Brandon Neal has been supporting CIS-Charlotte in multiple ways over the last several years, through volunteering his time as a mentor and social capital investor, as well as through his financial support as a donor and a recent party host for our Lowcountry event.
In August, Brandon participated in the “Difference Makers” trip to Washington, D.C., where he met Dominick McPhail, a CIS senior at Phillip O. Berry Academy. The two hit it off and have stayed in touch. In addition, Brandon participated in the “Men for Meck” mentoring program two years ago, led by CIS at West Charlotte High School.
Brandon admits he has a special connection to CIS because his mother, Karen Neal, has been a CIS Site Coordinator at Bruns Avenue Elementary for more than 8 years. Brandon also shared, however, that CIS’s recent initiatives around social capital and developing talented student leaders has motivated him to get even more involved.
“I’m very passionate about ensuring that potential young leaders that may not have the same resources as others still have opportunities to achieve,” said Brandon. “I am a product of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the great beneficiary of amazing teachers, community leaders and business leaders who took a vested interest in me and provided mentorship, even in high school.”
“No one makes it all on their own and we can all attribute our success to someone who went out of their way to help us or believed in us when we didn’t even appreciate our own potential,” Brandon added. “Given this, it is never a question for me as to whether or not I should pay it forward. And dedicating time to help develop our next generation only serves to make our community and city a better place to live, work and thrive.”
Brandon said he also finds that his interactions with students are rewarding in unexpected ways. “I go in thinking that I will be the one sharing insight and providing all of the knowledge, but I always come away having learned something and feeling that the next generation has incredible potential,” he said. “It’s rewarding to know that the reality of the student leaders we have in CMS schools today far exceeds the narrative that often permeates our discussions on the status of our schools.”
Brandon is SVP and Chief Legal Officer with Novant Health. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University Law School, he and his wife, Kerbie, are both from Charlotte and were high school sweethearts at Independence High School. They have two children, Kennedy and Caleb.