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.

Hope to See You at these Fall Events

Save the Date - Upcoming Events

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. 

9/21 Spring Grove Window Washing
2 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

Get your car windshield washed for FREE! For each windshield washed, Merchants Bank will donate $5 to Raise the Roof, which supports the Houston County Fair youth livestock building project. We hope you can join us! No customer relationship required. Free will donations also accepted.

9/28 Cannon Falls Customer Appreciation
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls

We’ll be serving grilled hot dogs, served with all the fixings, and refreshments in our parking lot. We truly appreciate all of our customers in the community and look forward to seeing you!

11/30 – 12/10 10 Days of Giving
Winona, St. Charles, Cottage Grove, Hastings

Help us ensure no one in our communities go hungry this winter! We are honored to once again coordinate the fundraising efforts to support our local food shelves.

Meet Tammy Johnson, Cash Management Officer

JohnsonTammy.jpg

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.

Hope to See You at these Parades and Events

Events-Blog

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. 

 

5/19 Spring Grove Syttende Mai Parade
12:00 p.m.
Main Street in Spring Grove, MN
Month of June Lanesboro Dairy Days
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Lanesboro
Please join us for treats in our lobby to celebrate Dairy Days.
Month of June Rushford Dairy Days
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Rushford
Please join us for treats in our lobby to celebrate Dairy Days.
Fridays in June Hampton Dairy Days
8:030 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Hampton.
Please join us for treats in our lobby to celebrate Dairy Days.
Last Week of May, First Week of June Caledonia Dairy Days
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Caledonia
Please join us for beef and cheese sticks in our lobby to celebrate Dairy Days.
6/1 Retirement Party for Dawn Farrell in La Crescent
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in La Crescent
Coffee, lemonade and cookies will be served.

Join us as we congratulate Dawn Farrell on her retirement and thank her for her years of service to our customers and the La Crescent community – 27 years with Merchants Bank and 10 years with the former La Crescent State Bank.

6/6 Spring Grove Music in the Park
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Viking Memorial Park
Merchants Bank staff will be serving dinner starting at 6:00 p.m. A BBQ pork sandwich, chips, cookie and a beverage will be $3, or a hot dog, chips, cookie and a beverage will be $2. All proceeds will benefit Music in the Park. Cat & Fiddle will perform at 6:30 p.m. The Spring Grove Syttende Mai Royalty will be serving free ice cream to celebrate June Dairy Days. We hope to see you there!
6/4 – 6/8 Customer Appreciation Open House in Apple Valley
Lobby Hours
Merchants Bank in Apple Valley. Please join us in our lobby for:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for refreshments and coffee
  • Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for pizza from Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom
  • Friday for a reception at 11:45 a.m. celebrating the riders from the 13th annual Christian Elder Memorial Bike Ride. Lunch served 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
6/10 Trinona Triathalon
Lake Park in Winona
6/14 Cannon Falls Chamber Fun Fest
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Mill Street in Cannon Falls
Street fair featuring vendor booths with a variety of merchandise including jewelry, honey, crafts, wine, home-baked goodies, and more, live music, games. clowns, face-painting and concessions. We will have our money machine on hand.
6/16 28th Annual Pancake Breakfast in Winona
7:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Merchants Bank in Winona-Downtown
$5.00 per person • $18.00 per family • Children 5 and under FREE. Open to the public. Parking available in Bank parking lot, located at the corner of Third and Walnut Streets. Enter by driving East on Second Street.
6/17 Winona Steamboat Days Grande Parade
12:01 p.m.
Broadway Street in Winona, MN.
6/26 Caledonia Music in the Park
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant Memorial Park
Merchants Bank will be serving burgers and hot dogs. Trouble Shooter will perform. We hope to see you there!
7/4 Caledonia Eitzen Days Parade
12:00 p.m.
Main Street in Etizen, MN
7/14 Lakeville Pan-O-Prog Grande Parade
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Holyoke Avenue in Lakeville, MN
7/21 Rushford Days Parade
7:00 p.m.
Home Street in Rushford, MN
7/22 Hastings Rivertown Days Parade
12:00 p.m.
Ramsey Street in Hastings, MN
8/5 Lanesboro Buffalo Bills Days Parade
1:30 p.m.
Located in Lanesboro, MN
8/17 Goodview Days Community Appreciation
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Goodview
As a part of the Goodview Days celebration, food and drink will be served.
8/17 Goodview Days Kiddie Parade
10:00 a.m.
5th Street in Goodview, MN
8/17 Goodview Days Grande Parade
1:00 p.m.
6th Street between 38th and 51st Avenue in Goodview, MN
8/24 St. Charles Hot Dog Fundraiser
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in St. Charles
Hot dogs, chips and soda will be served for $3 and you’ll receive a FREE ice cream treat.
8/26 St. Charles Gladiolus Days Parade
1:00 p.m.
7th Street to Whitewater Ave in St. Charles, MN

Area Business Leader John Killen Elected to the Merchants Bank Charter Board of Directors

John Killen, Board of Directors

John Killen, President & CEO of WinCraft, Inc., was elected to the Merchants Bank Charter Board of Directors at its April 17 meeting, according to Scott Biesanz, Chairman of the Charter Board of Directors.

Since graduating from the University of Kansas in 1985, Killen has spent all but four years of his career with WinCraft, an industry leading manufacturer of licensed and promotional products for retailers, professional sports teams, concessionaires, colleges, businesses, distributors and schools. Killen spent four years working for the NBA during its great resurgence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, developing the corporate premium and promotions business as well as promoting the USA Basketball Dream Team.

“WinCraft is a leader in its field in the country,” Biesanz said. “With that leadership position comes insight to how businesses throughout the region and throughout the country view opportunities for growth. John will be able to share that and more, strengthening our board as we continue to grow.”

In addition to leading nearly 700 employees at Winona-based WinCraft, Killen has contributed his talents to a number of organizations over the years. John serves as a board member for The Vernon Company, Newton, IA, and on various advisory boards at Winona State University and Saint Mary’s University. Recently he’s spent time as a member of the National Marketing and Communications Committee for Ducks Unlimited.

“Merchants is a regional banking leader, and I look forward to lending my experience and knowledge to the Board,” Killen said. “It is a privilege to be able to serve with a group with such a broad base of expertise.”

Killen and his wife Wendy live in Winona. They have two sons. John Jr., 23, is a Marketing Manager at WinCraft and Henry, 21, is a Junior at the University of Kansas.

The Merchants Bank Charter Board of Directors is responsible for the fiduciary duty to carry on the business of banking and for providing oversight and strategic direction for Merchants while insuring the safety and soundness of the organization. Without a separate local Community Advisory Board for Winona, Goodview, St. Charles, Eau Claire, and Merchants Bank Equipment Financing, the Bank’s the Charter Board of Directors serves in this capacity as well for those locations.

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, Twin Cities-based Merchants Bank Equipment Finance, a division of Merchants Bank, N.A.