Merchants Bank Hires New Human Resource Leader

Beth Ede, Chief Human Resource Officer

A local Human Resource professional, Beth Ede, has joined Merchants Bank and its Executive Leadership Team as Senior Vice President/Chief Human Resource Officer, according to Greg Evans, President & Chief Executive Officer.

“I’m tremendously excited to have Beth join the Merchants organization,” said Evans. “Her role is critical to our brand promise to be the Bank that Service Built, because our people have the responsibility of making that happen.

“At Merchants, we believe that culture trumps strategy. From the candidates we considered, Beth stood out as a great culture fit. She understands that people are our most important asset, and will help us strengthen our talented team and ensure that the unique culture here continues to thrive.”

Ede has more than 25 years of experience in professional training and Human Resource (HR) management. She was most recently the Human Resources Services Advisor at WA Group (formerly Winona Agency) and has held several senior HR positions. Her background also includes HR consulting, compensation and benefits administration, change management, strategic planning, talent development and recruitment.

“I’ve always been a strong proponent and advocate for company culture. You can talk strategy all day, but it’s the culture that moves things forward – and I can tell that’s true at Merchants,” said Ede. “I have the opportunity to work with amazing, talented people who are so committed to growing the company and serving all stakeholders.”

Ede is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She is a Cochrane native and attended Winona State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. She serves on several local boards, including the Winona Area Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Riverland Energy Cooperative. She is also a volunteer member of the Human Resource Committee for Habitat for Humanity.

Merchants Bank is a full-service community bank with 21 branches in southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin. Headquartered in Winona, MN, the Bank has more than $1.75 billion in assets and was founded in 1875. Member FDIC.

Marcus Krings Promoted To Credit Card Officer

kringsmarcus

Marcus Krings has been promoted to Credit Card Officer at Merchants Bank, according to Sue Hovell, Director of Retail Banking Performance.

“Marcus’s leadership in our credit card area has resulted in several improvements to Merchants’ credit card program and processes over the last year, all while keeping customer program benefits at the forefront,” said Hovell.

Krings oversees Merchants Bank’s credit card department, which includes personal and business credit card programs, card processing solutions for businesses and provides customer service for more than 17,000 credit card customers throughout the Bank’s 21 locations.

Since becoming Credit Card Manager in 2018, Krings has grown the department through rewards points and balance transfer promotions and added a rewards option for customers to pay their card balance with points. He has also ensured Merchants Bank credit cards meet the changing expectations in the payments world by connecting the card program with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and a security alert app called SecurLOCK Equip.

 “Our credit card rate and rewards make us one of the more competitive options in our footprint and I’m excited to share the benefits of responsibly managed credit with new and potential customers,” said Krings. “I also enjoy working with hundreds of commercial customers on card processing solutions, from home-based businesses to large commercial clients. It’s rewarding to customize solutions to fit their needs.”

Krings has been in banking for more than 12 years and with Merchants since 2012. He joined the Credit Card department in 2016. Marcus is from Winona and is a graduate of Winona Senior High School and Winona State University.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, 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. Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities.

Melissa Peterson Joins Merchants Bank as Vice President & Commercial Banker

Melissa Peterson, Commercial Banker

Melissa Peterson has joined Merchants Bank as Vice President/Commercial Banker, according to Larry Accola, Market President for Merchants Bank in Eau Claire.

“Melissa’s unique background in both banking and accounting will provide a beneficial perspective for our business clients,” said Accola. “She’s committed to working with businesses and understands the many unique financial challenges they face.”

Peterson has more than 20 years experience in the financial industry, including 10 years in banking. She was most recently the President for First Security Bank in Detroit Lakes. Peterson is a Certified Public Accountant and also a former Chief Financial Officer.

“My background enables me to bring a lot of value to my business customers and truly be a partner in meeting their financial needs. Part of the reason I chose to join Merchants is their unique community banking philosophy and the importance they place on building relationships with customers,” said Peterson.

Peterson has a Master of Business Administration in Accounting. She and her husband, Paul, and their son will be relocating to the Eau Claire area.

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 SBA loans, floor plan financing and equipment lease financing and ag banking. As a regional banking leader, Merchants can assist businesses of any size with their business financing needs, including Cash Management services.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Wisconsin locations in Eau Claire and Onalaska and Minnesota locations in Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Rochester, 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 Bank was founded in 1875. Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities.

Jordan Frederick Joins Merchants Bank as Commercial & Ag Banker

Jordan Frederick, Commercial & Ag Banker

Jordan Frederick has joined Merchants Bank as a Commercial & Ag Banker, according to Randy Domeyer, Senior Vice President and Commercial Banking Manager for Merchants in Winona.

“Having someone with Jordan’s farming experience will be a huge benefit to our ag customers. He understands farming operations and truly enjoys building personal relationships with his clients,” said Domeyer.

Prior to joining Merchants, Frederick was a Loan Officer at Farmers State Bank in Iowa. He is a Farm Service Agency (FSA) loan expert. In addition, as a former dairy farmer, Frederick understands farming from first-hand experience.

“I’m looking forward to working with farmers and small business owners in the area and learning about their work. Going on site to visit my business customers is one of the best parts of my job,” said Frederick.

Jordan currently volunteers with the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. He and his wife, Caitlin, reside in Winona.

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 Cash Management services.

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, 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 Dave Engstler, Consumer Banker at Merchants Bank

Dave Engstler, Consumer Banker

How long have you been with Merchants?
Dave: More than 15 years. In that time, I’ve always been a Lender with Merchants and always in our Rochester Green Meadows office.

What is your top banking tip?
Dave: Live within your means.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?
Dave: Basically, save first.

If you won the Powerball, what’s the first thing you would do?
Dave: I would make sure my son had enough money for college.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?
Dave: I really like pine trees. In Northern Minnesota, it’s pine trees and water. I love that part of the state…just smell and the fresh air.

Merchants Homegrown Approach to Leadership Development

IBelieveLeadershipSeries-Blog

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.

Shannon Spahr Promoted to Vice President/Controller

SpahrShannon

Shannon Spahr has been promoted to Vice President/Controller at Merchants Bank, according to Sue Savat, Chief Financial Officer.

“Shannon is an extremely hard worker and strives to meet the needs of all our market locations,” Savat said. “Her dedication and knowledge deserve to be recognized.”

Spahr has been with Merchants since 2010. She has held positions in the deposit and mortgage operations departments. She continued to grow her education: she graduated from Winona State University in 2011, from Stetson University in 2012 with a Master of Accountancy and became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in 2015. She has been Controller at Merchants Bank since 2015.

“It is an honor to be recognized for my work,” said Spahr, “and most important to note is the hard work of our incredible team that is committed to providing outstanding service to our customers. It is the employees themselves that are the company’s finest feature, and I am fortunate to be part of this fine team.”

Merchants Bank has 21 locations, including Minnesota locations in Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Goodview, Rochester, 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. All banks are FDIC members and equal housing lenders. Loans are subject to approval. Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, the company’s leasing arm, is based in the Twin Cities.

Marcus Krings Promoted to Credit Card Manager for Merchants Bank

Marcus Krings, Credit Card ManagerMarcus Krings has been promoted to Credit Card Manager, according to Sue Hovell, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Banking Performance for Merchants Bank.

“Marcus is focused on providing the best in customer service to our credit card customers,” Hovell said. “His knowledge will be a benefit to both our retail and business customers.”

Krings has been in banking for more than 11 years, including experience in customer service supervision. He has been with Merchants since 2012, starting in the Electronic Banking area. He joined the Credit Card department in 2016.

“Our credit cards are more than competitive. People will be pleased about how we compare to big bank credit cards and provide that community bank level of service. Plus, we take great care to help protect our customers from fraud,” Krings said.

Krings said Merchants offers a credit card security app, and the department makes it a point to contact people if there is suspected fraud on a credit card. Another area of emphasis is merchant processing, which helps businesses process card transactions.

“I’m looking forward to helping our cardholders,” Krings said. “If anyone has any questions about their credit cards, they should give us a call. We’re here to help.”

Krings is from Winona and is a graduate of Winona Senior High School and Winona State University. He succeeds Deb Kemp, who recently retired.

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. Additionally, MFGI also owns Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.