Congratulations to West Banker Gabe Olson who was selected for the Business Record’s 19th annual list of Forty Under 40 honorees. These 40 Des Moines area business leaders, who were chosen by past award winners, are under the age of 40 and have demonstrated impressive career achievements and unparalleled community involvement.
Olson joined West Bank as a management trainee after graduating from the University of Iowa with a BBA in finance in May 2005. He spent three years as a credit analyst before becoming a business banker in 2008. He was promoted to Second Vice President of Commercial Banking in January of 2009. In 2012, he joined the Commercial and Industrial Lending Department and was later promoted to First Vice President of Commercial Banking.
Olson was drawn to community banking because of the relationships a banker builds with clients and the community they build together. His honest and genuine personality serves him well in this endeavor. At the age of 34, he is already well-known and respected in the Greater Des Moines community.
Continuing education is important to Olson. He is a 2014 graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. In 2017 he graduated from the Graduate School of Banking (GSB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ranking 21st out of 193 students. In addition to the GSB Diploma, he was part of the first class to earn the Executive Leadership Certificate from the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Additional curriculum and project work was accredited by UW Madison to add this recognition to the program.
Recognizing the importance of a network of leaders who serve and strengthen their community and advocate for the community banking industry, Olson has been actively involved in the Community Bankers of Iowa Leaders of Tomorrow Program (LOT) and currently serves as the LOT chair. In 2016, he received the prestigious Leaders of Tomorrow Up and Coming Banker Award.
Active in the community, Olson currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa, and the West Bancorporation Foundation. He also serves on the Science Center of Iowa’s (SCI) Annual Event Committee. Olson and his wife, Karen co-chaired SCI’s 2016 Annual Event Committee.
Past community board service includes Walnut Creek YMCA from 2014 to 2017 and West Side Kiwanis Club from 2008 to 2010.
Olson is a member of the Rotary Club of Des Moines. He is particularly passionate about those organizations that benefit children and volunteers for Fair Meadows Elementary School, Youth Emergency Services and Shelter (YESS), Orchard Place, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa among other organizations.
At West Bank, in addition to serving on the charitable foundation board, Olson has served for several years on the steering committee for the company’s annual United Way pledge week activities, chairing the effort in 2015.
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