Meet Lucas Stangl, Lead Electronic Banking Specialist at Merchants Bank

Lucas Stangl, Lead Electronic Banking Specialist

When did you start your banking career?

Lucas: I started at Wells Fargo in 2011 as a Teller and then became a Teller Manager. When I came to Merchants, I knew I wanted to work for a bank I believed in and one that is there for the community. Electronic Banking is a great fit for me because I like helping our customers solve problems. Plus, there’s a lot of variety with my job, which I really enjoy.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Lucas: There are a couple of things that can make using Online Banking easier for our customers.

First, when you’re reviewing your accounts online, make sure check the available balance and not the current balance. The available balance is what you actually have available to spend. Sometimes the difference can be confusing, so make sure you’re looking at the right balance before you make a purchase.

When completing online transfers, review the details of the transfer and click the confirm button. If you don’t click confirm, the transfer won’t go through.

Lucas Stangl, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, with his two children in Disneyland.

Lucas Stangl, Lead Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants, with his two children in Disneyland.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Lucas: Don’t impulse buy. Wait a few days and if you still want that particular item, then go buy it.

If you could ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange with anyone, who would it be and why?

Lucas: My kids. Hazen is twelve and Ada is ten. My wife and I try to teach the importance of experiences and I think that would be a very memorable experience for them.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Lucas: Any golf course. I started golfing when I was five years old and actually worked at a golf course in Pennsylvania for ten years – it was really fun.

You can visit our website for more information about our personal and business online banking.

 

Merchants Homegrown Approach to Leadership Development

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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:

Dan Nistler to Lead Merchants Bank Locations in Rochester

Dan Nistler, Market President

Dan Nistler has been promoted to Market President at Merchants Bank in Rochester, according to Dan Massett, Regional President.

Nistler’s primary responsibilities will be to provide leadership for Merchants Bank’s two Rochester locations, along with meaningful community engagement for the Rochester area. He will also continue serve as a Commercial Banker and trusted financial advisor for business clients. Nistler succeeds John Doyle, who will be retiring as the Rochester Market President for Merchants at the end of 2018. Doyle has led the growth of Merchants in Rochester since Merchants entered the market in 1999.

“Dan is a proven business developer and has over 20 years of community leadership in the market,” said Massett. “He is eager to continue building the Merchants Bank presence in the Rochester area.”

Nistler has been with Merchants since 2013 and has been a banker in the Rochester area since 1999. He is a US Navy veteran, serving on the USS Salt Lake City (SSN-716), and graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance.

“Merchants Bank has an iconic position in the region as a banking leader and I’m grateful for the opportunity to play a leadership role in Rochester,” said Nistler. “The Rochester area has a bright future and I think Merchants is well positioned to play a key role the community’s future growth.”

Dan and his wife, Carole, have lived in Rochester since 1998. Their daughter Natalie is currently attending the University of Minnesota. Nistler is an active Rochester community volunteer. He was previously involved with the Rochester Rotary Risers and Rochester Area Family YMCA and currently volunteers his time for the Gamehaven Council (BSA), St. Francis Catholic Church, Rochester Catholic Schools, KSMQ Public Television and Winona State University-Rochester Advisory Group. He enjoys spending time in his hometown of Ely, MN whenever he can, especially on the lakes of the Boundary Waters.

Since 1999, Merchants Bank has been a community partner in Rochester, with two locations to help individuals and businesses achieve their financial goals. With a focus on mortgage and business financing, Merchants has been fortunate to grow as Rochester has grown. 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, cash management tools and wealth management services.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Rochester, Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Goodview, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Rushford, Lanesboro, Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Hampton as well as Twin Cities locations in Lakeville, Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings and Rosemount. Merchants has Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska. Merchants Bank was founded in 1875. Loans are subject to approval. Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities.

Meet Tammy Johnson, Cash Management Officer

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Get to know Tammy Johnson, our Cash Management Sales Manager and member of our Commercial Banking team. At Merchants, we offer variety of Cash Management services to help businesses improve efficiency, security and more. Our options include tools for collection, distribution, security and management.

When did you start your banking career?
Tammy: I started at Merchants in February of 1999 as a Teller. Ten months later, I started working as a Customer Service Representative. Then, in 2011 I began working full time with our Cash Management Services.

What do you like most about your job?
Tammy: I like the flexibility and the variety. Every business is different and has different needs, therefore every day is different and full of new opportunities. We have a great team of cash management specialists, who continue to learn new things every day in order to best serve our customers.

What is your top cash management tip?
Tammy: Taking advantage of fraud management services, such as Positive Pay and ACH Filters. I cannot stress how important it is to protect what you have. In addition, staying educated on current scams and fraud detection options is key. I also highly recommend businesses monitor their account activity daily. That sounds like a lot of tips, but they all go back to staying on top of your accounts in one way or another so your business doesn’t become a victim of fraud.

What are your tips for wrapping up your fiscal year?
Tammy: As you approach year end, I’d recommend preparing for next year: Have any new situations come up that you need additional support? If you’d like to ad a service or product, will it integrate with your computer system? If you’re looking to update your technology, will your current systems integrate with the new computers? Things like that. As a business owner you know that all aspects of business are connected to each other. It save a lot of headaches later to take the time to analyze the big picture earlier.

What do you hope your customers say about working with you?
Tammy: I hope they would say that they enjoyed working with me and that I’m easy to work with. I hope they feel they have learned a lot from me and benefited from my knowledge and advice, that I’m a part of their team.

Can you help businesses assess which Cash Management services make sense for them? How does this process work?
Tammy: Absolutely! If a business is considering moving to Merchants Bank, we offer to analyze their statements and ask them walk us through their typical daily banking practices. Then, we can offer suggestions and solutions to match their current practices or enhance them.

For our current customers, we keep an open line of communication. Business needs are always evolving and what worked 10 years ago, might not work as well today. We make sure we’re there to help them take the next step, so they have the tools necessary to be successful.

What does community banking mean to you?
Tammy: To me, it’s simple…… it’s about building relationships. It’s customers knowing their banker and bankers knowing their customers and having a banking partner that understands your business.

What are some of the biggest benefits to a business using Cash Management services?
Tammy: Simply put, Cash Management services can create efficiencies for a business. They can help streamline some day-to-day processes. At the end of the day, time is money and most times, money can be saved and security can be enhanced.

Do you have a favorite local business in your area you like to go to? Or what’s your favorite thing about supporting local business?
Tammy: I have a few local businesses I like to go to. Once I’ve worked with a customer and gotten to know them and their business, I want to support them in any way I can to help them be successful. Their success is important for our local economies.

If you are interested in finding out how your business could benefit from Cash Management Services, contact one of our Cash Management Specialists.

 

Some Cash Management Services may have fees that apply.

Dawn Farrell: Celebrating 30+ Years of Service

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Dawn Farrell started working at La Crescent State Bank in 1981. When it was acquired by Merchants Bank in 1990,she stayed to continue serving the La Crescent community. Merchants thanks Dawn for her commitment to excellence over the years. In June, she will begin a new adventure: Retirement.

How did you get started in banking?

Dawn: I’ve lived in La Crescent my entire life, and it was important to me that I stay in La Crescent to work. I applied for a Teller position at La Crescent State Bank in 1979 and actually didn’t get that job. Three years later, the position opened again and the Teller supervisor called to see if I was still interested. Naturally, I was. Eventually I moved to the proof machine to track all of the Bank’s daily transactions, which I discovered I didn’t care for. I much prefer working with people. Then I started in customer service and I knew that was where I was meant to be. When Merchants Bank acquired La Crescent State Bank in 1990 I was very happy to continue in my role.

What has changed in banking since you started your career? What hasn’t?

Dawn: Technology and regulations have changed the most. In the early days, when someone would come in to open an account we wouldn’t even ask for an ID, we’d just take down the information they gave us. Now of course we are more diligent and detail-oriented regarding our customers’ identity.

The only thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to service. We have always cared about our customers and our community. I enjoy getting to know them and hearing their stories. I will greatly miss making those connections.

What is your favorite part about working with your customers and colleagues in the La Crescent community?

Dawn: My favorite part of my job is definitely working with customers and hearing the many stories they have to tell. It’s wonderful to find a strong bond with someone, and I’ve been fortunate to have that with a lot of my customers. I’ve also learned that everyone has their own way they manage their finances that works for them. I’ve enjoyed being able to provide additional insight for them over the years and provide education on tools we have available that may help, but they’ve taught me a lot too.

What will you miss most?

Dawn: I will miss the routine of the work day and the daily contact with people in our wonderful La Crescent community. I will not, however, miss waking up to an alarm clock!

What are some of your favorite memories?

Dawn: I have the fondest memories of the gatherings we organized. The Bank used to put on a senior breakfast with a different theme each year, and now we have great success with the Food Explosion campaign during Applefest. I remember we started that in 2010. I also adore my memories of the social events some of the bank employees would plan for ourselves, including canoe trips, bowling, golfing, hay rides and Christmas parties. We fondly refer to ourselves as “The Old Bank Ladies.” We still get together every Christmas season for a cookie exchange. Of course there are also a few customers that I will never forget.

How will you stay busy?

Dawn: I am looking forward to starting my retirement in the summer. We have 260 acres out in the country, and my husband has big plans for me to clean up our flower and vegetable gardens. We also have two children and five grandchildren. One of the grandsons wants me to play golf with him, so he’ll have to teach me to play golf. In the winter my three grandsons have hockey. My sisters and brother are retired as well and I’m sure I’ll be doing fun things with them. My husband and I will also be taking off to go on trips and doing whatever we want. I guess I’ll be staying busy!

Anything you’d like to add?

Dawn: I will miss my co-workers in La Crescent as well as the wonderful people I have connected with across the other 20 Merchants Bank locations. I’ll have to visit on occasion to say hi and keep up with what is going on in the area. I’d also like to thank the La Crescent community and our customers for their friendship over the years. You’ve all been part of a wonderful career!

Lisa Franxman Named Market President for Merchants Bank in Rosemount

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Respected, relationship-focused area banker Lisa Franxman has joined the team at Merchants Bank as Market President in Rosemount, according to Twin Cities’ Regional President Lawrence Stovern.

“Lisa is well known in the Rosemount and Farmington area as an exceptional banker and someone who is committed to making the area a better place to live,” Stovern said. “We are excited to have her as part of the leadership team here in the Twin Cities as we continue to grow.”

Before joining the team at Merchants, Franxman had been with Anchor Bank since 2000. She was named President of the Farmington location in 2011. In addition to her leadership skills, Franxman is an accomplished commercial and SBA lender, with a background in credit analysis. She is focused on enhancing and building long-term business relationships. In 2015, she received the Exceptional Business Woman award from the Dakota County Tribune.

“As a community banker, Merchants shares my values for making the communities we serve better places to live, work and grow,” Franxman said. “I’m looking forward to sharing my expertise, connections and knowledge in helping the Rosemount bank meet the needs of the area.”

Franxman has a long history of community involvement. She serves on the Executive Board of Hope for Tomorrow, currently leading the Farmington chapter. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she chaired the Women’s Conference committee in 2015 and 2016. She is a member of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Citizen Advisory Council. She served on the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of Farmington and was President of the Club in 2015-2016.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including the southern Twin Cities metropolitan suburbs of Rosemount, Apple Valley, Cottage Grove, Hastings and Lakeville. Other Minnesota locations include 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. Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance is also a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.