Trust Department News: Announcing New Staff and Retirements

By Greg Evans, President/Chief Banking Officer

I am pleased to share some important news regarding the staffing in our Trust Department.

Retirement Announcements

After more than 20 years of dedication and providing excellent service, long-time trust officers Sara Brandon and Terry Hawkings, have announced their retirements. We greatly appreciate their contributions to Merchants, our clients and our community.


Monika Lovewell

Terry’s retirement was celebrated with our Trust team the week of October 10 and her last day with Merchants was Friday, October 14. Sara will continue in her current Trust Officer role until year-end. All of us at Merchants wish them well during this exciting transition and especially thank them for their dedicated years of service to their clients.

Introducing New Trust Experts

In preparing for these retirements, we have been recruiting new talent and expertise for our Trust Department. To that end, I am excited to introduce Monika Lovewell, our new Trust Department Manager, and Martin Oines, our new Trust Officer. Monika is an estate planning attorney, a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, and former Senior Trust Officer with another firm.


Martin Oines

Martin is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERpractitioner, and also has experience as a Senior Trust Administrator. Both bring considerable expertise and experience in trust administration and financial planning to Merchants. I couldn’t be more pleased about the experience and expertise we have been able to attract to our Trust team to continue serving you.

Monika and Martin look forward to continuing to provide the specialized trust services and expertise you have come to expect from our Trust team.

Greg Evans
Chief Banking Officer/President

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

New Staff

austaderickaEricka Austad, Teller, Rushford
Ericka also currently works at Rosemount Apiaries as a Beekeeper and at Burdey’s Cafe as a Server. She is a former middle school teacher and has a five-year-old son, Lars. She enjoys kayaking, biking and hiking in the bluffs.



cayatedTed Caya, Teller, Eau Claire
Ted also works at H&R Block as a Tax Professional. He is a junior at UW-Eau Claire pursing his Business Administration degree.





Bailey Ekberg, Teller, Winona
Bailey previously worked at Green Mill as a Hostess. She is a sophomore at Winona State University, studying Accounting and Management Information Systems. Bailey’s favorite season is fall because the weather is so perfect. She enjoys reading and hanging out with her roommates.



faklermeghanMeghan Fakler, Teller, Winona-Goodview
Meghan previously worked at Affinity Plus as a Member Advisor and at HyVee as an Assistant Manager. She and her fiancé, Drew will be getting married in July 2017. Meghan has been a competitive bowler for 20 years.




feldmeierjeanneJeanne Feldmeier, Part-Time Teller, Rushford
Jeanne previously worked in banking for many years at Winona National Bank and Associated Bank and also worked as an Accounting Specialist at Semcac. She recently retired, but wanted to come back to banking part-time. Jeanne is married and has three grown children and one grandchild.



goetzingerleighLeigh Goetzinger, Customer Service Representative, Caledonia
Leigh previously worked at Merchants for two years as a Teller. She has two daughters and two sons. She also has a granddaughter and grandson that she absolutely loves spending all of her spare time with.




oinesmartinMartin Oines, Trust Officer, Winona-Downtown
Martin brings more than 20 years of experience in investment management and trust administration to his position, most recently as Senior Trust Administrator with Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. He is a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and a Certified Financial Planner practitioner.



russellkelseyKelsey Russell, Lead Teller, Hastings
Kelsey previously worked at Coborn’s Liquor as the Assistant Liquor Store Manager. Kelsey and her husband have one daughter. Kelsey enjoys being outdoors walking, playing tennis and skiing. She also has a pet benny named Bun-Bun.



whalenkallyKalley Whalen, Electronic Banking Specialist, Winona-Downtown
Kally previously worked at Green Mill Restaurant as the General Manager. She is recently married and her and her husband just purchased their first home together. Kally enjoys camping and spending time with her family.


Promotions and Transfers

brinkkarleyKarley Brink, Retail Lending Assistant, Winona-Downtown
Karley has been with Merchants since 2011. She was previously an Electronic Banking Representative, Teller and most recently a Loan Servicing Representative in Winona.

November Events


For more information on upcoming events, visit our Facebook page. 

11/17 Cottage Grove Open House and Ribbon Cutting
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. with Ribbon Cutting at 1:00 p.m., 
Merchants Bank-Cottage Grove

Help us celebrate the Opening of our new Cottage Grove location at 8479 East Point Douglas Road S. Light refreshments will be served. 

11/28-12/7 Swipe Out Hunger

Vote for your local food shelf on our Facebook page to help them win a top donation of $5,000. Voting opens on Monday, November 28 at 12:00 p.m.