Nick Benz Joins Merchants Bank as Treasury Management Sales Officer Lead

Nick Benz, Treasury Management Sales Officer Lead

Nick Benz has joined Merchants Bank as a Treasury Management Sales Officer Lead, according to Andrew Guzzo, Winona and Southeast Regional President.

“Nick brings more than 15 years of treasury management expertise to our team, helping local businesses find efficiencies and implement beneficial cashflow strategies. I’m excited to see how he puts his knowledge to work for our valued clients at Merchants,” said Guzzo.

A Certified Treasury Professional (CTP), Benz has 17 years of experience in treasury management and banking working with businesses of all sizes. He was most recently a Treasury Management Payment Consultant for US Bank and has spent the majority of his career providing business clients with expertise in this area, which continues to grow in importance as businesses look for innovate ways to safely manage cash.

“I’m excited to join a growing community bank that values technology. The world has changed quickly over the past year, and I want to help our business clients adapt and continue to grow into the future,” said Benz.

Benz is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Marketing and currently lives in Onalaska with wife and two children. Having previously lived in the Coulee Region, he is looking forward to becoming active community volunteer again. In his free time, he coaches his children’s baseball team and likes to be outside and enjoys hunting and fishing. 

The Merchants Bank Treasury Management & Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. Merchants’ Treasury Management Sales Officers help with cash flow strategies, custom account protection tools to monitor for fraud and effective options for collecting and making payments. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to credit approval. Member FDIC.

Rob Pyle Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker

Rob Pyle, Commercial Banker

Rob Pyle has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Dan Vlasak, President for Merchants Bank in Lakeville.

“We’re excited to have Rob join the talented team in Lakeville and I know his experience in commercial banking will be valuable to our clients as we help their businesses grow and reach their goals,” said Vlasak.

Pyle has more than 15 years of experience in commercial banking, credit analysis and treasury management solutions, spending most of his career in the Twin Cities market. He was previously the Vice President of Commercial and Business Banking sectors for Old National Bank and also worked as a Credit Analyst for several years, helping assess the creditworthiness of businesses applying for commercial loans.

“I really enjoy working with business clients in all industries and of all sizes,” said Pyle. “My favorite part of my job is finding just the right financial solution for each specific client. Forming a strong business relationship and gaining the client’s trust has always been of the utmost importance to me.”

Pyle graduated from Drury University in Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Sports & Science and a Master in Business Administration. He is looking forward to becoming more involved in the Lakeville community. Pyle lives in Burnsville with his wife and daughter and enjoys exploring state and national parks with his family and is an avid baseball and football fan.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag bankingSBA loansfloor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to credit approval. Member FDIC.

Patrick Bye Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker

Patrick Bye, Commercial Lender

Patrick Bye has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Dan Vlasak, President for Merchants Bank in Lakeville.

“Patrick has a strong background in commercial banking and understands the value in building relationships with new and existing customers, which aligns perfectly with Merchants Bank’s approach. We’re looking forward to having him as part of our team,” said Vlasak.

Bye brings 15 years of commercial banking experience in the Minneapolis and Rochester markets to Merchants Bank. He was previously a Business Banking Relationship Manager for US Bank and also worked as a Credit Analyst for several years, helping assess the creditworthiness of businesses applying for commercial loans.

“I wanted to get back to true community banking,” said Bye. “Being with Merchants will give me the opportunity to really connect with my customers and help them achieve their business goals.”

Bye is a graduate of St. Cloud University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He is an active volunteer in several communities including Rochester and Red Wing and currently serves as the treasurer for the Civic League Day Nursery. In addition, he enjoys being involved in the local business communities through the Chamber of Commerce, Rochester Area Builders Association, Rochester Area Economic Development Initiative and CEDA. He, his wife and two children reside in Hampton. They enjoy spending time outdoors by going camping, hunting and fishing, as well as attending the children’s youth sporting events.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag bankingSBA loansfloor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 23 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to credit approval. Member FDIC.

Blake Koebke Promoted to Assistant Vice President/Commercial & Ag Banker at Merchants Bank

Blake Koebke, Assistant Vice President/Commercial & Ag Banker

Blake Koebke has been promoted to Assistant Vice President/Commercial & Ag Banker at Merchants Bank, according to Jon Marley, President for Merchants in St. Charles.

“We congratulate Blake and thank him for his service to our clients. Blake excels at understanding the possibilities we offer to help fulfill our clients’ needs and dreams,” said Marley.

Koebke has been with Merchants Bank since 2013, beginning his career as a Credit Analyst working alongside the Commercial team as part of the loan approval process. In 2015, he was promoted to Commercial & Ag Banker for Merchants Bank in St. Charles. Koebke is a southern Minnesota native, growing up in Spring Valley and attended the University of Minnesota, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Applied Economics.

“I feel fortunate to work for a company that aligns with my personal values and seeks to make service to others a priority. It’s about looking out for the best interests of the customers…playing a part in helping them achieve their goals and making their dreams or ideas a reality is very rewarding,” said Koebke.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag bankingSBA loansfloor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.5 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to credit approval.

Jarett Jones Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker

Jarett Jones, Commercial Banker

Jarett Jones has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Dan Nistler, President for Merchants Bank in Rochester.

“We’re pleased to be expanding our business team in Rochester to serve the needs of local businesses as a trusted financial advisor. With Merchants’ growth in Rochester, Jarett’s knowledge of the local market will be an asset as we continue to help business clients navigate the economic changes at this time,” said Nistler.

Jones brings more than 20 years of commercial and small business banking experience in the Rochester and Southern Minnesota markets to Merchants Bank. He was previously a Commercial Banking Team Lead and Business Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo in Rochester and also worked for Eastwood Bank (now part of Bremer Bank) in Stewartville.

“I’m looking forward to serving clients through Merchants community-focused approach. I want to do my part as a community banker to help our local businesses during this time,” said Jones.

Jones is a graduate of Winona State University and Rochester Community College and is an active volunteer in several communities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Stewartville Nursing Home and the Winona Area Industrial Development Association. In addition, he is a volunteer firefighter for the Stewartville Fire Department. He, his wife and two daughters reside in Stewartville. During the winter, he is an avid snowmobiler and enjoys downhill skiing with this family.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to approval.

Steve Christopherson Named Commercial Banking Department Leader for Merchants Bank-Winona and Senior Lending Officer for the Bank’s Winona Region

ChristophersonSteve

Experienced Senior Lender/Commercial Banker, Steve Christopherson has been named Commercial Banking Manager in Winona and Senior Lending Officer for the Winona Region, according to Andrew Guzzo, Winona and Southern Region President. Christopherson will replace current Commercial Banking Manager/Senior Lending Officer, Randy Domeyer, who will be retiring in April.

“We are thrilled to have Steve join our team to provide leadership for our Commercial Banking area and continue the personalized advisor approach we take in caring for our valued business clients,” said Guzzo.

With more than 35 years in commercial banking, Christopherson is a seasoned leader in the financial industry. He was most recently the Market President for Old National Bank in Maple Grove and Waconia and also spent more than 20 years with U.S. Bank in various lending and leadership roles. Christopherson has management experience overseeing business and retail banking operations, credit analysis and credit support and a Small Business Administration (SBA) financing division. His wealth of knowledge in a wide array of commercial banking areas, including ag lending, will help Merchants Bank continue to best serve business clients.

“Being able to make a difference for businesses and knowing I can have an impact on the community as a banker is important to me – and that’s also important to Merchants Bank. I’m looking forward to being part of a community-focused, progressive and financially strong organization,” said Christopherson.

Christopherson attended North Dakota State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. He also holds a Mini-MBA from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He and his wife, Leann, have relocated to the Winona area and are looking forward to becoming involved in the community. They have three grown daughters, two of whom attended college in Winona. His hobbies include pheasant hunting, golfing and snowmobiling.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Banking team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 19 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. As the parent company for Merchants Bank, Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) also owns the First National Bank of Northfield, with two banking offices in Northfield and a loan production office in Bloomington, MN. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2.1 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to approval.

Larry Bodin Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker

Larry Bodin, Commercial Banker

Larry Bodin has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Shawn Sackman, Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer, Merchants Bank-Onalaska.

“Larry has extensive experience in and knowledge of the La Crosse market, which means he understands the opportunities and challenges local businesses are facing. His relationship-first approach combined with his banking background will make him a trusted resource for our customers,” said Sackman.

With more than 30 years of experience in business banking, Bodin is knowledgeable in both commercial lending and business deposit solutions. He was previously a Business Banking Relations Manager and Market President for BMO Harris Bank in La Crosse. Bodin is also a veteran of the United States Navy.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to be part of Merchants Bank, which has such a strong character and reputation in the La Crosse market,” said Bodin. “I believe banking should be all about the customers and that’s Merchants’ philosophy too.”

Bodin currently serves on the Board of Directors for Chileda, Inc., the La Crosse Area Family YMCA and the VARC Foundation. He and his wife, Elaine, are active volunteers in the La Crosse community. His hobbies include fishing, golfing and motorcycling.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 19 bank locations in southeastern Minnesota, two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin and a leasing division, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, in Edina. Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) owns the First National Bank of Northfield, with two banking offices in Northfield and a loan production office in Bloomington, Minn. Headquartered in Winona, MN, MFGI has more than $2 billion in assets. Merchants was founded in 1875.

Get Your Business in Gear for the New Year

HappyNewYear

The new year can mean many things for your business. What will the next 12 months look like? Do you have goals for your business and how you plan to get there? Now is the time to review your past financial performance and make plans for the upcoming year.

With this in mind, we’ve put together five financial New Year’s resolutions to help your business make this one of the best years yet.

1. Review Last Year’s Financial Highlights

How did your business perform this past year? At the most basic level, you should review your business income, expenses, profit and sales.

In addition, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do these numbers compare to last year? Are they better or worse and by how much?
  • Do these numbers align with my business projections for the upcoming year? Why or why not? Are there new income or expenses that should be accounted for?
  • In what area(s) of my business did I see the most growth?
  • What lessons can I learn from last year’s business data?

2. Set New Goals
Goal setting does not have to be complicated, especially now that you’ve taken the time to review key numbers from the past year.

It’s as simple as writing down 2 or 3 things you’d like to see your business achieve this year. It could be a goal to reduce expenses in a certain area, to produce a new product or hire additional expertise.

The most important part about goal setting is to be specific so you can measure your success throughout the year. Attaching time frames, numbers, steps it will take to meet your goal and other details can help you know if you’re on track or not.

Once you’ve established your goals, here’s a fun way to keep them top of mind from the SCORE business blog.*

3. Update Software and Processes

Payroll and other business processes can be affected by the change to a new year. Make sure your systems are up-to-date and ready for the new year. It’s also a great time to review your security protocol and procedures, especially if your business collects personal information from your customers.

4. Check in With Your Business Team
Catch up with your accountant, tax advisor, lawyer and banker at the beginning of the new year. Communication between you and your team of expert advisors can be crucial to your business’s success. After all, they want your business to succeed just as much as you do.

“During this time of the year, I like to check in with my business customers and see how they felt about the past year’s performance and what’s on tap for the upcoming year,” said Mike Swanson, Commercial Banking Officer in Hastings. “For example, what went well for them last year and what didn’t? Are there any new opportunities or internal changes coming? It’s about keeping the lines of communication open, so I can provide the best solutions going forward.”

As you share your upcoming business plans, your team can also provide updates on things that may affect your business. For example, there may be new taxes or loan programs, changes to business laws and much more.

5. Celebrate Small Successes

We’ve saved this resolution for last, but it’s certainly one of the most important – you deserve to celebrate your business’s successes. Being a small business owner can feel like a never-ending job, so take a minute to give yourself (and your team) some kudos. Celebrating small successes are the steps to celebrating larger ones!

Our team of Commercial & Ag Bankers and Treasury Management Specialists are ready to talk about your business plans. Visit our website to meet our local experts.

 

*By clicking above you will be linking to another website not owned or operated by Merchants Bank, NA. Merchants Bank, NA is not responsible for the availability or content of this website and does not represent either the linked website or you, should you enter into a transaction. We encourage you to review their privacy and security policies which may differ from Merchants Bank, NA.

Jerad Brown Promoted To Commercial/Ag Banking Officer

BrownJared

Jerad Brown has been promoted to Commercial/Ag Banking Officer according to Ken Graner, Market President for Merchants Bank in Lanesboro and Rushford.

“Jerad goes above and beyond to build personal relationships with his ag and business customers. It’s important to him to understand the unique aspects of each business or farming operation so he can recommend financing solutions that make sense and help the business reach their goals,” said Graner.

Brown has been in the banking industry since 2015 and began his career as a credit analyst. In 2017, he joined Merchants Bank in Lanesboro and Rushford as a Commercial and Ag Banker. He has a degree in Agricultural Science from South Dakota State University. Brown is a Rushford native and graduated from Rushford-Peterson High School.

“Getting to know my customers and visit their operations is the best part of my job. I like working with my friends and neighbors and knowing that I’m making a positive impact on our local economy,” noted Brown.

Since 2013, Merchants Bank has been a community partner in Rushford and Lanesboro, helping individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals. With an expertise in personal and business deposit account solutions and business and ag financing, Merchants has been fortunate to have a hand in growing the local economy. In addition to traditional banking services, the Bank also offers a full line of business loan, lease and floor plan finance solutions, digital banking, security apps, treasury management tools and wealth management services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations and one loan production office in southeastern Minnesota and two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has more than $2 billion in assets and was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to credit approval.

Randy Bachman Promoted To Consumer & Commercial Banking Officer

BachmanRandy

Randy Bachman has been promoted to Consumer & Commercial Banking Officer at Merchants Bank, according to Twin Cities Regional President Lawrence Stovern.

“Randy is already so familiar with the Cottage Grove business community through his role as Branch Manager and involvement with the local Chamber of Commerce,” said Stovern. “With the addition of commercial banking to his skill set, he’ll be able to help business with all of their financial needs from treasury management to financing.”

Bachman has been in banking for more than 10 years. He began his career at Merchants Bank in 2012 as a Personal Banker. Since then he has been promoted to Personal Banking Manager in 2012 and most recently became a Consumer Banker and Branch Manager in 2016.

“Moving into commercial banking was a natural next step for me since I already work with businesses for their deposit accounts and services. I’m excited to now be able to walk business customers through traditional financing options and help meet specialized needs like floor plan financing and leasing,” said Bachman.

The Merchants Bank Commercial Lending team is comprised of more than 40 local experts, available throughout our regional footprint. In addition to traditional commercial loans, Merchants bankers specialize in ag banking, SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Treasury Management and deposit services.

Merchants Bank is a full service community bank with 21 bank locations and one loan production office in southeastern Minnesota and two bank locations in west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has nearly $2 billion in assets and was founded in 1875.