Hope to See You at these Fall 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


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


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.

Congratulate New and Promoted Staff

New Staff

BromCourtney Courtney Brom, Teller, Winona

Courtney is originally from Winona and is studying math teaching at Winona State University. She has a second job at Prairie Ranch Kennels and previously worked at Menards as a Head Cashier. In her spare time she likes to hang out with friends and family, read, be outdoors, and in the summers she likes to watch her brother race.

Terri Derouin Terri Derouin, Teller, Rochester – Green Meadows

Terri has held several positions with the Rochester Public Schools and currently works at Century High School as a Budget Secretary. Terri is an avid sports fan, loves movies, music, the outdoors (especially the mountains) and summer road trips.

Amy Gross Amy Gross, Teller, Caledonia

Amy is currently a part-time Health Coach and previously worked at Gundersen Care Center as an Activities Aide.

Chris Kreisel Chris Kreisel, Trust Associate/Benefit Plan Specialist, Winona-Downtown

Chris’s experience includes more than seven years working as a Retirement Educator; he helped 401(k) participants and plan sponsors across the country. He has industry certification as a Certified Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) and a Certified Retirement Services Professional (CRSP).

Jessica Norgard Jessica Norgard, Teller, Rushford

Jessica previously worked at S&A Petroleum and JT’s Bar & Grill. She enjoys playing with her son, spending time outside, and cooking.  

Daniel Pohnl Daniel Pohnl, Commercial Banker, Eau Claire

Daniel has been in banking since 2011, working in mortgage loans, as a credit analyst and most recently as a commercial banker, all in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro market. He is an experienced SBA (Small Business Administration) Lender.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he had a double major in Accounting and Finance. He is originally from Rhinelander. Read more about Daniel joining Merchants here.

Arlene Schwerzler Arlene Schwerzler, Mortgage Lender, Red Wing

Arlene is a familiar name and face to the Merchants Bank employees and many customers in Red Wing. As a long-time mortgage lender at Merchants Bank in Winona, she served many customers in Red Wing. Arlene has been in banking for more than 30 years. She started as a Mortgage Lender at Merchants Bank in Winona in 1998 and also spent a short amount of time at Merchants Bank in Rochester. Read more about Arlene’s return to Merchants here.

Lynda Sobotta Lynda Sobotta, Mortgage File Representative, Winona

Lynda is originally from Winona, and has returned with her husband after living in Austin for a while. She spends Friday nights with her granddaughter and has two dogs that keep her company. Lynda previously worked at Winona Health and Riverside Electronics.

Mike Stangl Mike Stangl, Commercial Banker and Mortgage Lender, La Crescent

Mike has been working in the La Crosse market as a mortgage lender since 2012. From 2001 to 2012 he was in the Marshfield, WI, market working in banking in a number of roles, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending. Mike is involved in the community, donating his time to a number of organizations, including the Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Coulee Region Humane Society, and the Hunger Task Force. Read more about Mike joining Merchants here.

Erik Stegemann

Erik Stegemann, Credit Analyst, Merchants Bank Equipment Finance

Erik previously worked as a Ag/Commercial Loan Officer at Citizens Bank in Iowa. Erik is a sport enthusiast and avid Gopher fan. He also enjoys anything about the outdoors such as skiing, boating, volleyball and basketball.

Transfers and Promotions

Carol Bell Carol Bell, Credit Card Specialist, Winona-Downtown

Carol has transferred to the Credit Card department as a Credit Card Specialist. She has been with Merchants since 2002 and was previously a Mortgage Underwriter in Winona.

Mollie Brink, Lending Assistant Team Lead, Winona

Mollie has taken on additional responsibilities moving to Lending Assistant Team Lead. She started with Merchants Bank as a Lending Assistant in 2014 and has shown the leadership and initiative to succeed.  Prior to joining Merchants she  worked at Winona National Bank for 5 years as a Teller and Teller Supervisor. She has a degree from Winona State University in Human Resources.

Marcus Krings Marcus Krings, Credit Card Manager, Winona-Downtown

Marcus has been promoted to Credit Card manager. He has been with Merchants since 2012. He was previously an Electronic Banking Specialist and most recently the Credit  Card Specialist in Winona. Meet Marcus here.

Hope to See You at these Shows & 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. 

2/9-2/11 Rochester Area Builders Home Show at the Mayo Civic Center

Show Hours

Friday, February 9: 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 10: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 11: 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

2/23-2/25 Chippewa Valley Home and Garden Show at the Eau Claire Indoor Sports Center

Show Hours

Friday, February 23: 1:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 24: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 25: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

3/3-3/4 Winona Better Living Show at Winona Senior High School

Show Hours

Saturday, March 3: 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 4: 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

3/10 Lakeville Landscape & Home Show/Consumer Showcase at Lakeville North High School

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

4/19 Community Picnic for the Pets

2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Minnesota State College Southeast – Student Commons

Please join us for food and beverages. There will be no fee to attend, but donations will be collected to support the humane society. Come visit us to say hello!

4/20 Community Banking Month Community Appreciation

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Caledonia

Please join us in our lobby for hamburgers and refreshments, we appreciate your friendship over the years!

4/21 Cottage Grove Spring Business Showcase at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

4/27 Community Banking Month Community Appreciation

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Merchants Bank in Spring Grove

Please join us in our lobby for hamburgers and refreshments, we appreciate your friendship over the years!

4/28 St. Charles Home and Business Expo at St. Charles Elementary School

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Come visit us at our booth to say hello!

Meet Kathy Simon, Credit Card Assistant Merchants



Kathy and her grandchildren

When did you start your banking career?


Kathy: I started as a teller when I was 20 years old. I came to Merchants Bank in 2008 as a File Clerk, and then moved to Loan Servicing and Credit Cards.

What is your top banking tip?

Kathy: I would say check your statements for fraud. We see credit card fraud daily. If you pay attention to your statements, either paper or online, you may be able to catch fraud in time. If you suspect fraud on your account, the window to act is within 60 days from the statement’s cut-off date.

Acting as soon as you suspect something is always best. Or better yet, download our SecurLOCK mobile app on your mobile device to monitor your Merchants Credit Card daily. Many other cards have similar apps; take advantage of them to protect yourself.

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

Kathy: My mom always said, “Put money away for a rainy day!” That’s such a “mom” thing to say, isn’t it? But you what? It was great advice. A little saved goes a long way later.

If you had $1,875,000 what is one fun thing you’d do with the money?

Kathy: I would travel to Europe and give some to family and friends.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Kathy: It’s a toss-up between trees and avocados. If I had to pick, I’d say trees.

Click here to learn more about Credit Cards at Merchants Bank. Credit cards are subject to credit approval.