Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Chamber Picks Nashville Exec as CEO

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Chamber Picks Nashville Exec as CEO

Article excerpt

A new era opened Tuesday for the Tulsa Metro Chamber as Chairman Steve Turnbo and others introduced new President and Chief Executive Mike Neal to the community.

Even as he joked about trying to find a home over the next 48 hours for his wife Jana and daughters Cambridge and Caroline, Neal told about launching his 100-day plan to learn about the marketplace and its needs.

We've captured the attention of businesses nationwide, Neil said of the Tulsa community. I truly believe Tulsa's on the verge of being discovered.

Following in the footsteps of Clyde Cole, who led the Tulsa chamber for 27 years, and Jay Clemens, who succeeded Cole eight years ago, Neal brings an impressive list of credentials to his new post.

In four years as the president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, he helped the community attract headquarter operations for Nissan North America, Louisiana-Pacific and Caremark Rx. For two years, Nashville has enjoyed the top spot on Expansion Management magazine's list of top cities for business expansions and relocations. Last month Kiplinger's Personal Finance named Nashville the nation's smartest place to live.

The Monroe, La., native serves on three U.S. Chamber of Commerce committees and several more with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, which has honored Neal with its highest award.

Neal, 47, looks forward to opportunities for collaboration with city and state leaders to add prosperity to our business and add variety to the northeast Oklahoma region.

Chamber officials talked about the positive changes that Neal promised to bring in terms of community participation and relations. And they couldn't help drawing comparisons to Mayor Kathy Taylor, who marked her 100th day in office Tuesday.

This is a very exciting time, said Chet Cadieux, the chamber's chairman-elect and chairman and CEO of QuikTrip. We can take advantage of new energy and new leadership to move this community forward.

Ed Keller, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan and the head of the chamber's search efforts, said Tulsa had secured a clear winner in Neal, who in leading the middle Tennessee chamber oversaw growth in a 10-county area with 3,200 businesses. …

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