Prepared for College?


An estimated 20.4 million students returned to a college campus around the United States this fall.* As your student heads off to school, give them a crash course in Money 101. Merchants Bank has a number of options to help ease your student into financial freedom including checking and savings accounts, Online and Mobile Banking and more.

First, make a plan. Discussing college costs with your child is a must. Help him or her understand all school-related expenses – tuition, books, housing, gas (if he or she will have a car on campus), food, and much more – and which costs you or your child is responsible for. If your child received financial aid, how will that affect paying for college? Explaining the basics and setting expectations up front will make future money discussions easier. Of course, don’t forget to explain what a budget is and set one.

…and stick to it. Maintaining a budget is a skill your child will need to learn. What tools can you use to help him or her stay on track? With Merchants’ Free Checking, students have free access to Online and Mobile Banking to track account activity 24/7. In addition, using a feature such as Manage My Money through Online Banking, can help students understand how they spend their money, set alerts when accounts hit a certain balance and much more.

Talk about banking options. Giving your child an overview on the types of banking accounts, services and cards is a good place to start. Most students will need a checking account, so review basic account features and potential fees (overdraft, ATM and otherwise). A Merchants Bank Customer Service Representative at your local branch is a good resource for this conversation. If your student will be living away from home, discuss how they can review their accounts online or on their smartphone and where they can take out cash when they need it. Merchants Bank offers fee-free ATM service at all of our locations, as well as Kwik Trip and Kwik Star locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

For more information about specific accounts and services, click on the appropriate link below or contact your local branch.


LuAnne Olson Joins Merchants Bank as a Personal Banker


LuAnne Olson has joined Merchants Bank in Lakeville as an Assistant Vice President and Personal Banker, according to Dan Vlasak, President of Merchants Bank in Lakeville.

“LuAnne’s knowledge and experience allow her to understand and meet the needs of our customers. I know they will find her friendly, approachable and focused on their needs,” Vlasak said. “We are very happy to have her as part of our team.”

Olson has more than 30 years of banking experience, including time as a Store Manager for Wells Fargo and as a Branch Manager for Associated Bank. At Merchants Bank, she will help customers with their personal banking needs, including consumer loans.

“What I like the most about banking is the personal interaction with customers and the opportunity to help them meet their goals. It is what community banking is all about, and that is what brought me to Merchants Bank,”Olson said. “It is an exceptional organization and well-respected in the industry.”

4 Fall Home Tune Ups to Review Now


Have you been putting off a home repair or remodel project? This Fall might be the right time to take it on, and potentially save yourself time and money on expensive repairs next Spring.

So where should you start? Here are four areas to review before winter hits.

1. Window Replacement
Average Cost – $4,759*
New windows can have a big impact on your utility bill, especially if you make the investment in glass with multiple panes. If you notice drafts, condensation or frost on your windows it may be time to upgrade.

2. Roof Repairs
Average Cost – $671*
Maintaining the quality of your roof is critical to keep your home protected and dry. Winter weather especially can aggravate small leaks and other problems, so take the time to assess your roof now.

In particular, you should pay attention to:

  • Blown off or missing shingles
  • Bad or leaking flashing around pipes, chimneys, skylights or the gutters running down the angles of your roof
  • Locations of possible ice dams
  • Water build up around low slopes or inadequate pitches

Hiring a professional to help review and fix these problems can save you from future headaches and expenses.

3. Furnace Tune Up or Replacement
Average Cost – $268 to repair, $3,942 to install*
Don’t let your comfortable, cozy home be interrupted by a broken (or worse, dead) furnace. Part of keeping your furnace in tiptop shape includes occasional maintenance from a professional, which is routinely done before the temperatures drop.

If your furnace is 10-15 years old – the average age of a furnace – it may be a better financial investment to replace it. Just like upgrading your windows, a new high-efficiency furnace can also save you money on your utility bill.

4. Exterior Paint
Average Cost – $2,594*
While a fresh coat of paint is easy on the eyes, it can also help prolong the life of any outdoor surface that will be covered in snow. Help protect your siding, trim, deck and stairs with new exterior paint and sealant.

At Merchants Bank, our Home Equity Line of Credit can help qualified applicants pay for fall home improvements or repairs. If you have equity in your home, now is the time to take advantage of our great introductory rate of as low as 2.9% APR for the first six months and 4.00% APR after that.**

Contact your local Merchants Bank Personal Banker to get started, or apply online now.


**Subject to credit approval. As of September 1, 2016, the Annual Percentage Rate on a home equity line of credit with an 80% or less loan-to-value and a credit score greater than or equal to 700 was 4.00%. This special offer has fixed-rate pricing as low as 2.9% APR for the first six months, based on relationship reward discounts. Following that six-month period, the rate will become variable, subject to change, based on U.S. Bank, N.A., prime rate plus a margin that is determined based on the loan-to-value in your home and your credit score at the time of application. Current rates vary from 4.00% to 6.00% APR. Maximum possible APR is 18%. Minimum possible APR is 4.00%. An origination fee may apply, in addition, you are responsible for certain fees to third parties, such as appraisers, credit reporting firms and government agencies, which are generally from $100–$1,000. Following the first year, there will be an annual fee of $25. Offer available on new home equity lines of $10,000 or more only or on existing lines of credit with an increase of at least $10,000. Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest expense. Property insurance will be required. Limited time offer.

Tacos in a Bag from the Merchants Family Cookbook



  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1/2 lb. shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • onions, chopped
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • lettuce, shredded
  • sour cream
  • avocado dip (optional)
  • taco sauce
  • 8-10 individual bags of chips — Fritos or Doritos work well!



Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat. Add taco seasoning mix and prepare according to directions on package. Crush chips in the bag and cut off the top of the bag. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of ground beef mixture, all or any combination of the “toppings” and stir. Top with sour cream and taco sauce. Great for camping!