Michael S. Neal, CCE, CCD, HLM, IOM, is in his 12th year as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, which serves twenty counties in northeast Oklahoma. The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives named the then Tulsa Metro Chamber as the Nation’s Best Chamber for a record three consecutive years of eligibility, being named the National Chamber of the Year in 2010, 2008 and 2005.
Tulsa People named Mike the 2011 Tulsan of the Year for his limitless energy, can-do optimism and tireless efforts toward making Tulsa a better place. They called him Mr. Tulsa. Southern Business and Development in 2011 recognized him as one of the Top 10 Economic Developers in the South. The Southern Economic Development Council named Mike an Honorary Life Member (HLM) in 2012. In 2010 he was named the Chamber Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives. The Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Executives named him their Chamber Executive of the Year in 1998 and 2000.
Prior to coming to Tulsa, Neal spent four years as President and CEO of the Nashville, TN Area Chamber of Commerce and twelve years as President and CEO of his hometown, Monroe, LA Chamber of Commerce. Previously he served as District Office Manager for U.S. Congressman Jerry Huckaby and as a Trust Officer for Central Bank (now Chase) in Monroe, LA.
Under his leadership, the Tulsa Regional Chamber is the only Chamber in America to earn three accreditations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s highest recognition, five-star accreditation, the International Economic Development Council’s prestigious Accredited Economic Development Organization distinction, and the Destination Marketing Association International’s Destination Marketing Accreditation Program. In 2013, the Chamber earned the Oklahoma Quality Foundation Quality Award for Commitment and in 2015 earned the Oklahoma Quality Foundation Award for Excellence based on Malcolm Baldrige criteria. In 2015, the Tulsa Regional Chamber also received the American Society of Association Executives’ Summit Award.
He leads the Chamber’s full-time professional staff of 75 in the areas of regional economic development, convention and visitor development, government affairs, education, workforce development, small business, sports, young professionals, downtown and river development, political action and membership services, while managing a $17.25 million budget. Through 2,400 member organizations, the Chamber represents more than 180,000 regional employees and utilizes 3,500 volunteers to achieve its mission. Mike led the creation of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Coalition and their OneVoice Regional State and Federal legislative agendas that celebrated their tenth anniversary in 2017.
Neal is heavily involved in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and serves on its Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, Accrediting Board of Directors and Transportation Infrastructure & Logistics Committee. He is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management at Southern Methodist University and spent six years on the faculty at six different University Institute locations.
An active member of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), Neal has earned several professional designations, including the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation and the Certified Community Developer (CCD). He received the prestigious Chairman’s Award, the highest national award given by ACCE. Neal was a long-time member of the ACCE Board of Directors and is currently Chairman of the ACCE Benefits Trust Retirement Program, a member of the Metro Cities Council, Economic & Community Development Committee and Past Chairman of the CCE Certification Commission. He is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership and Aspen Institute.
In addition to those, Neal currently serves on the boards of the International Economic Development Council, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals (Salute Committee Chairman and Town Hall Co-Chair), Oklahoma Tomorrow, University of Tulsa Friends of Finance, VisitTulsa (Tulsa Convention & Visitors Bureau), Tulsa Sports Commission, Tulsa’s Future III, TulsaBizPac and OklahomaBizPac. He was Vice President of Programs and Golf Tournament Chairman of the Foundation for Tulsa Public Schools. He previously served on the board of Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Southern Economic Development Council, Oklahoma Conference for Community and Justice and Oklahoma Business & Education Coalition.
Mike chaired the Oklahoma Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team in 2015. Mike was appointed by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to her Oklahoma Task Force on Economic Development in 2010 and Oklahoma Criminal Justice Reform Task Force in 2016. He is a graduate and Life Member of Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Louisiana, serves as a member of the Governor’s International Team, Oklahoma Economic Development Council, Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives, , American Highway Users Alliance, TRUST – Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation, INCOG Transportation Advisory Council and Economic Development District Board, Research Institute for Economic Development and Oklahoma Historical Society.
In 2017 Neal was named to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education in Oklahoma by Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson.
Neal was appointed by then Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. and the Tulsa City Council to the Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force, charged with formalizing plans for river development involved with Vision 2025 Renewal and Vision Tulsa. He was appointed by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum to the Vision Tulsa Advisory Group in 2017.
He serves on the Advisory Council for the Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPros), the Urban League of Metropolitan Tulsa and the Junior League of Tulsa. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Tulsa, The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane Club, Center for Legislative Excellence, Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa Country Club, Patriot Golf Club, Summit Club, Tulsa Press Club, First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, Folds of Honor Foundation, University of Louisiana Monroe Alumni Association, Athletic Scholarship Foundation and Letterman’s Club, Ole Miss Athletics Foundation and University of Kentucky Athletics Foundation. He is a former board member of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited and i2E. Mike was the founder of and charter graduate of Leadership Monroe/Ouachita Parish, and graduate of Leadership Nashville and Leadership Music.
Mike is a 1980 accounting graduate from the University of Louisiana Monroe where he played baseball.
Neal and his wife Jana have two daughters, Cambridge, age 22, a 2017 graduate of Ole Miss, and Caroline, age 19, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky.