Brigadier General (Retired)
Bachelor of Science degree in liberal arts
Brigadier General Neff, U.S. Army Reserve/National Guard (USARNG) (Ret.), enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in May 1960, at the age of 18. Soon after, he also set off on a banking career. Over the next years, he became highly successful, both as a guardsman and as a banker.
Mr. Neff's education included the Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. In 1987, he graduated from Excelsior (then Regents) College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts. Soon after, he graduated from the National Commercial Lending Graduate School.
At the time of his retirement from the Guard in June 1999, Mr. Neff was the Deputy Commanding General, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Orlando, Florida. His decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, The Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Army Achievement Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster). A member of the Florida National Guard Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame, he was awarded the Florida Cross twice (1997 and 1999), the highest award given to a member of the Florida Army National Guard for outstanding service to the citizens of the State of Florida.
A banker for 45 years, Mr. Neff served as chairman of M & I Bank, West Coast Florida Region. He was named the Florida Bankers Association Banker of the Year in 2004. In addition to his banking and military career experiences, he has been a board member of the South Florida Museum as well as the United Way and the Economic Development Council of Manatee County, and chair of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Neff is past Vice Chair of Blake Medical Center, Chair Emeritus of the Manatee Rural Health Clinic Foundation, and past President of the Military Officers Association – Bradenton Chapter. He currently serves as the community representative for the Kiwanis Foundation, Bradenton, Florida and as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Excelsior College. He also chaired the Excelsior College 40th Anniversary Committee.