NEO announces Joe and Dee Ann Neill as 2013 Outstanding Alumni

NEO announces Joe and Dee Ann Neill as 2013 Outstanding Alumni


NEO announces Joe and Dee Ann Neill as 2013 Outstanding Alumni

Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO) announced Joe and Dee Ann Neill as 2013 Outstanding Alumni.

The couple will represent the School of Human Environmental Sciences and will be honored during NEO’s homecoming festivities on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. This year’s homecoming theme is “Fear the Norsemen.”

“Joe and Dee Ann Neill have long been successful business owners, and we are honored to recognize their distinguished careers,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “Outside of the cattle business or real estate, the couple is also well known for their volunteer efforts throughout northeast Okla.”

Joe graduated from NEO in 1969 and Dee Ann followed suit in 1972. The couple’s daughter and son-in-law, Doug and Jodee Whitworth also attended NEO. The Neills credit NEO’s academic program and personal attention they received at NEO for giving them the foundation for a successful career in all phases of their business and personal lives.

For 35 years, the Neill’s primary business was cattle. The couple owned Neill Cattle Company, a 14,000 head custom cattle feed lot in Welch, as well as the Bar N Ranch, a large stocker operation. In addition, they also owned Joe Neill Trucking Inc., and Neill Ranch Supply. The couple worked side by side, with Joe running the operation and Dee Ann serving as comptroller.

During the feedlot years the couple were presented with the Oklahoma Environmental Stewardship Award, National Cattleman’s Beef Association Region 4 Environmental Stewardship Award, and the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Award for work in keeping and making better the environment surrounding the feedlot and ranch operations.

One of their biggest enjoyments in the cattle industry was hosting numerous field trips for the NEO agriculture department.

From 1982-1997, the couple was also a large shareholder in Welch State Bank. While residing and operating their cattle businesses in Welch, they also owned and operated Joe Neill Real Estate. Joe has been a licensed Oklahoma Real Estate broker for the past 37 years. When health and industry changes made staying in the cattle business impractical the couple moved to Grand Lake and Joe became involved in the real estate business fulltime and has achieved sales awards including Platinum with RE/MAX Grand Lake.

In 2004, Joe wrote a book about his business and life experiences entitled “Down a Bumpy Road, but Not Alone.” Brighter Outlook Publishing released the book with all sales proceeds donated to Maranatha Bible Camp.

Joe has been a member of the INTEGRIS Grove Hospital Governing Board and Finance Committee Member since 2004. He is also a former member of the Baptist Regional Health Center Board of Directors in Miami. For nearly 20 years he has served as the Finance Director of the Maranatha Bible Camp and Retreat Center in Everton, Mo. Joe also is a past president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and served on the board of directors of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Joe serves the real estate industry by being R-PAC chairman and member of the multi-list committee of the Northeast Board of Realtors.

Today Dee Ann manages the home finances and spends time with the couple’s grandkids, Dakota Whitworth, Deonna Whitworth, and Dejay Whitworth all of Vinita, Okla.

Joe and Dee Ann are members of the First Christian Church of Grove where Joe serves as an Elder and Treasurer.