Drew Neal, 39

Name: Drew Neal

Family: Lindsay, wife, Caroline, daughter age 3, and William, son age 1

Hometown: Burleson

Age: 39

Company: Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP

Position: Attorney

How do you choose to give back to the community? Family, church, and friends occupy most of my time outside work, but I also serve on the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation board, where they do amazing work to help increase literacy in our city.    

What advice would you give to yourself at age 15? Listen twice as much as you talk.  I probably need that advice at 39 just as much as I needed it at 15. 

Where did your first paycheck come from? My first paycheck was from Bob Haley, manager of a family-friends ranch in Tennessee, for mowing pastures and fixing fences in the summer.  I learned quickly that I wanted to get an education to be able to work in an air-conditioned office.

What other profession would you like to try? High school football coach or a real estate broker.  Not sure if I would be good at either, but it would be fun to try.

Tell us about an influential person in your life. How did they influence you and why are they important?  Growing up, my parents were my biggest influencers.  My dad, Frank Neal, started an engineer consulting firm the year I was born and worked tirelessly to put the needs of his family, employees, and clients ahead of his own.  My mom, Jane Neal, stayed at home and raised 4 boys, which is probably harder than any job I can imagine.  Having kids made me realize what an amazing job they did for my brothers and me.  Since leaving for college, my wife, Lindsay, has been the most influential person in my life.  She pushes and encourages me to be the best while caring for our two young kids.  Anything in my career I have accomplished is largely because of her support.

What did you want to be when you grew up? l wanted to be an attorney since I was in high school.  It was probably a result of watching too much Perry Mason and Matlock with my grandparents.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to find out? Nothing comes to mind. Unfortunately, I am pretty vanilla. 

What is your ideal vacation? Anywhere I can get quality time with my wife and kids, hopefully on a beach or teaching my kids to ski. 

Favorite food or restaurant? Lou Malnati’s pizza, unfortunately not in Texas, and Heim bacon burnt ends. Maybe one day they collaborate and mix them together.

Favorite drink? Lime flavored La Croix or an old fashioned, depending on what night of the week it is. 

Favorite movie: Saving Private Ryan, but with 2 young kids it has been a while since that has been on in our house. 

Favorite sports team: Other than the Wheaton Thunder, which most people have no idea about, I was brainwashed as a young kid to love the Cowboys and Longhorn football, which I still can’t shake. 

Favorite song: Songs about Texas, Pat Green

Tell us about your prop? This is my football jersey from playing offensive line at Wheaton College in Illinois.  Coming out of high school, I wanted to experience life outside of Texas.  Wheaton was a great place to help me grow and learn from coaches, professors, and friends, but one of the most impactful lessons was to appreciate Texas summers.  No matter how hot it gets, it’s still not as bad as a Chicago winter.