Michael Neils

St. Mary Medical Center Foundation

Michael Neils

A native of Klickitat, WA, Michael is the third-born of four sons. His parents were Edward W. Neils, a veteran of World War II, and Betty Jo Bouska Neils.

Michael is a life-long learner. His formal education includes a B.A. (philosophy) from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA magna cum laude; an M. Div. from The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, magna cum laude; a Master of Sacred Theology (ethics) from Union Theological Seminary, New York (with distinction) ; and a Certificate in Fundraising and Community Relations from U.C.L.A. Extension, with distinction. Most recently Michael completed the Inner MBA with SoundTrue, Linked In and Mindful NY; and a Coaching Qualification Certificate with Erickson Coaching International.

An ordained Lutheran minister by background, Michael learned the art of fundraising serving congregations in New Providence, NJ; Montclair, NJ; Phoenix, AZ.

Since 2006, he has lived in Los Angeles and worked full time in the world of philanthropy. He has held senior positions with Saint John’s Health Center, Santa Monica; Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles; and most recently Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation, Torrance and San Pedro. Since September, 2109 he has served as President, St. Mary Medical Center Foundation and Chief Philanthropy Officer for St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach.

Michael is married to Mary Tabata PhD, a leadership scholar who serves as faculty for the Ducere Global Business School. They are the proud parents of Faith Anne Neils, a high schooler; and their home is guarded by two Havanese dogs, Gracie and Emma.

Michael is an accomplished public speaker who loves dogs, music, singing, theater and golf; he dabbles occasionally in writing poetry.

A seasoned professional, Michael proudly says, “I have been working for more than three decades, but I have never held a job. What I do is to serve a great mission – like that of CommonSpirit Health.” He is known both for this strong work ethic and his lively sense of humor.