District 3 Council Member Neil Blais

After graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Neil entered the aerospace industry, starting with Lockheed Aircraft Services and quickly moving to McDonnell Douglas. While at McDonnell Douglas he was responsible for managing design changes to the MD-80, which required coordinating the efforts of over 3,000 engineers. Neil was one of the youngest engineers to be promoted to Ship Captain, where he was responsible for shepherding the first LTU MD-11 production airplane to certification.

Neil became involved in the emergency management industry following the Northridge Earthquake in 1994. He consulted to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services helping the state with recovery efforts, which included recovery efforts for wildfires, winter storms, and flooding. Neil subsequently began working with several communities assisting with their recovery and mitigation efforts to increase resilience against future disasters. These work efforts resulted in Neil becoming a national expert on hazard mitigation and sustainable community development.

Neil worked extensively with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Emergency Management Association to develop national policies with respect to response and mitigation. Neil also worked with the World Bank and the Inter-America Development Bank assisting foreign countries with understanding their natural hazards, risks, and mitigation strategies. Neil led the development of FEMA’s HAZUS-MH Flood Model, the nation’s first-ever nationally applicable software developed to assess the risk and losses for flooding. This software tool is used by hundreds of local communities across the nation to assess their vulnerability to flooding.

In 2007 with the growth of Blais & Associates, Inc. (B&A), Neil joined the firm as President and Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity, Neil leads the company’s business development efforts, private-sector ventures, and government relations. His political experience, both with his work in the emergency management field and as a local councilman, has been extremely helpful in guiding the firm’s understanding of municipal, state, and federal government and the political system that must be acknowledged in the grant process.

From 2000–2010, Neil served as city councilman for the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, a city he was instrumental in founding. In 2004 and 2008, Neil served as the mayor. His accomplishments include founding the city’s Economic Development Committee in 2004. The committee focused on ways to attract and retain businesses and provided the business community a voice in City Hall. For his efforts, the South County Regional Chambers of Commerce recognized him with their first “Commerce Award.”

Neil was a founder of the Bell Tower Foundation, which was created to attract private sector donations and grant revenue to assist with the development and operation of the City’s community center. Neil served on several regional boards including the Orange County Fire Authority (serving as Chairman in 2010), the Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, the Orange County Airport Commission, the Orange County Transportation Citizens Advisory Committee, the Trauma Intervention Program Advisory Committee, and as a Director for the Orange County Council for the Boy Scouts of America.

Neil served as a Director for the Little Elm Chamber of Commerce (serving as Chairman in 2014 until his election to the TOLE Council in 2015) and as Vice President of the Little Elm Economic Development Corporation. Neil serves on the National Institute of Building Sciences’ Multi-hazard Mitigation Council (serving as Chairman from 2011-2014) and serves as a Elder at Midway Baptist Church. Neil is married to Destin and has a son, Nash.