Joseph D. McNeil Sr.,Georgia Regional Group, was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, PA -Westside. Joe was the oldest of 7 brothers and sisters, and the first in his family to graduate from college with a BS in Business and a Masters in Human Resource. After graduating from high school Joe joined the Army National Guard and worked his way through college, joining the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation he received his commission as a 2nd Lt U.S. Army, Field Artillery. His duty assignments included 2nd Infantry Division Korea, 42nd FA Brigade, V Corps G3 Operations Germany, 197th Infantry Brigade Fort Benning and 18thAirborne Corps Fort Bragg. He held numerous Staff jobs during his tenure. Upon his diagnosis in October 1989 of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) he was processed off of active duty as a Captain, after which he re-enlisted in the Georgia Army National Guard and served 4 years before his vision prevented him from doing his assigned duties as Personnel Staff Noncommissioned Officer (PSNCO).
Joe is a multi-graduate of 3 different blind centers, he joined BVA in 2005 and has held positions as Georgia Regional Group Vice-President, Columbus Chapter from 2005 - 2007, Georgia Regional Group Secretary from 2005 - 2007, Georgia Regional Group President from 2007 - 2015, and BVA National Treasurer 2015 - current.
Since his retirement Joe is an accomplished entrepreneur, father of six and grandfather of four. He serves his community by sitting on numerous boards representing the blind community as an ambassador to our capabilities. He has membership in multiple service and civic organizations, and is a certified National Veterans Service Officer (NVSO) for the organization.
Some favorite mottoes you may hear Joe say is: “Information is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power, and Power Wielded properly is an awesome Weapon,” and “Perception is not Reality.” You can find him speaking to civic groups and churches about blindness and the help that is available.