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.

Hope to See You at our Holiday Events in December

Save the Date - Holiday Open Houses

Join our staff at these great events. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed. You can also RSVP to the Holiday Open Houses via our Facebook Events page.

Fridays in December Cottage Grove Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and toiletry items for the 10 Days of Giving to support the Friends in Need food shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Rushford Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Rushford
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. We will also be collecting monetary donations and non-perishable food items to support the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/3 – 12/7 Lanesboro Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Lanesboro
Please join us for cookies and refreshments. As part of Christmas in Fillmore County, we will be accepting toy donations in our lobby.
12/7 Hastings Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Hastings
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations to support the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting Hastings Family Service.
12/7 Caledonia Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Caledonia
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/7 Caledonia Winter Wonderland Parade
7 p.m.
Downtown Caledonia
Find yourself surrounded by holiday spirit at the Winter Wonderland Parade in Caledonia. Hot chocolate and cookies with Santa will follow the parade in Gazebo Park.
12/7 St. Charles Holiday Open House
10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in St. Charles
Please join us in our lobby for cookies and refreshments. We will also be accepting donations for the 10 Days of Giving food drive benefiting the Hometown Resource Center.
12/8 Rushford Christmas Wonderland Parade of Lights
7:00 p.m.
Downtown Rushford
Rushford comes alive with the Spirit of the Holidays! Have a night of family fun beginning with the Parade of Lights, followed by a visit with Santa, hot chocolate and cider, cookies, and caroling at the Rushford Fire Hall. Please bring monetary donations for the Semcac Food Shelf.
12/8 Winona Holiday Lighted Parade
5:30 p.m.
6th Street in Goodview
Enjoy the dazzling lights, Santa and Mrs. Claus and refreshments at Merchants Bank in Goodview. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Elks Lodge to greet children. Please bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items for the 10 Days of Giving food drive.
12/14 Eau Claire Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Eau Claire
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.
12/14 Spring Grove Holiday Open House
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. Santa will join us from 12 – 2 p.m. for photos.
12/17 – 12/21 Onalaska Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Onalaska
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Winona Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Winona
Please join us for cookies, refreshments and music in our bank lobby.
12/17 – 12/21 Rochester Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank locations in Rochester
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobbies.
12/19 – 12/24 Red Wing Holiday Open House
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Red Wing
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby. We will also be collecting hats and mittens to donate to those in need in our community.
12/20 Cannon Falls Holiday Open House
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls
Please join us in our lobby for cookies, refreshments and live music. We will have a variety of holiday musical guests including: St. Pauls Lutheran School Choir, Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir, Jane Bracken, Shelly Schroeder and John Anderson.There will be live holiday music in the lobby throughout the day: 11:00 a.m. – St. Paul’s Lutheran School Choir; 1:00 p.m. – Cannon Falls High School Flute Choir; 2:00 p.m. – Holiday music featuring Jane Bracken on piano; 3:00 p.m. – Holiday Music featuring Shelly Schroeder on flute and John Anderson on guitar
12/20 – 12/21 La Crescent Holiday Open House
8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in La Crescent
Please join us for cookies and refreshments in our lobby.

Grandma Helen’s Cut-Out Cookies

Cut out cookies recipe

Cut-out cookies are a favorite at Christmastime. Here’s a recipe you’re sure to love!

Cookies:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups thick sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda (mixed into sour cream)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 cups flour

Mix first 8 ingredients well, then add flour. Roll and cut-out. Bake at 300 degrees. Watch carefully, don’t let the bottoms get brown. When they look a little tan, pull them out of the oven. Makes 6 dozen cookies, depending on size of cut-outs.

 

Frosting:

  • 1 stick of butter (in cereal bowl)
  • Pour milk until halfway up butter (I know, grandmas’ recipe!)
  • Microwave for 2 minutes, stop every 45 seconds to stir. Add:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Blend with mixer. If it is too thick, add milk; if too runny, add powdered sugar. Split into separate bowls to add food coloring as desired.

Ham and Cheese Quiche

Ham & cheese quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup Bisquick
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika

Directions:

Sprinkle ham, cheese, broccoli, onion and green pepper over the bottom of a greased 10-inch quiche pan or glass pie dish. Set aside.

Place Bisquick in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour Bisquick mixture over ingredients in quiche pan. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in center of quiche comes out clean.

 

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

Pumpkin Dip Recipe

Pumpkin dip recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. package cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions:

Mix cream cheese and sugar together and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, cinnamon and ginger. Beat until well combined. Serve with apple slices and ginger snaps.

Cooks note: Recipe can be cut in half by using a 3 oz. package cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 can pumpkin.

Merchants Family Cookbooks are available at all Merchants Bank locations for $15. Proceeds benefit local food shelf programs.

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 Financial Group, Inc Announces Earnings of $13,785,285 through Third Quarter of 2018, Pays 70 Cents Per Share Dividend

Greg Evans, President & CEO

Merchants Financial Group, Inc. (MFGI) announced a net income of $13,785,285 through the first three quarters of 2018 and significantly increased the semiannual dividend paid to Shareholders, according to MFGI President & CEO Gregory M. Evans.

“Our core earnings continue to be strong, which in the end benefits all of our customers, the communities we serve and our Shareholders,” said Evans. “We are proud to be a safe, strong bank with growth that allows us to contribute to the economic vitality of this specific region, where all of our resource deployment is focused.”

Net income is $3.1 million ahead of MFGI’s plan for 2018 and is an increase of $4.94 million compared to last year. Several Merchants Bank locations and the Merchants Bank Equipment Finance and Mortgage Operations divisions exceeded their respective performance forecasts through three quarters.

During its October meeting, the MFGI Board of Directors approved a dividend of 70 cents per share to shareholders, up from 61 cents per share for the first half of the year. The semiannual dividends paid to Merchants’ Shareholders for 2018 is an increase of 18% compared to a year ago.

“As is always the case, our strong performance has been the result of a total team effort. I’m proud of all we’ve accomplished together and am optimistic about our performance for the remainder of the year,” said Evans.

MFGI owns 21 Merchants Bank 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.

Merchants Financial Group is a publicly-traded Company. Ownership is made up of its more than 440 employees and mostly individuals and families from southeastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin.