Neil is the Director of Economic Development & Real Estate for the City of Hamilton, Ontario (population 510,000). Neil joined the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth in 1988 and became Manager of Business Development in 1996. Prior to this position, Neil spent four years with the Ontario Ministry of Industry and Trade where he worked as a Business Consultant in Hamilton, St. Catharines, Toronto and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Neil began his career with the Bank of Montreal.
Neil holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics and undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Urban Geography. In addition, he is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Certified Economic Developer program and received his Ed.D certification in 1991. Neil is a Past President of the Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) and still chairs two national committees. In 2006, he received the Economic Development Association of Canada’s President’s Award for his contribution to the profession and the national association. Then again in 2007, he shared the President’s Award with five other senior Economic Development professionals for the development of EDAC’s comprehensive guide to Economic Development.
In 2000, Neil was seconded by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to lead an expert panel conducting a review of the economic development operations of the City of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. In June 2003, Neil was the first Canadian economic development practitioner to participate as an “Expert Panel” member for the U.S. based International Economic Development Council’s Technical Assistance Program. And in July 2005, Neil participated with the University of Waterloo in a Canadian International Development Agency Project in Dahlian, China.
Neil sits on the boards of several local charitable and not-for-profit organizations.