Neal Lewis (’73), New Hanover County Parks Department Director, has received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from NC State University’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM). Neal began his career in the profession as Director of Carteret County Parks and Recreation Department and then served as Executive Director of Carteret County Chamber of Commerce until 1991.
In 1993 Neal assumed his current position and has provided exemplary service to New Hanover County and its citizens. For decades Neal has been considered a real leader in the parks and recreation profession and has earned the respect of professionals throughout North Carolina. He is a valuable resource with the Legislative Study Committee on Water Access, NC Waterfront Access and Marine Fund Advisory Committee, Rachel Carson NC Estuarine Reserve Advisory Committee, Fort Fisher State Park Advisory Board, Wilmington Sports Hall of Fame, Travel Council of North Carolina, and Wilmington South Rotary Club.
In addition to his community leadership, Neal has served as President of the North Carolina Recreation and Park Association and has received that organization’s highest awards. He also received the 1990 NC Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year Award while serving as the Executive Director of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce.
The Outstanding Alumnus Award recognizes Neal for his successful career as a park and recreation professional, as a steward of the environment, as an active and contributing member of his community, and as a leader and mentor for young professionals. He is a respected colleague and ambassador both for the profession and for NC State University’s PRTM Department. The Department is honored and proud to present Neal with this well-deserved recognition of his accomplishments.