President and CEO, McCann Midwest in Birmingham. Neel joined McCann Erickson Detroit in 2000 as executive vice president and managing director and was later named president and CEO of McCann Worldgroup Detroit (now known as McCann Midwest). In 2007, he was also named CEO of the combined McCann Erickson Detroit and Los Angeles offices. Neel also serves as the global CEO of McCann’s General Motors account, one of the largest and most complex in the company. McCann Midwest has about 400 employees and includes McCann Erickson advertising, Momentum experiential marketing, MRM Worldwide digital, and Weber Shandwick public relations. Because GM moved much of its digital work to MRM Worldwide in 2009, McCann Midwest hired an additional 150 employees in late 2009 and plans the same for 2010. Prior to joining McCann in 1998, Neel was the founder and managing director of IPG’s German-based Brand Communications Group, GmbH, a strategic consulting company that developed branding strategies for companies, including General Motors Europe. Additionally, he managed McCann Erickson’s Zurich office. Prior to his international assignments, Neel worked at various advertising and marketing communications agencies in the United States, managing accounts in such categories as automotive, financial services, retail, grocery, travel, package goods, and motion pictures. McCann Midwest’s diverse local, regional, national, and global clients include Travel Michigan (Pure Michigan), Aldi, Honeywell Consumer Products, Delphi, Karmanos Cancer Institute, GM, Saab Automobiles U.S., Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Nestle Foods, and Northrop Grumman. Neel is a member of the McCann Worldgroup executive board of directors. He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from the University of Utah.

WHERE BORN: “Salt Lake City, Utah.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My three boys because they remind me how much potential there is in life and the importance of enjoying every moment, which helps me in business.”

LAST BOOK READ: “Pretty much anything I have on my iPad. I just read War by Sebastian Junger; it’s about war in Afghanistan.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Unflappable, refuse to lose.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “The advertising business is always full of challenges and the nature of those challenges change every decade. The opportunities for success are always linked to creating big, creative ideas for our clients.”


FAVORITE PLACE: “Napa Valley, California.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Watching my sons play sports and golfing on my own.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I began my career on the radio as a country deejay named Neel Chase.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As being a pretty good ad man and a great dad.”