'An Evening With the Banach Brothers'

Charlene Trotter: 'You will hear Steve talk about optimism and Lou about our responsibility to guide the next generation'

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  • Steve and Lou Banach (Photo provided)

  • Lou Banach at the 1984 Olympics (Photo provided)

  • Sign at the entrance to Port Jervis pays tribute to the Banach Olympians (Photo provided)

— From childhood, each Banach brother protected the other, holding on tight and never letting go.

It seems natural that these boys from Port Jervis excelled in a physically, psychologically, and mentally intimate sport where the goal is to hold on tight during the chaos.

Lou Banach won a gold medal in wrestling in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His twin brother, Ed, also won a gold medal in wrestling in the same Olympics. Their older brother, Steve, is a former University of Iowa wrestler who qualified for the 1984 Final Olympic Trials.

The journey of Steve and Lou Banach from family tragedy to the heights of the wrestling world was just the beginning.

"They have served our country with honor, dignity and selflessness," Charlene Trotter, executive director of the Tristate Chamber of Commerce, which is hosting the brothers at its spring banquet. "Throughout their lives in service and business, they have leveraged strength gained from each other, from within, from family, from communities and from God to become global leaders and mentors."

The 27th annual spring banquet, "An Evening with the Banach Brothers," will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, at the Erie Trackside Manor in Port Jervis.

"You will hear Steve talk about optimism and Lou about our responsibility to guide the next generation," said Trotter.

The brothers will welcome guests during the cocktail hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and after the main event, providing guests the opportunity to talk with them and purchase their book "Uncommon Bonds," about the experiences of the three brothers. That they "could achieve so much, not just for themselves, but also for their country, is amazing," said Admiral William McRaven (Retired). "The idea that they achieved these things from such turbulent beginnings exemplifies that the American Dream is available to us all. The example set by these men and their parents is pure Americana. It would seem like a fable if it were not for the fact that it all really happened."

Colonel (Retired) Steve Banach

“In Pursuit of Optimism”
Decorated Combat Veteran, Transformational Leader, Public Speaker, Published Author and Change Management Executive Consultant.
Steve Banach has over 30 years of leadership and strategy development experience. He served with distinction in the United States Army from 1983 to 2010. Since then, he has provided executive consulting services to a diverse range of clients at a number of prestigious institutions. In his consulting services, Steve designs strategies for clients and counsels decision-makers on executive leadership development and change management. His recent speaking engagements include programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, the Fletcher School and Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, Wheaton College, the University of Iowa, the McCormick Foundation, the Greenleaf Global Servant Leadership Convention, the West Point Military Academy Systems Engineering Department, the United States Special Operations Command - Joint Special Operations University (JSOU); and the Canadian Forces College. He was also an invited guest speaker at the 2016 Virginia State Legislative Leader’s Summit.
Colonel (Retired) Banach, is a Distinguished Member of the 75 Ranger Regiment and served in that organization for nine years, culminating with command of the 3 Ranger Battalion from 2001-2003. He led U.S. Army Rangers during a historic night combat parachute assault into Afghanistan on Oct. 19, 2001, as the “spearhead” for the Global War on Terror for the United States of America. Steve subsequently led U.S. Army Rangers in a second combat parachute assault into Al Anbar Province in western Iraq in 2003. He also served as a Stryker Brigade Commander from 2005 to 2007 and created the Company Intelligence Support Team (COIST) concept for the U.S. Army. He demonstrated impeccable leadership during his 27 years in the U.S. Army - a period of service that included deployments to six combat zones. He earned a Bronze Star Medal for valor in combat and a Bronze Star Medal for service to the nation. He also earned two Bronze Combat Jumps Stars.
He was an Army War College Fellow and served as the equivalent of Dean at the U.S. Army’s prestigious School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS). While at SAMS he led the development of the Army Design Methodology doctrine which is a new innovative strategy development model. He earned a Master’s Degree from the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College and currently serves as a member of the U.S. Army Military Academy’s Department of Systems Engineering Board of Advisors at West Point. He also holds a certificate in Leadership in Crisis: Preparation and Performance from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. He is a former University of Iowa wrestler who qualified for the 1984 Final Olympic Trials.

Lou Banach

“Things That Matter Most: Guiding This Generation”
Servant Leader, Change Agent, Published Author, Professional Speaker, Banking Executive, and Olympic Gold Medalist for Freestyle Wrestling in 1984.
An Olympic Gold Medalist for Freestyle Wrestling in 1984, Lou was selected by his peers as a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He is a published author of two books (The New Breed: Living Iowa Wrestling and Uncommon Bonds: A Journey in Optimism), and 50 plus articles. While he has been called upon as a motivational speaker for prospecting for new business, relationship building and developing a sales culture, Lou is equally skilled in speaking about capital markets, financial analysis, and value creation.
He is a Certified Merger and Acquisition Analyst (CMAA), holds a bachelor’s degree in Management and Communications from the University of Iowa and earned his MBA in Finance/Accounting with honors from Penn State University. In 2010 he joined Associated Bank (based in Green Bay) as group senior vice president of commercial banking for southeast Wisconsin, dealing with businesses in the $10 million to $100 million annual sales range. Today, he manages two specialized banking teams across numerous Midwest states.
His military service includes First Lieutenant in the United States Army, Retired; commissioned second lieutenant, regular army (1983), and served three years active duty (West Point) AG Corp, US Army.
Lou’s dedication to his community extends beyond his banking expertise. He serves on the Advisory Board of Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer Fund (MACC Fund). Past board positions include the Autism Society of Southeast Wisconsin, Three Harbors Boy Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and Economics Wisconsin.

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