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Written by Jim Banko, U.S. Steinholding Founder

About Our Team

The U.S. Steinholding Association started in 2015 with one man's love for the sport of Steinholding and the idea to build a central informational source for athletes everywhere to discover the sport. Since then, our team has grown and spread across the country as we've continued to expand our capabilities and services! We work with other members of the Steinholding community across the country; meet our core team here!

The Boss Man

Jim Banko

Commissioner and Founder

After training and competing at a high level from 2011 - 2015, Jim won the 2015 Hofbräu National Masskrugstemmen Championship, setting a new national record at the time. During his years of competitive involvement with the sport, he had seen the need for an organization to bring the Steinholding community together by connecting athletes with events and helping more people learn about the sport. He decided that his experience put him in a great position to meet this need, so he launched the U.S. Steinholding Association in late 2015 with the help of USSA tech expert Jason Logsdon. Jim also serves as a member of the USSA Executive Rules Committee and has been a Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen Championship Judge from 2016 - present.

Jason Logsdon

Jason "Loggy-Dog" Logsdon

Information Technology

Although he isn't a seasoned Steinholder himself, Jason was an early supporter of Steinholding, boisterously cheering on competitors at many events and working with Jim to provide the technical knowledge needed to run ussteinholding.com, the foundation of the U.S. Steinholding Association's online presence. When he isn't answering annoying questions from Jim about the website, Jason is an accomplished food blogger, modernist cooking author, and founder of AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com.

Jeff and Lenny Coyne 'Always carry, never hold.'

Jeff "Judgy" Kurzweil

Executive Judging Committee Member

Lenny Coyne, the late, great Godfather of Masskrugstemmen in America, once met a young man with potential, plucked him from obscurity and taught him the ways of Steinholding. That young man was Jeff Kurzweil, who has become one of the nation's foremost experts on Steinholding and has been on the big stage judging the Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen Championship finals since 2011. His stern but fair demeanor as a judge has made him a valuable mainstay of Steinholding judging at high level events throughout the Northeast. From the times they had crossed paths previously, it was clear to Jim that Jeff would be an absolutely necessary addition to the U.S. Steinholding Association team, and their shared love of the technical components of Steinholding and German delicacies have made for a lasting connection. Jeff serves as a member of the USSA Executive Rules Committee and has been a Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen Championship Judge from 2011 - present.

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JJ Beal

Business Development

With his background as a college athlete and his training in business administration, JJ has been an invaluable asset to U.S. Steinholding. Seeing the potential of the sport from a business perspective along with the value it can bring to venues that host competitions, he has been instrumental in assisting in the recent growth and development of the organization. He has used his skills to connect with bars and breweries across the Northeast to bring the sport to new venues in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and support the mission and growth of the U.S. Steinholding Association.


Josh "The Baker" Banko

Eastern Region Operations

As the newest member of U.S. Steinholding, Josh stepped in as a trainee judge and competition organizer during the 2019 season, becoming involved in USSA's activities in both the Hofbräu Masskrugstemmen Championship program and the Pennsylvania State Championship series. His support quickly became indispensable during a time of rapid growth and expansion for U.S. Steinholding and he continues to grow his skills and Steinholding acumen as an eastern region USSA representative.


Giselle Aerni, MD

Chief Creative Consultant and Medical Advisor

In her many roles as a sports medicine physician, Giselle has worked with athletes at all levels, from weekend warriors to Division I college and professional athletes alike. Her expertise has been put to use in developing Steinholding training programs and, with her unique perspective, she has contributed greatly to the growth of U.S. Steinholding over its entire history. She is also the founder and host of the awesome Madam Athlete podcast, which focuses on the careers of women working in sports and their impact on the field.

Jim banko national steinholding champion Jim Banko is the founder of the U.S. Steinholding Association. He is the 2015 Hofbrau Masskrugstemmen National Champion and previous United States record holder for Steinholding with an official time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds.

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