Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
A lifelong Welland resident who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty and has significantly added to the fabric of the Niagara community is the recipient of this year's Brock Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.
Rob Neill graduated from Brock University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, then later acquired his designation as a chartered accountant. He and his partners successfully manage the largest accounting firm based in the Niagara region, Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP.
"I am truly honoured to be selected for this recognition," said Neill. "It is gratifying to know that you do not have to leave home to make a difference."
"This prestigious award recognizes a graduate who has earned prominence as a result of their exceptional professional achievements and community service," said Mamdouh Abdel Maksoud, President of the Brock University Alumni Association. "Rob Neill is respected professionally and brings credibility, initiative and commitment to whatever he gets involved with in the community. He has a tremendous energy for life and is a true positive force in his community."
Neill has earned prominence as a result of his professional achievements and service to his community. He has been an outstanding contributor to his profession at the provincial and national levels. He was recently appointed Chair of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants for 2002-03, an organization he has worked with for at least 17 years. In addition, Neill works on a national task force that provides leadership on critical issues within the C.A. profession.
He has a longstanding reputation as a community builder whose vision is committed to several outstanding organizations. For 20 years, he has volunteered for Community Legal Services of South Niagara and has served as past president of the Welland Chamber of Commerce. His repertoire includes terms as Director of both the Welland YMCA and the Niagara Community Foundation. He served as Campaign Chair of the United Way of South Niagara, and served as Chair of the Welland Hospital Foundation's $5.7-million capital campaign. Neill also chaired Niagara's bid for the 2001 Canada Summer Games.
In 1989, Neill received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club for his outstanding contribution. He was recognized with the 1995 Community Service Award from the Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce for making a difference.
Neill is a well-known supporter of Brock. His active service to the University includes being a member of the campaign cabinet for "Good Better Brock! The Campaign for Brock University," participating in the campaign fundraiser for the Living Legacy Scholarship, and sitting on the Board of Trustees for six years. Neill's dedication toward improving Brock's facilities is entrenched in his belief that Brock is "a well-run organization that uses resources to the maximum benefit of its students." Neill has invested his talents into the Niagara community which he feels is a "better place to live because of Brock."