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Alumnus Serves as President of Insurance Firm, Credits York College Education

Headshot of Mary McNeil

Mary McNeil ’84 credits her education at York College of Pennsylvania with helping her succeed as President and COO of McNeil & Co. Inc.

York College of Pennsylvania appealed to Mary McNeil ’84 not just for its academic offerings but the small, private, liberal arts setting. The College also had a swim team, an essential feature for McNeil, who swam competitively for the College.

A few years after graduating with a degree in Marketing, McNeil returned to her hometown of Cortland, NY, and in 1990, she joined McNeil & Co. Inc., an insurance firm founded by her brother. Over the years, she rose through the ranks to become President and Chief Operating Officer in 2019.

“I walked away from York College with a discipline that I truly appreciate,” she says. “I gained that from the professors as well as my friends and the swimming program. They were a very supportive group. I learned a lot about leadership.”

A focus on strategic leadership

In her professional role, McNeil has been instrumental in establishing new company offices, overseeing staff incorporation, and driving expansion. From late 2018 to 2023, she oversaw the growth of the company by 91 employees, to a total of 226.

With a 34-year tenure at McNeil & Co. Inc., she is responsible for leading and directing internal affairs across the firm’s departments. Despite the challenges of growing a company, she remains committed to a hands-on, family-focused culture, employee well-being, and community philanthropy.

Beyond her corporate endeavors, McNeil has been active in nonprofit organizations. She has served on the boards of United Way for Cortland County, the National Volunteer Fire Council, and the Franziska Racker Centers, which support people with developmental disabilities.

She also is a trustee of Cortland County Family YMCA and serves on the Advisory Council of the McNeil Academy at Le Moyne College, where she earned her MBA and was honored with the 2022 Frank Fernandez Business Leader of the Year Award.

“Don’t take life for granted,” McNeil says. “Live every day to the fullest and stay focused on the right things in life.”