Wenzel Spine CEO Chad Neely dead at 47

March 8, 2022 / By Colin Pope  – Editor, Austin Business Journal

Wenzel Spine Inc. Chairman and CEO Chad G. Neely died March 7. He was 47 years old.

Neely was a visionary, an innovator and a well-respected leader who enjoyed a highly successful career in the financial and health care industries, according to a statement from the medical device company he ran, which employs about 30 people in Austin — enough to rank No. 11 on ABJ’s latest list of the largest life sciences companies in the region. A cause of death was not made public.

“For the past 13 years Chad has been my friend, mentor and business partner at Wenzel Spine,” Wenzel Spine Chief Operating Officer William Wilson said in a statement. “Chad’s laugh, smile and infectious personality will always remain with me and I cherish the time we’ve spent together. He will be missed dearly and I’m eternally grateful and proud of the company we have built together with our team (our Wenzel Family) at Wenzel Spine. For anyone who knows him, I encourage you to take some time and enjoy your favorite KISS song and think of him.”

The company, which makes medical devices for the spine, will remain on an even keel, according to a company statement, which read, in part:  “One of the many professional legacies he leaves behind is a team of strong and talented leaders that are ready and equipped to continue our mission. We are heavy-hearted, yet we remain united and determined to see Wenzel Spine’s vision continue to bring value and innovation to our shareholders, surgeons, distributor partners, patients, and the entire healthcare community.”

Neely was a stout supporter of Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, or HAAM, and was known for personally rocking the stage at battle of the bands contests.

“Chad was a larger than life man — an offensive lineman in high school and at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) — both physically and personally. He was a hard worker, a very strategic leader and had a heart as big as Texas,” said Tim Klitch, former president of Comerica Bank in Austin and founder of the sports and entertainment complex Austin Pickle Ranch.

“When he left Comerica to found Wenzel Spine, he became a client of Comerica,” Klitch said. “I was so proud of him making the move from banking and finance to being the CEO of Wenzel — even though I knew we would miss him at our bank. When I retired from Comerica in 2019, he advised me on my current startup and became a founder of the Austin Pickle Ranch.” 

“Chad was the rarest of leaders,” said UBS Wealth Management Managing Director Alex Ladage, who worked with Neely at financial giant Merrill Lynch for about a decade. “He could get the absolute best out of his team and they still genuinely loved him. He cared deeply about his work and his team and led the company through one of the most challenging environments imaginable during Covid. Chad commanded respect when he walked into a room but it was his genuine heart that won over all those that worked with him.”

Wenzel Spine has set up a page on its website where friends and colleagues can share tribute messages about Neely.

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/

Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

Related Articles

Back to top button