Pat Neal honored with the 2017 Defender of Faith and Freedom Award

Pat Neal, the CEO and chairman of the board at Neal Communities (, the area’s largest and most established, locally owned and operated private builder, was recognized by the Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition with its 2017 Defender of Faith and Freedom Award.

On March 29, representatives from all three branches of state government attended the annual Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition Legislative Prayer Breakfast in Tallahassee. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, the 2016 recipient of the Defender of Faith and Freedom Award, presented this year’s award to Neal, a former state Senator.

“I’m so proud to be a part of presenting this year’s Defender of Faith and Freedom to a man who has served on the board for the Christian Coalition of Florida for 8 years and who gives back to the Boys and Girls Clubs, 4H Clubs, foster children and families who are in crisis,” said Commissioner Putnam. “He also served in public life, including the House and Senate, is a leader for people of faith and a staunch defender of freedom. I am proud to recognize him this year.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee delivered a powerful keynote address to the crowd of almost 300 on the importance of people of faith engaging in politics and culture.

“Pat Neal is a man of deep and abiding faith,” Commissioner Putnam said. “He continues to give back, not only to our community but to our state. His faith and his works are to be emulated and admired by us all.”

The event was attended by House Speaker Richard Corcoran; Supreme Court Justices Ricky Polston and Alan Lawson; Senators Daphne Campbell, Denise Grimsley, Dennis Baxley and Keith Perry; State Representatives Byron Donalds, Jay Fant, Gayle Harrell, Stan McClain, George Moraitis, Mel Ponder and Cyndi Stevenson; and Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil.

Neal founded Neal Communities in 1974, and since then, the award-winning homebuilder has created 70 successful communities and built over 11,000 homes throughout southwest Florida. Under his leadership, the company broke all previous sales records, ending the 2016 with 1,109 sales and 1,129 closings totaling over $430 million.

He was a member of the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. He has won every environmental award given to members of the Legislature while in office. He has been chair of the Florida Commission on Ethics, which he worked to establish in the State Constitution in 1976 with Governor Reubin Askew. More recently, he has been on Governor Scott’s Transition Team and was charged with the successful reorganization of the Department of Management Services. He is on the Judicial Nominating Committee, the board of directors of Tax Watch and is currently chairman of the Tax Watch Committee on Property Taxation, which is charged with forming policy for the 2017 Legislature. He is a member of the Reserve Officers Association, a life member of the National Rifle Association, and 8-year board member and former chair of the Christian Coalition of Florida.

Most recently, Neal and his wife, Charlene Neal, gifted $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. The longtime Lakewood Ranch-based builder and philanthropist made the substantial donation to the nonprofit’s Invest in Kids Campaign, which will rebuild the Clubs’ physically and functionally obsolete campus and serve up to 600 kids.

About Neal Communities

With over 40 years of building award-winning homes, Neal Communities has over 70 successful communities throughout southwest Florida. The Lakewood Ranch-based builder was named the Professional Builder 2015 “Builder of the Year” and was named one of 2012’s “America’s Best Builders” by BUILDER Magazine and voted the “2013 Best Residential Builder in Southwest Florida” in a readers’ poll sponsored by Gulfshore Business Magazine. The company is ranked No. 1 locally by Metrostudy and by Hanley Wood Market Intelligence based on number of home sales and ranked nationally among the top 50 builders by BUILDER Magazine.

To date, Neal has built over 11,000 homes in southwest Florida. As the area’s largest and most established, locally owned and operated private builder, Neal Communities is continually striving for excellence in every aspect of the home building and development business. Neal Signature Homes, Neal Land Ventures, Charlene Neal PureStyle, Waterscapes Pools & Spas, Neal Communities Funding, Fiducia Insurance and Allegiant Title Professionals all contribute to the firm’s continued, record-setting local success. The company’s honors and accolades include 44 Parade of Homes 2015 awards, 50 Aurora Awards, 5 Best in American Living Awards and hundreds of local and regional industry awards. For more information, please visit

About Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition

The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition is committed to educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals to be effective citizens. Together, the Coalition influences public policy and enacts legislation that strengthens families, promotes time-honored values, protects the dignity of life and marriage, lowers the tax burden on small business and families, and requires government to tighten its belt and live within its means.


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