Mike Swanson Promoted to Commercial Banker and Cash Management Specialist at Merchants Bank in Hastings

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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.

Shawn Sackman Named Senior Lending Officer for Merchants Bank’s Southeast Region

Shawn Sackman, Senior Lending Officer

Shawn Sackman, Senior Lending Officer and Senior Vice President

Shawn Sackman has been promoted to Senior Lending Officer and Senior Vice President for Merchants Bank’s Southeast Region, according to Southeast Regional President Jay Friedl.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Shawn, and one that he has earned and deserves,” Friedl said. “The people who will benefit the most from this are our other commercial bankers in the region, who will learn from him, and all of our customers throughout the area, who benefit from his dedication to serving their needs.”

Sackman will work as senior lending officer for Merchants locations in Rushford, Lanesboro, Spring Grove, Caledonia, La Crescent and Onalaska, where he has worked as a Commercial Banker and Vice President since 2011, when he joined the Merchants organization.

“This position allows me to help our commercial bankers to continue to build long-term relationships with our existing customers and meet the needs of new customers,” Sackman said. “My knowledge will help our team to be responsive to our customer lending and cash management needs. It’s a great team, and I look forward to mentoring and coaching them.”

Before joining Merchants, Sackman had worked as a Senior Business Relationship Manager in the area for a large national bank from 2000 to 2011. He’s a native of Montana and a graduate of Viterbo University in La Crosse. He is very involved volunteering in the area and was awarded the 2015 Volunteer Award by the Great Rivers United Way.

Visit our website for more information on our commercial and business loans, cash management tools and other business accounts.

Subject to approval. Equal Housing Lender.

Jim Peterson Joins Merchants Bank as a Commercial and Ag Banker

Commercial Banker

Jim Peterson, Commercial and Ag Banker

Jim Peterson has joined Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls as Vice President and Commercial and Ag Banker, according to Brian Hokanson, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender for Merchants Bank.

“We believe Jim’s skills, especially in the area of ag lending, are a tremendous fit for our focus as a bank, but, more so, the right fit for our current and future customers,” Hokanson said.

Peterson has 16 years of commercial lending experience, working both in North Dakota and Minnesota. In addition to serving the needs in the Cannon Falls area, Peterson will also work with Ag customers in the Rochester area.

“The areas of focus that are important to me are also important to Merchants Bank,” Peterson said. “It has a great reputation for taking care of the immediate and long-term needs of its customers. I’m happy to be part of the team.”

Peterson is a native of North Dakota and graduate of North Dakota State University, with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He has a long history of community involvement and a love for the outdoors, including time serving on the Advisory Board for the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. Jim and his wife, Tina, are looking forward to being active members of the Cannon Falls community.

Loans are subject to credit approval.

In Honor of Harvest

eNews-Harvest

Have you ever stopped to think about how farmers impact your day to day life? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food is more affordable in the United States than in any other developed country in the world thanks to our farmers. Plus, the U.S. farmer is the most productive in the history of the world (1).

Matt Schuldt, Market President

Matt Schuldt, Market President

At Merchants Bank, our Ag lenders support and partner with farmers every day to help create prosperous farming operations. “I like working with farmers because, for one thing, I grew up on a farm. My dad had 50 head of black Angus cattle. Farming is not a simple business, and each and every day I continue to learn from our local farmers,” said Matt Schuldt, Market President for Caledonia and Spring Grove.

In honor of harvest this fall, we’ve collected some amazing facts about the farm industry and farmers in the United States. Did you know?

  • There are 2.1 million farms in existence in the United States (2). Less than 1% of those farms are certified and exempt organic farms (3).
  • The average farm size is 434 acres (4).
  • Only 45% of farmers claim farming as their primary occupation (5).
  • 30% of farms are operated by at least one woman (2).
  • Farmers work an average of 9.91 hours per day on weekdays and 10.24 hours per day on weekends and holidays (6).
  • Minnesota farms rank first in production of green peas, red kidney beans, sugar beets, sweet corn and turkeys, (7) while Wisconsin farms rank first in production of cheese, milk goats, mink pellets, corn, cranberries and snap peas (8).
  • In 2015, the U.S. pork and poultry industries will produce a record 95 million pounds of meat (9).
Brian Hokanson, Ag Lender

Brian Hokanson, Ag Lender

We wish all of our ag customers a successful harvest. According to Brian Hokanson, Ag Lender in Cannon Falls and Red Wing, the harvest outlook is positive so far, “In this region, the start of harvest has been excellent. Yields are coming in better than expected and while prices on commodities, specifically corn and soybean are down, yields are giving everyone a little bit of hope for fall.”

For more information on financing, equipment loans and leases and other opportunities for your farm or business, contact an Ag Loan Officer at your local Merchants Bank.

Loans are subject to credit approval.

1 *www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/printeconomics.html
2 *www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Online_Resources/Highlights/Farm_Demographics/
3 *www.agcensus.usda.gov/Newsroom/2015/09_17_2015.php
4 *www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2012/Preliminary_Report/Highlights.pdf
5 *www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/demographics.html
6 *www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/atus.pdf
7 *www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Minnesota/Publications/Rankings/2015%20MN%20Rankings.pdf
8 *www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Wisconsin/Publications/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/bulletin2014_web.pdf
9 *www.agweb.com/article/7-statistics-farmers-need-to-know-for-2015-NAA-alison-rice/

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Missed the Southeast Minnesota Economic Forum?

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More than 400 local business leaders gathered on Tuesday, September 29 to engage in a conversation about the future economic outlook for the city of Rochester. As a banking leader in the region with two locations in Rochester and a company with a vested interested in the economic growth of Southeast Minnesota, Merchants Bank was proud to be the pinnacle sponsor of this event.

The Southeast Minnesota Economic Forum featured two keynote speakers, Tim Penny and Steve Loehr, and two panels – including a panel featuring our Chief Financial Officer, Sue Savat – covering topics from business growth opportunities, ag industry insights, workforce challenges, government decisions and regulations, the impact of the Destination Medical Center plan and more.

For specific coverage and takeaways from the Forum, visit the KTTC website.

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Jim Vrchota Joins Merchants Bank in Winona as a Vice President and Commercial Banker

Jim Vrchota, Vice President and Commercial Banker

Jim Vrchota, Vice President and Commercial Banker

Jim Vrchota has joined the team at Merchants Bank as Vice President and Commercial Banker, according to Randy Domeyer, Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Department Manager

“We are excited to have Jim join our team in Winona,” Domeyer said. “His experience in business development and lending will benefit our customers and our lending team here at Merchants Bank.”

Vrchota has more than 33 years of experience in the banking industry, much of it as a Senior Lender and Market President. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President at United Prairie Bank in Spicer, Minnesota, where he worked in commercial and ag lending. Vrchota also has a great deal of experience in SBA (Small Business Administration) lending.

“I am happy to be a part of a banking organization that has such a tremendous reputation for helping its customers meet their goals,” Vrchota said. “I look forward to becoming a part of the Winona community.”

Vrchota has a long history of community involvement, especially in the areas of economic development and community service.

Liz Diggins Joins Merchants Bank in Red Wing as a Commercial Banker

Liz Diggins, Commercial Banker

Liz Diggins, Commercial Banker

Liz Diggins has joined Merchants Bank in Red Wing as a Commercial Banker, according to Brian Hokanson, Senior Vice President and Senior Lender for Merchants Bank.

Diggins is well known in the Red Wing area, spending the past 12 years working with commercial and agricultural loans and loan customers at Associated Bank in Red Wing.

“Liz is a tremendous communicator, who enjoys working with clients and helping them to achieve success,” Hokanson said. “We are fortunate she has chosen Merchants Bank, and we look forward to working with her as she utilizes her skills helping others reach their goals.”

A Red Wing native, Diggins is currently the treasurer for the United Way of Goodhue, Wabasha and Pierce Counties. She also serves as treasurer for the Wells Creek Riders Snowmobile Club.

“I am thrilled to be working with Merchants Bank because of its commitment to the community,” Diggins said. “Helping Red Wing to continue to grow is important to me, and there’s no better place to make that commitment to the future than at Merchants Bank.”

In addition to graduating from Red Wing Central High School, Diggins has an undergraduate degree in business management from the College of Saint Benedict and a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.