Hope to See You at our Holiday Events in December

Save the Date - Holiday Open Houses

Join our staff at these great events. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed. You can also RSVP to the Holiday Open Houses via our Facebook Events page.

Fridays in December Cottage Grove Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and toiletry items for the 10 Days of Giving to support the Friends in Need food shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Rushford Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Rushford
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and non-perishable food items to support the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Lanesboro Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Lanesboro
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. As part of Christmas in Fillmore County, we will be accepting toy donations in our lobby.
12/7 Hastings Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Hastings
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations to support the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting Hastings Family Service.
12/7 Caledonia Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Caledonia
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/7 Caledonia Winter Wonderland Parade
7 p.m.
Downtown Caledonia
Find yourself surrounded by holiday spirit at the Winter Wonderland Parade in Caledonia. Hot chocolate and cookies with Santa will follow the parade in Gazebo Park.
12/7 St. Charles Holiday Open House
10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in St. Charles
Please join us in our lobby for cookies and refreshments. We will also be accepting donations for the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting the Hometown Resource Center.
12/8 Rushford Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights
7:00 p.m.
Downtown Rushford
Rushford comes alive with the Spirit of the Holidays! Have a night of family fun beginning with the Parade of Lights, followed by a visit with Santa, hot chocolate and cider, cookies, and caroling at the Rushford Fire Hall. Please bring monetary donations for the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/8 Winona Holiday Lighted Parade
5:30 p.m.
6th Street in Goodview
Enjoy the dazzling lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus and refreshments at Merchants Bank in Goodview. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Elks Lodge to greet children. Please bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items for the 10 Days of Giving food drive.
12/14 Eau Claire Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Eau Claire
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.
12/14 Spring Grove Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. Santa will join us from 12 – 2 p.m. for photos.
12/17 – 12/21 Onalaska Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Onalaska
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Winona Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Winona
Please join us for cookies, refreshments and music in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Rochester Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank locations in Rochester
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobbies.
12/19 – 12/24 Red Wing Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Red Wing
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting hats and mittens to donate to those in need in our community.
12/20 Cannon Falls Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls
Please join us in our lobby for cookies, refreshments and live music. We will have a variety of holiday musical guests including: St. Pauls Lutheran School Choir, Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir, Jane Bracken, Shelly Schroeder and John Anderson.There will be live holiday music in the lobby throughout the day: 11:00 a.m. – St. Paul’s Lutheran School Choir; 1:00 p.m. – Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir; 2:00 p.m. – Holiday music featuring Jane Bracken on piano; 3:00 p.m. – Holiday Music featuring Shelly Schroeder on flute and John Anderson on guitar
12/20 – 12/21 La Crescent Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in La Crescent
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.

Make Gift Giving Easy with Our 3 Tips

Gift Giving Guide

Still a few people left to buy for on your holiday shopping list? Get those gifts done in no time with our three easy ideas.

Turn Rewards Points into Gifts

With your Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard Credit Card*, you can redeem earned points for merchandise, travel rewards, or even gift cards. Simply login to your ScoreCard Rewards account to use your points for holiday gifts for our loved ones – or even yourself.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to scorecardrewards.com.
  2. Login to your account.
  3. Click on the “Go Shopping” button under “ScoreMore.”
  4. Add items to your cart and checkout using your points when finished shopping.

If you don’t yet have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, apply online or contact us and we can help you apply.

Buy the Gift that Always Fits

You can never go wrong with a gift card. It’s always the right size, color and style for anyone on your list. Plus, it’s easy to wrap!

Did you know you can purchase Visa Gift Cards at all of our Merchants Bank locations? Just visit your local branch and see one of our tellers to purchase your gift card(s), available in even dollar amounts between $10-$1,000.

Shop Small with a Local Cookbook

If you’re looking for a unique item for the cook or baker in your family, our Merchants cookbook makes a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer.

The Merchants Family Cookbook was first published in 2005 and is a collection of recipes shared by Merchants’ staff, family and friends. Now in its second printing with over 400 pages of recipes, the cookbook is available at all of our locations for just $10 each.

Happy holiday shopping and Merry Christmas from your friends at Merchants Bank!

*Credit cards are subject to credit approval.

 

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

NewPromotedStaff-Blog

New Staff

AmiotTony Tony Amiot, Document Transaction Coordinator, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance
Alyssa Anderson Alyssa Anderson, Teller, Cottage Grove
Larissa Andrist Larissa Andrist, Teller, Rochester
Stacey Boelter Stacey Boelter, Mortgage Loan Processor, Winona
Ann Burrow Ann Burrow, Administrative Assistant and Customer Service Representative, Onalaska
Rebecca Decker Rebecca Decker, Trust Associate, Winona
DodsonKristin Kristin Dodson, Teller, Lakeville
Brice Eggert Brice Eggert, Loan Servicing Representative, Winona
Jordan Frederick Jordan Frederick, Commercial/Ag Banker, Winona
Nick Haugen Nick Haugen, Computer Operator, Winona
Karla Johnson Karla Johnson, Loan Servicing Representative, Winona
Nick Moon Nick Moon, Commercial Consumer Evaluation & Appraisal Specialist, Winona
Wendy Murphy Wendy Murphy, Loan Servicing Representative, Winona
Kayla Pronschinske Kayla Pronschinske, Custodian, Winona
SheltonTim Tim Shelton, Teller, Winona
Maija Trenary Maija Trenary, Teller, Hastings
ZiermanAnn Ann Zierman, Document Transaction Manager, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance

Transfers and Promotions

DeGeorgeJennifer copy Jennifer DeGeorge, Assistant Vice President, Secondary Market Mortgage, Winona
Dan Nistler Dan Nistler, Market President, Rochester

Merchants Homegrown Approach to Leadership Development

IBelieveLeadershipSeries-Blog

L-R: Alberta Rosburg, Heidi Viestenz, Alissa Gibson, Mike Swanson, Andrew Althoff, Libbie Longfield, Marcus Krings, Vicky Kamrowski, Sarah Danielson, Dawn Stenberg, Sue Blagsvedt, Kim Kubis, Jim Vrchota, Wendy Cagle, Rachel Larson, Ken Graner and Kristine Valk.

We all want a team of talented staff. A business with skilled employees who care deeply about their customers is on the road to success. The people who work for your business can make a big difference. At Merchants, we feel this combination – our talented team coupled with personalized service – is what sets us apart from other financial institutions.

Attracting and retaining difference-makers as part of the Merchants team has always been important to us. We also feel it’s one of the reasons we’ve celebrated so many successes. That’s why we’re proud to have launched the I Believe Leadership Series, Discovering the Leader In You! in 2018. The program was designed by Merchants’ staff Kristine Valk, Training Director and Alberta Rosburg, Chief Human Resource Officer and is based on the philosophy of servant leadership.

“After recognizing that Merchants needed a leadership program, Kristine and I tried to find one that we could send our employees to,” said Alberta. “However, we quickly realized that if we wanted a program to reflect the Merchants’ culture, we needed to develop it ourselves. I’m so proud of Kristine, all of her hard work and the end result. The 15 students currently attending are growing in new ways to help them be servant leaders for our co-workers and customers.”

Students in the I Believe Leadership Series are from several areas of the Bank, including customer-facing departments such as Credit Cards, Mortgage and Commercial Banking as well as support departments like Compliance & Risk, Human Resources, Marketing and Mortgage/Loan Operations. The program curriculum covers a wide range of topics, relevant for those working with customers face-to-face or behind the scenes:

  • 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

At this time, students are approximately halfway through the series. Many are already seeing a positive impact in their day-to-day interactions with customers and co-workers.

“The I Believe Leadership Series has been such a valuable and positive experience thus far. Fifteen of us have learned about servant leadership and how to focus on traits that lead to good, productive interactions on both a professional and personal level. The section on Finding your Strengths has been one of my favorites to date. A test identified five of our strengths as well as ideas on how to use them to strengthen communication. It’s exciting to think about how each of us will benefit from these new skills and knowledge. “– Wendy Cagle, Loan Review Officer in Winona.

“The information from the program has helped me be more focused on my conversations with customers and associates during my daily interaction,” – Ken Graner, Market President for Lanesboro and Rushford.

In addition, Training Director Kristine Valk has witnessed the impact of the series firsthand: “Before the program began, some of our participants didn’t really know one another. As we continued through the program, attendees have learned 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.”

The program will run on an annual basis with current students graduating in April 2019 and a maximum of 20 new students beginning the series shortly after that. 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:

Protect Your Identity During the Holidays or Any Time of Year

CardProtectionApps-Blog

It’s important to take steps to protect your personal identity, especially during the holiday shopping season. Let’s work together to help keep your information safe.

Use Our Free Fraud Tools

Your security is top of mind at Merchants Bank. We have a number of ways to help you protect yourself with our SecurLock Equip app for your Merchants Bank credit card and My Mobile Money app for our debit card. These apps are very similar.

With SecurLock or My Mobile Money you can:

  • Turn your Merchants Bank credit card or debit card on and off.
  • Control where your credit card or debit card can be used.
  • Receive automatic notifications about possible fraud and take action.

More on SecurLock and My Mobile Money can be found on our website.

Plus, if you use Merchants Online Banking, consider using the “Alerts” functions to monitor activity. To set up automatic alerts, follow the steps outlined in our video tutorial. Alerts can be sent to an email address or via text message.

Best Practices to Use When Shopping Online During the Holidays:

  • Change your passwords often. Use a mixture of numbers, letters and special characters. Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts.
  • Be suspicious. Thieves will use calls or emails to trick you into sharing passwords, social security numbers, etc. If you don’t recognize the caller or email, don’t reply.
  • Don’t click on links in emails from your credit card companies, investment companies or banks that would have you update account information. Remember, Merchants Bank will never ask you to update your personal information via a link in an email. When suspicious, call the company at a number you confirmed in a separate source, like a phone book or prior statement.
  • Make a fraud kit. Keep a list of your credit and debit cards, account numbers, expiration dates and customer service of fraud department telephone numbers in a secure place.
  • Read through your credit card bills. If you see a charge you don’t recognize, call and get the charge reversed.
  • Don’t use the “remember password” option. It makes it easier for someone to access your accounts.
  • Do NOT keep a list of passwords in an unprotected document on your devices or written down in an unsecure place.
  • Never save your credit card number online. If that site gets breached, you are at risk. Enter your information each time you make a purchase.

If you’re traveling or spending the winter somewhere else, let us know by contacting your local Customer Service Representative so we can make sure you have the best service.

If you make purchases in a state or country where you don’t normally use your Merchants Bank debit or credit card, we may think these transactions are fraudulent unless we know otherwise. Let us know the dates of your trip, your travel locations and how we may be able to contact you.

If you have additional questions, please contact us. We’re happy to help.

 

 

 

 

Hope to See You at these Fall Events

Save the Date - Upcoming Events

Join our staff at these great events. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed. 

9/21 Spring Grove Window Washing
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

Get your car windshield washed for FREE! For each windshield washed, Merchants Bank will donate $5 to Raise the Roof, which supports the Houston County Fair youth livestock building project. We hope you can join us! No customer relationship required. Free will donations also accepted.

9/28 Cannon Falls Customer Appreciation
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls

We’ll be serving grilled hot dogs, served with all the fixings, and refreshments in our parking lot. We truly appreciate all of our customers in the community and look forward to seeing you!

11/30 – 12/10 10 Days of Giving
Winona, St. Charles, Cottage Grove, Hastings

Help us ensure no one in our communities go hungry this winter! We are honored to once again coordinate the fundraising efforts to support our local food shelves.