Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

NewPromotedStaff-Blog

New Staff

BleningerAnnette Annette Bleninger, Cash Management Officer, CTP, Rosemount

Annette has more than 15 years of banking experience in sales, customer service and operations in Cash Management. She has worked with customers of varying sizes to help them determine the products and services that will help them most effectively manage their short term funds. She is looking forward to working with customers and bankers across Merchants Bank’s Twin Cities locations.

BorgenAmanda Amanda Borgen, Teller, Rushford

Amanda previously worked as a Sales Associate/Assistant Manager at Cut Above Home in Rochester. Having grown up on a farm, she and her husband are happy to have recently moved back to the country on their own farm. They have a new puppy named Bear, who can be quite a handful, but a great dog. Amanda loves doing anything creative, from sewing to drawing to DIY’s

KeimMeghan Meghan Keim, Customer Service Representative & Teller, Winona-Lakeside

Meghan previously worked at David’s Bridal and KDLT-TV. She has a communications background and graduated from Minnesota State University Moorehead. Meghan is a bubbly person who loves sports (Minnesota ones!), holidays, chocolate, movies, baking, reading, and talking with people.

KnottKayla Kayla Knott, Teller, Winona-Lakeside

Kayla is from a small town in Minnesota and has four siblings, one of which is her identical twin!  Kayla is a sophomore at Winona State University majoring in Business.  She previously worked at Fergusons Apple Orchard, Schweich’s Hotel Bar & Restaurant, and Hy-Vee.

ThaiAmyNgoc Amy Thai, Teller, Cottage Grove

Amy also currently works at DSW as a part-time Sales Associate and previously worked at Quali-Mac as an Assistant. She is happy to join the Merchants team and looks forward to getting to know our Cottage Grove customers.

Promotions and Transfers

ManorMeghan Meghan Manor, Personal Banker, Winona-Downtown

Megan has been with Merchants since 2016. She was previously a Customer Service Representative in Winona.

Toni Nisbit, Vice President of Mortgage Operations, Winona-Downtown

Toni has been with Merchants Bank since 2001. She was previously the Underwriting Manager/Assistant Mortgage Operations Manager.

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

New Staff

Kayla Beckjorden, Part Time Teller, Rochester – Green Meadows
Kayla previously worked at Kohl’s as a Sales Associate. During the summer she enjoys attending as many car shows as she can and she is also a huge animal lover.

 

 

Claudia Bergaus, Electronic Banking Specialist, Winona – Downtown
Claudia previously worked at HyVee as an Assistant Manager and at Midtown Foods in Customer Service and as a Cashier. 

 

 

 

Sam Bowen, Part Time Teller, Lakeville
Sam attends Lakeville North High School and previously worked at Chart House Restaurant. Sam is extremely excited to be here working at Merchants.

 

 

Jackson Dorma, Part Time Teller, Cottage Grove
Jackson was previously at District 833 Service Center at a Tech Intern and is very excited to join Merchants.

 

 

 

April Duncan, Teller & Vault Attendant, Winona – Lakeside
April previously worked as a Teller at Wells Fargo in La Crosse and as a Customer Service Representative at Directtv/Att in Huntville, AL.

 

 

 

EricsonTaylorTaylor Ericson, Teller, Lakeville
Taylor previously worked at River Valley Church as a Connections Coordinator. Taylor and her husband, Paul have been happily married for almost 4 years. Taylor is a photographer and enjoys being creative in her free time. She loves meeting new people and is excited to join the Merchants team.

 

 

FrankoBenBen Franko, Mortgage Lender, Eau Claire
Ben previously worked at Wells Fargo at a Mortgage Banker. He is actively involved in the community and serves on the Community Table Board of Directors as the Co-President. Ben and his wife have two children. He enjoys the outdoors, fishing and hunting. 

 

 

GernesCalebCaleb Gernes, Trust Assistant, Winona-Downtown
Caleb previously worked at Winona National Bank as a Teller and at Mugby Junction as a Barista. Caleb is currently attending Winona State University majoring in Marketing. He is a ballroom dancer, speaks French and has a pet bearded dragon.

 

 

GuzzoAndrewAndrew Guzzo, Regional President, Winona-Downtown
Andrew has spent the past 11 years in the banking industry, working for American Bank & Trust in the Quad Cities (Iowa/Illinois) area, and most recently leading NXT Bank in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Prior to that, he had more than 15 years of sales and sales management experience for US Foods. Andrew and his wife, Dawn, have four children, two boys and two girls. Learn more about Andrew here.

 

Alyssa Melbostad, Teller, Caledonia
Alyssa previously worked at Winneshiek Medical Center as a Rehabilitation Technician. Alyssa and her husband reside in Spring Grove with their son. She enjoys spending time with her family and getting outside as much as possible.

 

 

Melisa Miklya, Teller, Cottage Grove
Melisa previously worked at Microtel Inn & Suites. She is a single mother of a kind heart, spunky seven-year-old. In her free time, Melisa enjoys spending time with family, playing the piano for her grandma, crocheting and enjoying the fresh air.

 

 

Eryn Orth, Teller & Customer Service Representative, Winona – Goodview
Eryn previously worked at White Rose Bridal as a Bridal Consultant. She grew up on a dairy farm near Lewiston and recently graduated from UW-River Falls with her BS Degree in Agriculture Business. She is excited to be getting married in September.

 

 

MillerGina

Gina Miller, Commercial Banker, Onalaska
Gina previously worked at Wells Fargo Bank as a Business Relationship Manager for 17 years. She was raised in La Crosse, has been married for four years and has a daughter. She is active in the community as a member of the Coulee Region Young Professionals, a member of the Women’s Alliance of La Crosse, and a participant in the Chamber of Commerce’s La Crosse Area Community Leadership Program. In her free time, Gina likes to downhill ski, hike and spend summer days on the river. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

 

ReardonRoseRose Reardon, Teller, Cannon Falls
Rose also currently works at Spartan Nash as a Guest Associate. 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Rodenburg, Teller, Winona – Downtown
Matthew previously worked at Destiny Life Church as an Associate/Youth Pastor and at Tri-County Record as a Journalist/Staff Writer. Matt is a father of four and is originally from Omaha, NE. He loves movies, the 80’s, and the Chicago Bears (which means he is especially fond of 1985).

 

 

ScalzoTonyTony Scalzo, Mortgage Lender, Eau Claire
Tony owns Scalzo Properties, LLC and previously worked at US Bank as a Mortgage Loan Originator and at Johnson Bank as a Mortgage Loan Officer.

 

 

Tammy Strand, Part Time Teller, St. Charles
Tammy previously worked at Mike’s Food Center as a Cashier. She also previously owned her own business, Abby’s Locker Room, which was located in St Charles. Tammy is married and has four children and two cats. Her hobbies include reading, crafting, working in the yard & garden and home renovations.

 

 

Larissa Verbeke, Customer Service Representative & Back Up Teller, Rosemount
Larissa previously worked at Merchants as a Teller. She graduated in May from Winona State University majoring in Finance and Human Resources with a minor in Management and after graduation relocated to Hastings. In her free time she likes to play volleyball, run, hike and be with her family and friends.

 

 

Molli Vodak, Electronic Banking Specialist
Molli previously worked at Benton State Bank as a Consumer Loan Officer and Customer Service Representative. She and her husband recently moved to Winona, so her husband could help his parents with their family business. They are looking forward to their new adventure and they are excited to see what their future holds.

 

 

Rachel Wyttenbach, Administrative Assistant & Customer Service Representative, Onalaska
Rachel previously worked at Citizens State Bank as a Customer Service Representative. She is recently engaged and is planning a June 2018 wedding. Rachel has two fur babies, Leo and Aspen.

 

 

Nou Xiong, Lending Assistant & Customer Service Representative, Apple Valley
Nou previously worked at Wells Fargo as a Loan Processor for 15 years. She is married and has three daughters and one son. As a family, they love to take small walks and she enjoys watching her son fish.

 

Promotions and Transfers

BauerJennaJenna Bauer, Mortgage Lender, Hastings
Jenna has been with Merchants since 2011. She was previously a Customer Service Representative in Hastings.

 

 

 

Alyssa Connolly, Lead Teller, Cottage Grove
Alyssa has been with Merchants since 2015. She was previously a Teller in Cottage Grove. 

 

 

 

Corey Decker, Electronic Banking Specialist, Winona – Downtown
Corey has been with Merchants since 2017. He is also currently the Director of Customer Assistance in Winona. 

 

 

 

Amy Gutierrez, Trust Administrative Specialist, Winona – Downtown
Amy has been with Merchants since 2014. She was previously a Credit Operations Representative and also has a law degree from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL.

 

 

HarrisonAshley copyAshley Harrison, Mortgage Lender, La Crescent
Ashley has been with Merchants Bank since 2011. She was previously a Teller, Marketing Coordinator, Mortgage Purchasing Specialist, Underwriter and most recently a Mortgage Underwriting Specialist.

 

 

WagnerAshleyAshley Wagner, Retail Lending Assistant, Winona – Downtown
Ashley has been with Merchants since 2014. She was previously an Electronic Banking Representative in Winona.

 

 

 

Kally Whalen, Customer Service Representative, St. Charles
Kally has been with Merchants since 2016. She was previously an Electronic Banking Representative in Winona.

 

Tirzah Warren Promoted to Teller Administrator Officer at Merchants Bank

WarrenTirzah

Tirzah Warren, Teller Administrator Officer

Teller Administrator Tirzah Warren has been promoted to a Bank officer, according to Sue Hovell, Merchants Bank’s Director of Retail Banking Performance.

Warren took over Teller Administrator duties last summer and since that time has been supervising the Winona teller team at the Winona downtown, drive-up, Goodview and Lakeside locations.

“The promotion recognizes Tirzah’s contribution to the overall strategies of the Bank and success in leading her team to achieve or exceed key performance measures,” Hovell said.

Warren has been with the Merchants organization since 1999, when she started as a teller in Goodview. She was later promoted to Lead Teller in Goodview and served in that position for 10 years. She moved to the Lakeside location and was Lead Teller there for three years. At the beginning of 2016 she was named Assistant Teller Administrator until her promotion to Teller Administrator. She said she is focused on service.

“I come to work every day with a ‘servant leadership’mentality. I am here to serve my customers, to serve my tellers and to serve the Bank. I have spent all 18 of my years at Merchants in the teller department because I care deeply about how our customers are served and about the tellers,” Warren said. “I am excited about the growth I know this teller department can achieve!”

Meet Chris Thrune, Electronic Banking Specialist at Merchants

thrunechris

Chris and his girlfriend, Larissa

How long have you been with Merchants?

Chris: I originally started at Merchants as a part-time teller with Merchants Bank in 2013. In May of 2016, I switched to the Electronic Banking department!

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Chris: My banking tip would be to not have your computer save passwords and if you do choose to store them somewhere, make sure it is a safe location!

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

Chris: My parents taught me to start saving for the future early, which a few years later I now completely understand.

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

Chris: I would ring the bell with my younger brother Nick, as we are both studying finance. I would like to stay in banking but, he has aspirations to one day be a trader on Wall Street.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Chris: As cliché as it is, the one and only Merchants Bank would be one of my favorite things that is the color green. Merchants has been a great company to work for, I admire the personalized service that Merchants Bank strives to provide to our customers. Anybody who rides in a car with me hates it, because we cannot drive passed a Merchants branch without me pointing it out!

To meet our entire Electronic Banking team, visit our website.

Meet Lucas Stangl, Electronic Banking Representative at Merchants Bank

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

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

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.

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 nine and Ada is six. 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.

For more information on our electronic banking options, visit our website.

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff for September 2016

New Staff

gelharaustinAustin Gelhar, Teller, Apple Valley
Austin has rejoined the Teller team. He previously worked at Merchants Bank for over two years and left late last year to go on a mission trip in Egypt.

hasscarlaCarla Hass, Lending Assistant, Eau Claire
Carla previously worked at Royal Credit Union as a Business Loan Representative and Home Loan Processor. Carla and her husband have five daughters, eight granddaughters and one grandson. Her hobbies include camping, scrapbooking, and sewing.

kenemorecassieCassie Kenmore, Teller/Back-Up Customer Service Representative at Winona-Lakeside
Cassie previously worked at Ground Round as a Bartender/Waitress. She is originally from Moose Lake, MN and moved to Winona to attend Winona State. Cassie loves fall, dogs, and crafty Pinterest projects. In her spare time she takes care of her 4-month-old lab mix puppy.

kindrickcarolCarol Kindrick, Teller, Eau Claire
Carol recently moved to the Eau Claire area. She previously worked at Standard Bank and Trust in Orland Park, IL as a Universal Banker.

kronerkallyKally Kroener, Teller in La Crescent
Kally previously worked at Hiawatha Golf Course as a Server and at Sue Kolve’s Salon as a Receptionist. She enjoys playing volleyball, watching football and traveling.

LovewellMonikaMonika Lovewell, Trust Department Manager in Winona
Monika has considerable experience in the trust field, including nearly 20 years in her own trust and estate planning law firm in Green Bay and northern Wisconsin. She was also a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer for Wells Fargo in California and taught legal studies and estate planning courses for colleges in Wisconsin and New York. Monika earned her law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor.

olsonluanneLuAnne Olson, Personal Banker in Lakeville
LuAnne previously worked at Wells Fargo in Colorado as a Bank Manager and Wells Fargo in Minneapolis as a Branch Manager.

PedersonNickNick Pederson, Commercial Banker, Rochester-Northwest
Nick previously worked at US Bank as a Business Relationship Manager and at Think Bank as a Business Advisor. He is excited to join Merchants Bank because it’s a true community bank with a strong focus on commercial banking.

rolfesmollyMolly Rolfes, Teller in Cannon Falls.
Molly is a junior in high school and has three older brothers. During her free time, she enjoys going to her family’s cabin, reading, and listening to music.

thornmanjenelleJenelle Thorman, Peak Time Teller in Winona
Jenelle currently is an owner of Breezy Point Farm in Winona. She previously worked at Winona Area Public Schools as a substitute teacher and at Fillmore Central High School as an Agriculture Instructor & FFA Advisor.

wegmanrachelRachel Wegman, Teller at our Rochester-Northwest Location
Rachel previously worked at First Day Photo as a Photographer and at Gertens as a Lawn & Garden Associate. She plans to attend RCTC this fall and study for her vet tech degree. She has two kitties, Roxy and Annabelle and enjoys running and training for 5k’s.

Promotions and Transfers

engravamyAmy Engrav, Lead Teller, Winona-Downtown
Amy has been with Merchants Bank since 2014. She started as Float Teller in Winona and was most recently a Teller/Back-Up Customer Service Representative at Winona-Lakeside.

fritznicoleNicole Fritz, CSR and Cash Management Specialist, Rochester-Green Meadows
Nicole has been with Merchants Bank since 2014. She was a Teller at Rochester-Green Meadows.

schatzkristineKristine Schatz, Mortgage/Commercial Lending Assistant, Rochester-Northwest
Kristine has been with Merchants Bank since 2005. She started as a Teller and was most recently a Customer Service Representative.

StenbergDawnDawn Stenberg, Mortgage Lender, Winona
Dawn has been with Merchants Bank since 2012. She was a Mortgage Loan Coordinator and most recently an Underwriter. She also previously worked as a Mortgage Lender for Wells Fargo in Winona and John O Melby Bank in Whitehall, WI.

andersoncarleyCarly Anderson, Customer Service Representative/Back-Up Teller, Rosemount.
Carly has been with Merchants Bank since 2015. She was a Part Time Teller in Apple Valley.

SwansonMikeMike Swanson, Commercial Banker and Cash Management Specialist, Hastings
Mike has been with Merchants Bank since 2012. He was a Personal Banking Officer in Apple Valley and most recently a Consumer Banker/Branch Manager in Lakeville.

weisejessicaJessica Wiese, Lead Teller, Caledonia
Jessica has been with Merchants Bank since 2013. She was a Teller in La Crescent.

 

 

LuAnne Olson Joins Merchants Bank as a Personal Banker

olsonluannecrop

LuAnne Olson has joined Merchants Bank in Lakeville as an Assistant Vice President and Personal Banker, according to Dan Vlasak, President of Merchants Bank in Lakeville.

“LuAnne’s knowledge and experience allow her to understand and meet the needs of our customers. I know they will find her friendly, approachable and focused on their needs,” Vlasak said. “We are very happy to have her as part of our team.”

Olson has more than 30 years of banking experience, including time as a Store Manager for Wells Fargo and as a Branch Manager for Associated Bank. At Merchants Bank, she will help customers with their personal banking needs, including consumer loans.

“What I like the most about banking is the personal interaction with customers and the opportunity to help them meet their goals. It is what community banking is all about, and that is what brought me to Merchants Bank,”Olson said. “It is an exceptional organization and well-respected in the industry.”