Jennifer Welch and Dawn Stenberg Named 10 Days of Giving Co-Chairs

 

Jennifer Welch and Dawn Stenberg Named 10 Days of Giving Co-Chairs

Jennifer Welch and Dawn Stenberg have been named co-chairs for Merchants Bank’s 30th 10 Days of Giving food drive, which runs December 1-10. The effort benefits food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services (WVS), which is celebrating its 45th year. To date, more than 3,000,000 pounds of food have been collected.

“Merchants is proud to coordinate this food drive on behalf of Winona Volunteer Services. We are honored to have led these efforts for 29 years and are looking forward to making our 30th anniversary the most successful year yet,” said Andrew Guzzo, Regional President.

Last year’s campaign partnered with many events around the community, including fundraising days at local restaurants and a variety of entertainment events such as the Holiday Lighted Parade, the Holiday Concert for the Hungry and the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train. The campaign raised 207,898 pounds of food for WVS.

“10 Days of Giving brings our generous community together to support a common good. It is an honor to be a co-chair for this worthwhile event and I am so grateful for the incredible team that really makes this campaign happen,” said Welch, a Cash Management expert and the Bank’s Events and Adventures Coordinator, who is serving her fifth year as co-chair.

WVS serves many people in the Winona area. 3,168 unduplicated individuals were served at the food shelf in 2017 and the Emergency Food services helped 1,504 people. Proceeds from 10 Days of Giving also helps WVS run programs such as the Backpack Program – which helped 388 elementary students have healthy snacks during the school year. In 2017 the food shelf distributed 538,081 pounds of food.

“I am truly honored to be a co-chair for this year’s 10 Days of Giving, especially as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the drive,” said Stenberg, a Mortgage Lender, who is serving as co-chair for the first time. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to band together to support our neighbors that need the assistance of WVS.”

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. For questions, please call Welch at 457-1108 or Stenberg at 457-1109. Monetary donations can be made out to 10 Days of Giving and mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, visit the Winona Volunteer Services website: http://www.winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.

The 10 Days of Giving food drive is an annual community collaboration between Merchants Bank and Winona Volunteer Services to make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry each winter. Since 1989, the drive has collected more than 3,253,300 pounds of food and helped thousands of people in Winona County. In addition to the Winona drive, other Merchants Bank locations partner with their respective local food shelf in a similar effort. To learn more about the 10 Days of Giving in your area, visit www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving.

Meet Patti Robertson, Commercial Banker

PattiRobertsonQ&A-Blog

Get to know Patti’s commercial banking philosophy and how she helps businesses in Red Wing, MN.

Share a little about your background and banking career.

Patti: I have been in lending for over 30 years. For the majority of my career, I’ve focused on agricultural and commercial lending in western Wisconsin and now Red Wing, Minnesota and the surrounding area.

What do you like most about your job?

Patti: Every day is different. I get to work with interesting and hard working people. It’s like working a puzzle at times – trying to get all the pieces to fit – working within the banking requirements and meeting my customers’ needs to help them grow their business. I enjoy it.

What kinds of businesses do you typically work with?

Patti: I work mostly with small businesses and farmers. I have seen a dramatic change in agriculture with operations getting larger and involving multiple generations compared to early in my career, when I mainly worked with family sized dairy farms. I now have a variety of farms and farm sizes that I work with. My business customers range from small retail to larger manufacturing businesses and real estate holding companies.

What is something not many businesses know about working with Merchants Bank?

Patti: Not many know about all of the services we can provide as a large regional bank. Our image as a small local community bank can sometimes overshadow the true capacity we have to provide financial services to businesses of any size. In addition, we’re unique because we can offer lease financing and trust services*, as well as cash management solutions and fraud tools often found at larger banks.

How would you describe your partnership with your business customers?

Patti: It’s a two-way street, where financial and industry data is shared. I celebrate their successes and am available to help them with any financial issue. We are a team in their success.

What do you hope your customers say about working with you?

Patti: That I appreciate their time, knowledge and expertise. I hope they feel I am professional and can get the job done for them with a smile.

How important is continuing education to you as a banker?

Patti: Change is all around us and I think it’s important to stay educated about banking and industry changes…anything that might affect my customers. When I’m informed and educated about their industry, I may be able to offer suggestions, help provide a solution to a problem or find a way to improve their bottom line. Understanding the issues they may be facing only improves our conversations and the trust between us.

What does community banking mean to you?

Patti: Investing the Bank’s deposits back into the community through loans to businesses and consumers. It means being a supporter of community institutions and initiatives that try to make the community a better place to live and work.

Merchants Bank doesn’t just talk about supporting the community – they actually do it. I appreciate the support Merchants Bank gives to me so I can participate in community organizations and the financial support it provides to many organizations in our communities.

Loans are subject to approval.

*May or may not be covered by FDIC insurance, depending on service selected.

Merchants Bank Money Ball Will Return for 4 Games in 2018

MoneyballBlog

Merchants Bank’s Money Ball will return in 2018 for four varsity basketball games, according to Gary Johnson of Merchants Bank in Red Wing.

“It’s great fun for the students taking part and for the fans cheering them on,” said Johnson, who is coordinating Money Ball. “We’re also pleased to be able to provide funds to the Red Wing booster club as it supports athletics here in Red Wing.”

This is the third year for Money Ball in Red Wing. Last year students received a total of $215 during Money Ball. Merchants also gave $500 to the Red Wing Booster Club.

Students sign up before halftime of the game, when two contestants are chosen, one from 1st-5th grade and another from 6th-12th grade. Each contestant has a minute to make shots. The 1st-5th grader wins $5 for a made lay-up, $10 for a made free throw, and then if both shots have been made, the student has one chance to win $25 for a made 3-pointer. If a 3-pointer isn’t made, the money rolls over to the next game. The 6th-12th grader wins $10 for a made free throw, $25 for a 3-pointer, and if both shots have been made, the student has one chance to win $100 for a half-court shot. If the half-courter isn’t made, the money rolls over to the next game.

This year, the home games are:

  • Boys’Games:
    • Jan. 26 Rochester Century
    • Feb. 16 Owatonna
  • Girls’Games:
    • Feb.   2 Mankato East
    • Feb. 23 Rochester Mayo

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Hampton, Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Rushford, Lanesboro, and the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities.

No customer relationship is necessary to enter or win. Merchants Bank employees and family members are not eligible to enter or win.

“10 Days of Giving” Food Drive Reports 75,526 Pounds of Food Collected

10daysofgivingblog

Through Tuesday, Merchants Bank’s 29th annual “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive was at 75,526 pounds of food collected to benefit the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services (WVS).

The number of pounds of food collected included $37,214 in cash and 1,108  pounds of food. Included in the amount was a $10,000 anonymous donation. Through the same time last year, 97,036 pounds of food had been collected. Two pounds of food are counted for each dollar collected. WVS Executive Director Sandra Burke pointed out at the food drive’s opening news conference that WVS can purchase $3 to $3.50 of food for each dollar it receives.

“Despite the warm weather early in the drive, people are in the holiday giving mood,” said Jennifer Welch of Merchants Bank, one of this year’s co-chairs. “We are thankful for all of their donations.”

Last year, 206,050 pounds of food was collected. The drive started this year with 3,045,465 pounds collected through its first 28 years. More events are scheduled throughout the week, including the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, which is scheduled to be at the Winona Amtrak Station at 4 p.m. Friday. Merchants Bank will be serving refreshments during the stop. The popular Winter Wonderland Department 56 Snow Village is open to 4-7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 64 E. 4th Street.

“If you haven’t been to the Snow Village, it is one of those displays you don’t want to miss,” Welch said. “The Holiday Train is also great entertainment for the whole family.”

Merchants will be collecting nonperishable food items at its locations as well as at schools and participating businesses around the area. A list of participating schools and businesses is at www.merchantsbank.com/10daysofgiving. Monetary donations can be made out to “10 Days of Giving”and can be mailed to, or dropped off at Merchants Bank, 102 E. 3rd Street, Winona, MN 55987. If you would like to make a donation online, you can go directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website: http://www.winonavs.org. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.

22nd Annual Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights is December 9

Merchants Bank in Rushford is proud to present the 22nd Annual Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights at 7 p.m., December 9.

Merchants Bank is inviting individuals and businesses to be in the parade. If interested, all you need to do is to call (507) 864-7744.

It’s a great night for family fun for area residents. It begins with the Parade of Lights, and is followed by visits with Santa, cookies, hot chocolate and cider at the Rushford Fire Hall.

Monetary donations are encouraged to the SEMCAC food shelf. Donations can be dropped off at the Rushford Fire Hall the night of the parade, or mailed to SEMCAC, P.O. Box 549, Rushford, MN 55971.

Merchants Bank’s Money Ball in Apple Valley is Back for its Fifth Year with 12 Games in 2017-2018

MoneyballBlog

Merchants Bank’s Money Ball is back for its fifth year, with Apple Valley students having the opportunity to participate in the halftime event 12 times during the Apple Valley boys’varsity basketball season, according to Brian Wester, who coordinates Money Ball for Merchants Bank.

Last year, Apple Valley School District students won $2,670, which Merchants matched and gave the Apple Valley Basketball Club another check for $2,670. To date, Merchants has distributed more than $15,000 to the students and the booster club.

“It’s always fun for the students and for the fans,” Wester said. “Plus, we’re happy the booster club can benefit from our efforts.”

Apple Valley School District students can sign up before each game and then two students are chosen at random to participate. Each student gets one minute to make a lay-up, free throw and then a half-court shot. The student wins $10 Chipotle gift card for a made lay-up, a $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card for a made free throw and $100 or more for a made half-court shot. If the half-court shot isn’t made, the money rolls over and is added to the next home game.

The full schedule for the year is as follows:

  • Dec. 5   Robbinsdale Armstrong
  • Dec. 7  Minnehaha Academy – ESPN game
  • Dec. 15   Saint Thomas Academy
  • Jan. 9   Lakeville North
  • Jan. 23  Lakeville South
  • Jan. 26  Farmington
  • Jan. 30 Eagan
  • Feb. 5  Burnsville
  • Feb. 9  Shakopee
  • Feb. 16  Rosemount
  • Feb. 20  Prior Lake
  • March 2  Eastview

Merchants Bank Twin Cities locations include Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Lakeville and Rosemount. In total there are 21 Merchants Bank community banking locations in Southeastern Minnesota and West-Central Wisconsin, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing and Hampton.  Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. Additionally, MFGI also owns Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.

No customer relationship is necessary to enter or win. Merchants Bank employees and family members are not eligible to enter or win.

Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove Launches Ninth “10 Days of Giving”

10daysofgivingblog

Merchants Bank is launching its ninth annual “10 Days of Giving” event in Cottage Grove to help those in need who utilize the Friends in Need Food Shelf. The event runs December 1-10.

Randy Bachman

Randy Bachman, Branch Manager in Cottage Grove

“Our goal as a Bank is to help the Friends in Need Food Shelf meet its goals to help people throughout our area,” said Randy Bachman, Branch Manager of Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove.

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” helped to collect 15,006 items and $381 in cash donations for the Friends in Need Food Shelf. People are asked to bring toiletries and monetary donations to Merchants Bank’s at 8479 East Point Douglas Road S. Checks can be made out to the “10 Days of Giving.”

Donations can also be made at the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stop, near the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau, at 5:15 p.m. December 9.

“We encourage everyone in the area to attend to enjoy the music and drop off items for the Friends in Need Food Shelf,” Bachman said.

Donations can also be made at these participating schools and school district locations: Armstrong Elementary, Cottage Grove Elementary, Cottage Grove Middle School, Crestview Elementary/Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion, District Service Center ISD 833, East Ridge High School, Grey Cloud Elementary, Hillside Elementary, Park High School, Pine Hill Elementary, Pullman Elementary, South Washington Alternative High School and the Transportation Department ISD 833.

This year Merchants will be working with Woodbury schools collecting donations and items for the Christian Covered Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS). It will be the first year for the “10 Days of Giving” in the Woodbury schools.