Cleveland O. Neil
Cleveland O. Neil held the position of Honorary Consul of Jamaica to Southern California for over three decades. In that capacity, he facilitated official state actions on behalf of the Jamaican government and generally acted as a liaison between the government of Jamaica and American regional interests.
During his tenure as Honorary Counsel, Mr. Neil hosted countless dignitaries from various counties, brokered numerous business relationships and created a strong network of colleagues and friends around the globe. Between 1969 and 2003, Cleveland Neil represented not only the pride of the Jamaican people; with integrity in all of his actions, he also represented their strength and spirit.
Born in Balaclava, Jamaica, Mr. Neil attended Gainstead College for two years and graduated from Kingston College in Kingston. He began his career as Personnel Supervisor at Kaiser Bauxite Ltd., Manchester, Jamaica. Later he served as Industrial Relations Advisor at Esso Standard Building Products in Spanish Town.
In 1967, Mr. Neil immigrated to the United States and attended the University of Connecticut and earned a B.S. degree. He later moved to the west coast of the United States and attended the University of California at Los Angeles (U. C. L. A.) where he earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Anderson School of Business.
In 1977, he established a consulting firm, the Business Development Center, Inc., administering Federal manufacturing and service contracts in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Anaheim and Colton. BDC, Inc. employed over 100 Angelinos, managed over one million dollars in service or construction contracts and issued bonds or loans in excess of five Hundred million dollars. The company’s client list included, Proline, Inc., Burbon, Inc., Sinclair Engineering, Ali Construction, J. Kim Construction and Tape and Label.
Through the Mayor’s office of economic development under the Bradley administration, Cleveland also worked extensively with minority owned businesses and nurtured small business ventures through the 8(a) or minority certification process. He help them to secure meaningful contracts and to access management and technical assistance that sustained their growth.
Mr. Neil continues to provide occasional consulting services and he currently serves in an advisory capacity on the Board of Directors for Kedren Mental Health Association in Los Angeles and the Jamaica Cultural Alliance based in southern California. He spends most of his time between Los Angeles, Kingston and Miami where he has two adult children who he enjoys visiting.