Highland News Leader

Wayne Steiner named Highland Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year

Wayne Steiner (left) accepts the Bob Hardy Citizen of the Year award from Rob Bowman (right).
Wayne Steiner (left) accepts the Bob Hardy Citizen of the Year award from Rob Bowman (right). amcdonald@bnd.com

He’s a distinguished banker, a dedicated volunteer, a tireless community leader and promoter, and an agricultural enthusiast. Wayne Steiner is also the Highland Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.

“Steiner is a prominent business leader in our community, and involves himself in many ways, including active participation in the Rotary, the Optimists Club, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the Madison County Fair,” said Rob Bowman, outgoing Highland Chamber of Commerce president, in presenting Steiner with his award. “He’s also involved in Mater Dei High School, St. Paul Parish, Helvetia Township, the University of Illinois Extension Service, and Hard Road Theatre.”

Last month, Steiner received the Volunteer of the Year award from St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“I do this for the people who come after me. I want to leave a legacy,” Steiner said. “We don’t live in the past or the future. We live right here right now, and that’s pretty cool.”

Steiner is the son of Alvin and Jo Ann Steiner of Grantfork. He graduated from Highland High School, then from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After college, Steiner accepted a position with Production Credit Association in Waterloo.

While working in Waterloo, he met his wife, Norma. They married in 1983 and have three children, Dr. Christopher Steiner, Theresa Steiner, and Melissa Steiner Kuhl.

“After several years in production credit, Wayne moved into the banking industry and accepted a position with American Bank, now First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust, in Highland,” Bowman said.

After several years at American Bank, Steiner accepted an opportunity at FCB Bank in Highland, where he now serves as its president.

“Wayne has served several communities as a Rotary president and assistant district governor. He and Norma remain active by hosting Rotary exchange students,” Bowman said. “Wayne supported St. Joseph’s Hospital in many ways over many years.”

Steiner remains an active member of the hospital’s leadership council, and served as its president. He was very active on the committee that was responsible for raising the funds to make it possible to build the new hospital. In addition, he has been the Gala chair for several years.

“As I mentioned, St. Joseph’s Hospital recognized Wayne for his service during this year’s event,” Bowman said. “Wayne served several terms on the Madison County Fair Board as a member, officer, and president.”

Due to funding shortages, Steiner has been instrumental in creating innovative, fundraising projects for the Fair Board, including a chicken and beer dance, the Vintage Days shows, and a tractor raffle.

“Because of his passion for the agriculture industry, Wayne has become very involved in the University of Illinois Extension Service, as well as a member of the Madison County 4-H Foundation,” Bowman said. “For the past two years, he has held a seat on the State of Illinois Extension Service Advisory Committee. As a member of this committee, he and his fellow members traveled to Washington, D.C., this past April to meet with our U.S. congressman and senators in search of their support of our agricultural industry.”

About the Award

The Bob Hardy Citizen of the Year Award is presented to someone who has supported and enhanced the image and civic progress of Highland. The person has contributed substantial personal time, financial support, and/or effort to the community and civic events, thereby leading to a higher standard of living in the Highland area.