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Our History

Charlie and Judy McNeil

The McNeils’ most enduring gift came in the form of a $5-million-dollar endowment for the Mines Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystem. Their transformational gift created McNeil Hall and the McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The McNeil Center offers courses and workshops about launching ideas and scaling startups. It’s home to Innov8x, where students take on real problems posed by corporate and civic partners and learn to investigate, build and create real impact.

The mcneil backstory

1971 was an important year for Charlie and Judy McNeil. First, Charlie graduated from Mines with a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering. And, maybe more importantly, they got married.

Charlie worked his way up through energy companies. Eventually, he held board, CEO and senior executive positions with Kaiser Steel, Kaiser Oil & Gas, Kaiser Power, Perma Resources and Consol Energy. He was in charge of planning and operations, overall profitability, acquisitions, corporate and project financing–and starting up new companies.

In 1993, Charlie started NexGen Resources Corporation in the basement of their Colorado Springs home. NexGen started as a natural resources exploration and production company. Today it’s the parent company of NexGen Oil & Gas, NexGen Properties, NexGen Coal Services and Tinuum. The company has also been involved in multiple startups.

The McNeils have deep roots in Colorado, both born and raised here. They are highly respected philanthropists and volunteers at many Colorado nonprofits. Charlie is also chairman of the Denver Area Boy Scouts, an organization that is close to his heart.



Contact Us


814 15th Street
Suite 100
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2770

Meet The Team

Sid Saleh

Dr. Sid Saleh


McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Teaching Associate Professor,

Engineering Design and Society


Dr. Lia Franklin

Associate Director,

McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Nancy Progar

Operations Manager,

McNeil Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


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