Teresa Fegyak and Tina Bechtel Take on Additional Responsibilities at Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

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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.

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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 Moves to Winona as Mortgage Loan Officer

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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.

Biebel Joins Merchants Bank as Mortgage Operations Manager

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Dan Biebel, Mortgage Operations Manager

Dan Biebel has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President and Mortgage Operations Manager, according to Cindy Harrison, Senior Vice President for Credit Administration.

“We are excited to have Dan join our team. He has the experience and expertise in both mortgage sales and operations to successfully guide this critical area of our organization,”Harrison said.

As the leader of the mortgage operations area, Biebel will guide the 40 employees who support and process mortgage loans for Merchants’21 locations, as well as the 164 other community banking locations and credit unions across five states that make up Merchants Bank’s correspondent mortgage banking network.

“This is an exciting role with an organization with a well-known and growing reputation for excellence. I am looking forward to helping propel the continued growth of this area through providing exceptional service throughout the mortgage process to both our internal and external customers,”Biebel said.

Biebel has been in the mortgage industry since 1984, including time serving in leadership roles for LenderLive Network and TruHome Solutions, companies with both a regional and national presence. Biebel and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children.

Tammy Johnson Named Cash Management Sales Manager for the Merchants Bank Organization

Tammy Johnson, Cash Management Officer

Tammy Johnson, Cash Management Sales Manager

Tammy Johnson has been promoted to Assistant Vice President and Cash Management Sales Manager, according to Sue Hovell, Director of Retail Banking Performance for Merchants Bank.

Johnson will be the cash management sales and market support for the local teams at all 21 Merchants Bank locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She had been the Cash Management officer for the organization’s southern tier of banks since 2011 and has been with Merchants Bank for 17 years.

“Cash management products and services are designed to save businesses time and money, protect against any potential fraudulent activity and create opportunities for those businesses to grow,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with experts at our locations to present the best options available for our current and future customers.”

The cash management/treasury management area is a focus for the Merchants Bank organization.

“Being able to service relationships locally sets us apart,” Hovell said. “With Tammy working with the local teams the result will be exceptional service for our customers. It is part of the personal relationship our tellers, customer service representatives, personal bankers and commercial bankers offer to all our customers. They look forward to applying their knowledge to develop solutions unique to your business and tailored for success.”

Johnson will support Merchants Bank Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. She will also support Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Subject to credit approval. Additionally, Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance is also a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

Katie Lund Joins Merchants Bank in Rochester as a Mortgage Lender

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Katie Lund, Mortgage Lender

Katie Lund has joined Merchants Bank in Rochester as a Mortgage Lender, according to John Doyle, President of Merchants Bank in Rochester.

Lund has been part of the Merchants Bank team since 2008, when she joined Merchants Bank Equipment Finance (then known as Merchants Capital Resources). Since 2013, she has worked at Merchants Bank in Rosemount as a Mortgage Loan Coordinator.

“Katie brings a great deal of knowledge and experience with the mortgage origination process, which will be an immediate benefit to our customers,”Doyle said. “She puts the needs of our customers first, and she is dedicated to making sure those needs are met. I know people will enjoy working with her.”

Lund’s office will be at Merchants Bank’s Northwest Plaza location. She is a native of St. Charles, MN, and has recently moved to Rochester with her family.

“I’m familiar with the needs of the individuals and families who are part of the Rochester market,”Lund said. “I’m excited to help people realize their dreams of home ownership with the programs and support we can offer at Merchants. Given the very active Rochester housing market, I’m especially looking forward to helping people get pre-qualified for their loans, so they can be first in line when they make an offer on their next home.”

Merchants Bank in the Twin Cities Sees Significant Loan Growth

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Lawrence Stovern, Regional President of Merchants Bank – Twin Cities

Merchants Bank in the Twin Cities enjoyed commercial loan growth of 16.5% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to 2015, according to Lawrence Stovern, Regional President of Merchants Bank in the Twin Cities.

Stovern shared the news with the Merchants Bank Twin Cities Advisory Board Members James Trenda, Peggy Johnson and James Emond during the group’s April Board meeting before releasing the information to the public. Trenda, a CPA, is President of CP Advisors LLC. Johnson is Community Relations Director for Dakota County Electric Association and Emond is a realtor with Remax Advantage Plus.

“Our leadership here in the Twin Cities is pleased that we continue to show excellent loan growth, just as we have shown over the past several years,”Stovern said. “It’s gratifying to see our market share grow, and our bank leadership and board are dedicated to meeting our goals of helping businesses in the Twin Cities start and expand.”

Through the first quarter, net income for the Twin Cities locations was at $560,000, and Stovern reported that the Twin Cities locations were on plan to meet goals for net income for the year. Stovern also shared Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI), which owns the Twin Cities Merchants Bank locations, reported overall first quarter income of $3,253,475. Trenda is also a member of the MFGI Board.

“Part of our growing success in the Twin Cities has to do with the excellent group of commercial bankers we have on staff. They are knowledgeable and dedicated to finding solutions for our customers,”Stovern said. “Another key has been the input of our Advisory Board in helping us to identify businesses who could benefit from the expertise our bankers can provide.”

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove Acquires a New Location

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Lawrence Stovern President/Commercial Banker

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove will be moving to a new location in Cottage Grove this Fall, according to Lawrence Stovern, Regional President for Merchants Bank in the Twin Cities.

The current Merchants Bank location in Cottage Grove, 7200 East Point Douglas Road South, has been sold to Hy-Vee, and Merchants has acquired the former Famous Dave’s restaurant at 8479 East Point Douglas Road South, Stovern said.

Merchants Bank Cottage Grove Branch Manager Randy Bachman said Merchants will start construction on its new facility the week of May 9 and construction will continue throughout the Summer. Bachman said he expects Merchants will move into the new facility sometime in October.

“This process will be seamless for our customers. We’ll continue to do business in our current location until the day of the move and then be open for business the next day without any interruption,”Bachman said.

Stovern said the motivation for the sale of the current location and purchase of the new location was about being a good neighbor in the community.

“We recognize Hy-Vee’s plans to bring a new store to Cottage Grove as something that is good for the economic vitality of the community,”Stovern said. “For us, as a community bank, that made the choice to sell easy. It is a win for everyone involved.”