Meet Chris Thrune, Electronic Banking Specialist at Merchants

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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 Rebekah Hicks, Electronic Banking Specalist

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Rebekah and her daughter, Amelia

Tell us about your banking career.

Rebekah: I started my banking career in 2006 in a large corporate bank. Since then I have a worked in a variety of financial institutions. I chose Merchants as my career home because the size is small enough to provide our customers with hometown service, yet large enough to be competitive in our region.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Rebekah: Whether it is a business or a personal banking product, decide what is important to you as a consumer and find a bank that falls in line with those values. Merchants Bank is the bank that service built. Meaning we are driven by your fellow community members who work and play alongside you. We are your neighbors working for you to better our community.

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

Rebekah: A lesson of financial responsibility that I remember my brother and I learning from our parents was budgeting. They presented this visually by having three separate jars for each of us. One was for spending, one was for saving and the other was for giving.

We set a dollar amount as a goal one summer to work towards with our savings, at the end of the summer we were rewarded for meeting our savings goal with a gaming console. The reward associated with our savings is a life lesson we both carried with us into adulthood and hope to share with our children.

If you could ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange, who would you want to ring it with?

Rebekah: Getting to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange would be a unique and exciting experience I would like to share with my daughter. It sounds like it would make a great stop on a memorable family vacation also allowing for us to get to see all the other sites the city has to offer.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Rebekah: Besides money, my favorite green thing is the next best thing to money – it’s my Merchants Bank Debit Card. I really enjoy the convenience of not having to carry cash for all my purchases.

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

Meet Ashley Wagner, Electronic Banking Specialist at Merchants

How long have you been with Merchants?

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Ashley and her daughter, Everly

Ashley: I’ve been with Merchants Bank for 2 years.  Prior to working at Merchants, I didn’t have any banking experience. Over the past two years, I have really grown into my Electronic Banking position and enjoy what I do.  Technology is always changing and with that, my job is always changing as well.

What is your top electronic banking tip?

Ashley: Let us know when you’ll be traveling, especially if you’re traveling outside the country. That way we can document your trip and offer you advice on your debit card usage while traveling.

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

Ashley: Try to save when you can, but also have a little fun with your money.

If you won the Powerball (currently estimated at $700 million) what’s the first thing you would buy?

Ashley: I would pay off my student loans, buy a new house and take a trip to Bora Bora.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Ashley: Green Haribo gummy bears.

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.

 

 

 

mortgage loansArlene Schwerzler, Mortgage Lender, Rochester-Northwest
Arlene has been with Merchants Bank since 1998 as a Mortgage Lender in Winona. She has recently relocated to Rochester and is looking forward to guiding customers in the area through the mortgage loan process.

 

 

 

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

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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.”

Monika Lovewell to Lead Merchants Bank Trust Department

LovewellMonika

Monika Lovewell, Trust Department Manager/SVP

Monika Lovewell has joined Merchants Bank as a Senior Vice President and will lead Merchants Bank’s Trust Department, according to Greg Evans, President and Chief Banking Officer.

“Monika brings a great deal of integrity and enthusiasm to this position,” Evans said. “I know people will enjoy meeting her, building a relationship with her, and they will find value in the guidance she will provide them.”

Lovewell 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. Lovewell 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.

The Merchants Bank Trust Department helps individuals and families establish comprehensive wealth plans that identify their needs, goals and resources for retirement. Trust services may include portfolio management and estate planning, as well as acting as an agent under power of attorney or as personal representative for estates.

“I’ve spent most of my career helping people attain their goals and avoid unintended consequences from poor estate planning. It’s a valuable service to them and meaningful work for me,” Lovewell said. “I look forward to helping more individuals and families prepare well for their futures.”

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, Rushford, Lanesboro, Caledonia, La Crescent, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls, Red Wing, Hampton, 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. Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.