Neil was born in Texas, the son of a father who worked in the oil and gas industry.  He did not grow up in the United States however.  His family moved a good bit with stints in Libya, Malta, Egypt, Switzerland and Argentina.  During the stay in Argentina in 1971, there were kidnappings of foreign nationals and demands of ransom for hostages.  His father decided not to jeopardize his family and they all moved back to the United States. Neil states emphatically that “The United States is the best country on the planet.”  The family settled in Illinois, but as Neil was ready for college, he chose to attend the University of Colorado, since he had learned to ski as a youth in Switzerland (there was, of course, not a trace of snow in Libya).   That worked out well for him because, though he was “two seconds too slow” for ski racing, he became a ski instructor.  His business card ignores the fact that he garnered an electrical engineering degree from C.U. and classifies him as a ski instructor, alpine level 3, CS2.  Both his daughter and son followed suit as ski instructors, even though his son also works for the Department of Energy as a synthetic fuels specialist.

When Neil worked for Amoco, his specialty was the cathodic protection of pipelines.  Got it?  As their children were growing up, they moved quite a bit also.  There were stints in Alaska, Chicago, Houston, Trinidad and Togbago and Azerbaijan.  Since his family settled here three and half years ago, Neil has enjoyed staying close to his son’s family and watching his 10 year old grandson race around on his new bicycle.

But, then again, he also enjoys his version of Lance Armstrong’s Trek Bike Number 7 that he still rides