Neal is President and CEO of the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). He joined MACV in February 2017 and works closely with the Board of Directors, MACV executive leadership, staff, and community stakeholders to establish and oversee the strategic direction of the organizational mission to end Veteran homelessness in Minnesota.
Since assuming leadership, Neal has raised the public profile of MACV and the needs of homeless veterans while strengthening community support. This has led to innovative partnerships with housing developers, corporations, foundations, and media that bring MACV closer to achieving its mission. Most recently, Neal served on the Governor’s Taskforce on Housing to address Minnesota’s housing challenges and provide recommendations.
Neal’s passion for serving Veterans grows out of his personal military service. In 2017, Neal transitioned to MACV from full-time employment with the Minnesota National Guard. Additionally, he continues to serve as the Deputy Adjutant General, holding the rank of Major General, where he is responsible for providing guidance, leadership, support, and oversight on matters pertaining to organizational priorities.
In 1984, Neal began his military career when he enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard as an Ammunition Specialist. He received his commission from Saint Cloud State University, Army Reserve Officers Training Corps in May 1987. He has served in numerous staff positions throughout his career and commanded at all levels of the Division. His deployments include Deputy Director of Operations, Iraq Reconstruction Management Office, United States Mission – Iraq and Chief of Staff, 34th Infantry Division, United States Division-South in Basra, Iraq. His awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and Bronze Star.
He is married to Cecilie Loidolt, an attorney at Arthur Chapman and their son, Sam, is a senior at the University of Minnesota.
1988 Saint Cloud State University, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Saint Cloud, Minnesota
1992 Hamline University School of Law, Juris Doctor, Saint Paul, Minnesota
2004 US Army War College, Senior Service Fellow, Harvard University, National Security Fellowship, Boston, Massachusetts
2012 Syracuse University, National Security Studies Management Course, Syracuse, New York
2012 George C. Marshall Center, Senior Executive Seminar, Countering Violent Extremism, Garmisch, Germany
2013 Harvard University, General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar, Boston, Massachusetts