Bud Neal was born in Globe, AZ and resided at the Inspiration Mine Site. He attended Miami High School and graduated from Southern Arizona School in Tucson, AZ. He enrolled at the U of A graduating from the school of Business. While at the U of A, Bud worked summer jobs with Inspiration Copper holding many jobs from train conductor, welder helper, to test lab & Garland Steel a large steel fabricator.
After graduation, Bud began working for Anaconda Wire and Cable in Kansas City. He was responsible for the consulting engineers, utility and distributor sales. After two years of working in Kansas and Missouri Bud returned to Phoenix and worked for South West Salt Co. as Assistant GM in Litchfield Park, AZ. Shortly thereafter, Bud started Arizona Sun Sales and asked his Anaconda Wire and Cable Sales Partner to join him in Arizona. Bud and Bob Paris built a successful Electrical Representative Sales agency specializing in utility and industrial sales and distributor commercial sales.
In 1976 Bud sold Sun Sales to his partner and opened A. H. Neal Sales, Inc., specializing in utility and industrial sales. Neal Sales accomplished packaging two significant Arizona projects. On the initial CAP project, Neal Sales packaged all the major med-voltage equipment, including the large power transformers for Newberry Energy for the first three pumping stations. Neal Sales also packaged and sold the strut and fittings for all three units at Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station to Bechtel and sold SRP the dead substation- structures for the Nuclear Station. Palo Verde Nuclear is the metering bus for the S/W Power Grid. The experience on these projects proved very valuable to Neal Sales future in sourcing material for special projects.
Bud Neal sold Neal sales to Kenny Miller which became Neal Miller Sales then Miller Sales. Bud kept Neal Sales to further specialize in utility med-voltage distribution and formed a strategic allegiance with Sun Valley Electric. At Neal Sales’ direction, Sun Valley Electric built pad mounted switchgear for utility distribution cabinets. Sun Valley was responsible for engineering and manufacturing with Neal Sales sourcing the main electrical components and providing marketing and sales for Sun Valley Utility products. Dick Davis parted Sun Valley Electric and started his own firm, Sun West Engineering. Neal Sales followed Mr. Davis in his new endeavor focusing on utility business. Through Neal Sales, Sun West supplied capacitor, switching and fusing cabinets to APS, SRP, SDE, Nevada Power and SMUD.
Along with Sun West, Neal Sales’ cabinet switch business grew to the point Neal Sales needed a specific drive mechanism to operate the 15Kv load break and make switches in the Sun West cabinets. Mr. Davis of Sun West had a previous colleague, Dennis Miller, who started a custom machine shop called Summit Precision. Bud worked with Mr. Miller as he designed and built a switch with the needed drive. This switch was taken to Keema Power test in Ft. Washington, PA. The switch was successfully tested and certified to IEEE C37.72. This gave the alliance a vertical organization that proved beneficial to all parties.
Mr. Davis of Sun West later sold the business to his employees, including Phil McCoy, who started with Sun West working on pad mounted gear and later became the GM and managing partner. Mr. McCoy’s knowledge proved invaluable in building every generation of pad mounted cabinets which allowed Sun West and Neal Sales to continue doing business with local utilities APS and SRP. To date Neal Sales has been doing business on a consistent basis with APS and SRP for over 40 years! A fact Neal Sales is very proud of thanks to the trio of the Sun West, Summit Precision, Neal alliance.
In addition to Bud’s utility business, Bud has had significant success with Phelps Dodge and FMI and Grupo Mexico Mining. Neal Sales also has ongoing accounts with many major OEM manufactures.
In recent years, Dan Fitas joined Neal Sales as an inside sales representative with account responsibility for industrial and commercial projects. Bud’s wife Claudia is the Chief Financial Officer of Neal Sales and has been most helpful in business development. Bud’s daughter Abigail serves as Neal Sales’ Chief Legal Officer while simultaneously working at her law firm, Powers and Neal LLC.
Bud has been active in many community projects & served on Electrical Manufactures Rep councils. Bud was on the board of the University Club, started a business networking group called “Profit”, was President of Rotary East, Rotary Paul Harris fellow and delegate to the Rotary International Convention in Bingham England. Bud also was a guest lecture at ASU college of Business, and a member of the Thunderbirds, a philanthropic organization of Valley business men promoting the Valley through sports. The Thunderbirds are instrumental in organizing the Valley’s annual Phoenix Open, which is the third oldest PGA tournament and largest attended event on tour. The Thunderbirds are proud to have contributed millions of dollars to Valley charities over the years.
The Neal’s live in Scottsdale, AZ with their two Scotty Dogs and enjoy their summer cabin in Pinetop, AZ.