BHS Alumni Association honoring Banig

The Bellaire High School Alumni Association will hold its 109th annual banquet on Saturday, May 17 at the White Palace, Wheeling Park. Social hours begins at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner buffet starting at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $2 per ticket.

Reservations may be made by mailing checks to the Bellaire High School Alumni Association, PO Box 307, Bellaire, OH 43906. For more information please contact Stephanie Mendelson at 740-676-3216.

At the annual banquet, as has been the practice for 61 years, the BHS Alumni Association will recognize one graduate as being the outstanding alumnus of the year. A committee of the association reviews and considers the professional and/or personal accomplishments, service and contributions of various candidates to select one who exemplifies the true meaning and value of being educated at and graduating from Bellaire High School.

The Bellaire High School Alumni Association Outstanding Alumnus for 2014 is F. William Banig, Class of 1971. Banig is being recognized for his work in the field of governmental affairs.

Bill was born and raised in Bellaire in the heart of the Ohio River Valley. He began his education at Rose Hill Elementary in Miss DiNardo’s kindergarten class where he made many lifelong friends. He continued to Central for grades 7 & 8 and was in the last class to attend Central School. Bill is a member of the BHS Class of 1971 where he played football and ran track for 4 years. He served as President of the Beta Hi-Y and Secretary of the Alpha Hi-Y, was a member of the Pep Club and took part in the Senior Class Play and Class Tournaments.

Bill attended Kent State University where his received a Bachelor of Business Administration (Industrial Relations) in 1975. After graduating from Kent, Bill returned to Bellaire where he was employed as an underground coal miner for the North American Coal Company Quarto #4 mine. While working at Quarto #4, Bill worked as a roof bolter and a longwall helper. He is a member of the UMWA Local Union 1785.

In 1978, Bill went to work for the International Union of the United Mine Workers of American in Washington, D.C. In his 36 years as a member of the UMWA staff, Bill has held a number of different staff positions in the UMWA’s legislative and political departments. Additionally, during his tenure he has served the UMWA as the administrator of the President’s office and as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer. In 1999, Bill was named the Director of Governmental Affairs. In this capacity, Bill oversees the UMWA’s legislative and political agenda on the International Federal and state levels.

Bill is a registered lobbyist with the United States Congress and is a registered NGO (Non-governmental Organization) with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control. As an NGO, Bill has participated on the UNFCCC since Berlin COP1 in 1995 to December 2013 COP 19 meeting in Warsaw, Poland. His work as an NGO has taken him to every continent except Antarctica.

In Washington, Bill has led the UMWA’s legislative efforts on issues ranging from the environment, health care; mine safety to labor rights. Bill is also a member of the Executive Board of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department. Of all the issues in Washington, DC and around the world, he is most proud of his involvement in passing legislation in Congress protecting the health care of over 100,000 retired coal miners and their families, some who live in Bellaire and the Ohio Valley.

Bill serves as the vice president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades department, a board member for Unions for Jobs and Environmental Progress (UJEP) and NGO United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Bill is married to his high school sweetheart, Carla Williams, the president on the Class of 1972.

The couple resides in Gaithersburg, MD and has two children Adam Banig and Aubrey Banig Ciatto. Two granddaughters complete the family. Through it all, Bill has always remained loyal to his Bellaire roots of hard work and loyalty instilled to him by his parents as a young man.

Bill is the son of the late Richard A. Sr. and Doris Harper Banig, both members of the BHS Class of 1942.

A motto that he has always followed during his career is from an old labor song, “To know where you are going, you have to know where you came from.” Bill came from Bellaire.