Portfolio Student Profile: Lance McNeill

Degree of Study: Masters in Public Affairs 

Graduation Year: 2015

My name is Lance McNeill and I’m proud to be a part of the nonprofit portfolio program and the Curtis Meadows Jr. Social Enterprise Fellowship in association with the RGK Center. My participation in both programs has afforded me some amazing opportunities to grow professionally and give back to my community. Around the same time I was accepted into LBJ, I was also hired on full-time with Business and Community Lenders of Texas, a nonprofit community and economic development organization headquartered in Austin. I’ve recently been promoted to Director of Entrepreneurship, a position where I’ve been able to practice what I’ve learned in both the portfolio program and the Social Enterprise Fellowship. 

I have a passion for helping entrepreneurs and I’m fortunate to be immersed in opportunities that allow me to do what I love every day. We had a guest speaker from Whole Planet (Whole Foods’ Foundation) visit one of my portfolio program classes last year and while speaking with him after class, realized that I could help them with a project they were initiating in Namibia – where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer before coming to LBJ. As part of my service commitment with the portfolio program, I volunteered my time and knowledge about Namibia to help Whole Planet conduct a feasibility study about microfinance for underserved entrepreneurs in Namibia. 

The RGK Center’s mission and values align well with my own. In the spring of this year, I was part of a team that represented LBJ in the National Invitational Public Policy Competition at the Fels School at Penn. Our proposal looked at how crowdsourcing and game mechanics can be combined to increase civic engagement and public participation. To cap off my last year at LBJ, I’ll be participating in Professor Eaton’s "Technology Transfer, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development" PRP where we will work in partnership with National Instruments. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work on another interesting development project in Africa.