Harper McNeil was founded in 1995. Our vision is – as it was then – to provide superior insight for client financial institutions as they select and integrate the best technology to meet their operational needs. Whether our clients are looking for core solutions, or any type of ancillary software, we are here to provide our expertise and knowledge throughout the entire process.
We invite you to read more about our team below, and explore the education, experience, and skills we bring to each and every client service.
After a successful 25-year career with North Carolina National Bank and Allied Financial Services, a provider of data processing services to 120 community banks in the Carolinas and Virginia, Mr. Harper joined with Denise McNeil to incorporate a consulting firm to specialize in assisting community and regional financial institutions with data processing management decisions to improve efficiency and align costs.
Building long-term relationships with our clients has always been the hallmark of Harper McNeil, Inc. Mr. Harper stressed when the company was founded that our deliverables were to always exceed our clients’ expectations. As such, we are honored when asked to return year after year for certain client projects, and we are proud of these long-standing relationships – that are truly more like friendships.
Mr. Harper has also been diligent in building independent relationships with the vendors our clients use. It is our goal to always treat vendors with integrity and respect, because we recognize them as our clients’ business partners as well. From day one, Harper McNeil has held the philosophy that we should know more about the vendors and their products and offerings than our competitors, as this ensures our ability to provide excellent information and service to our clients.
Harper McNeil has assisted many community and regional financial institutions, ranging from startups (denovos) to asset sizes over 15 billion, from Florida to Maine to California, with standard and customized projects. Our many years of experience allow us to tailor services to meet our clients’ specific needs.
Mr. Harper has spoken to community banking organizations on the implementation of emerging technology and managing technology spending. He has also worked with vendors to develop conversion methodology and training that benefit the vendor’s client banks. Mr. Harper enjoys meeting with financial institution management, technology steering committees, and boards to review and evaluate their current and future technology needs with no obligation.
After completing his undergraduate studies at Wingate College and the University of South Carolina, Mr. Harper continued his education by completing numerous banking, management, and technology courses. In his spare time, he enjoys boating with his wife on Lake Wylie and traveling. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church where he has taught Sunday School for over 35 years.
Since her involvement with Harper McNeil, Inc., Ms. McNeil has worked with many financial institutions and learned from their custom approaches to technology design, giving her an incredible proficiency in the subject. This experience reflects the depth of knowledge needed to push forward a workable decision with each engagement.
Financial institutions are challenged with finding value in their purchase of products and services. It has always been our driven goal to make that process easier and increase comprehension. Therefore, since our company’s inception in 1995, Ms. McNeil, along with the others in the company, has built on that exposure to all things technology in the financial institution.
Ms. McNeil graduated from Appalachian State University with a BSBA in Accounting. Within weeks, she had begun a career as a community bank internal auditor. It was a unique opportunity to train in every department in the bank before moving forward in an audit. During this time as an internal auditor, she worked with management to select and secure a new core, and proceeded through the conversion.
Harper McNeil has worked with hundreds of financial institutions over the years. The uniqueness of our company dynamics is that we understand banking in depth. Therefore, we can work with each financial institution to help them promote their company through technology. The technology vendors appreciate this talent as well. Many times, we are there to assist with assuring there is complete understanding between the financial institution and the vendor. Everyone in our company has spent the beginning of their career in a financial institution operations area.
Ms. McNeil and her family are members of First Baptist Church. Now that her children are either in college or have graduated from college, there will be a little more time to devote to personal interests like outdoor activities and travel. She also promotes the Entrepreneur program at Appalachian State University through teaching and programs. While at Harper McNeil, the independent banking groups have been priority events to attend, and occasionally she will write material and speak at their conferences.
Technology additions over the past few years have infiltrated the financial industry’s focus in order to provide needed services to customers. Lisa has been in the inner circle of operations for her entire career, alongside bankers and vendors’ analysts. She interprets software applications and applies banking knowledge to drive complete and full usage of each purchase. This knowledge is then relayed to the entire company at Harper McNeil, which in turn gives a financial institution more power in understanding what is being considered in a new technology contract.
Lisa joined Harper McNeil in January of 2001. With over 40 years of banking and systems experience, Lisa specializes in deposit and finance applications in a variety of technology systems, working with more than a dozen different core systems to date. Her expertise extends to other aspects of banking, including customer facing areas such as teller and new account opening, and areas related to electronic banking. Her broad project management skills and attention to detail make her a valuable asset to Harper McNeil.
Before joining Harper McNeil, Lisa worked with banks in Virginia and Ohio in various positions from Teller and Deposit Operations to IT Support for Loan Operations and Finance. The depth and breadth of Lisa’s experiences in banking and consulting have provided her with the skills and know-how to effectively guide clients through the accurate and timely conversion of their core processing systems for deposit and finance applications as well as ancillary systems related to those areas. In addition to her work with core conversions, Lisa also assists community banks in improving their efficiency and effectiveness with thorough analyses of their Deposit Operations and General Ledger functions, including financial chart of account restructuring and General Ledger conversions not related to a core conversion.
Lisa completed her undergraduate studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, earning a BSBA in Business Management with a Computer Science concentration. She resides in Wytheville, Virginia, with her husband and two sons, where she is a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church. Lisa has volunteered in numerous capacities over the past 40 years in the churches she’s attended, has been involved in the Parent Teacher Organizations of her children’s schools, and has supported various civic organizations. She enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, and following the activities of her sons.
Brian joined Harper McNeil Inc. in September of 2016. With over 15 years of banking and process improvement experience, Brian specializes in lending, document management, workflow development, and project management. His expertise also includes Deposit Operations, Human Resources, Accounts Payable, Compliance, Special Assets, and vendor liaison / system administrator for several lending software solutions.
Before joining Harper McNeil, Brian started Stingray Consulting Group which works with Banks, Credit Unions, and non-profit organizations to identify and implement efficiency opportunities through out their respective organizations.
Prior to starting Stingray Consulting Group, Brian held various Banking positions that ranged from Teller to Customer Service Representative to Branch Manager, and eventually to Commercial Loan Officer. After being a productive Branch Manager and Commercial Loan Officer, Brian started identifying efficiency gaps within the branch operation processes as well as the loan process and he turned his attention and focus on process improvement and efficiency implementation for the entire organization.
Brian received his associates degree from Davidson County Community College in accounting as well as completed the North Carolina School of Banking program at the University of North Carolina. He resides in Linwood, North Carolina with his wife and two children where they are members of Jersey Baptist Church. Brian holds various chairman positions as it relates to the financial needs of the Church as well as Vacation Bible School Director, leader of several community outreach programs, youth fund raising efforts, and is also a Wish granter for the Central and Western North Carolina Make-A-Wish chapter. He enjoys camping with his family and restoring old Ford Broncos with his son.
Myrna joined Harper McNeil in January of 2001, bringing over 30 years of banking and systems experience to our company. She specializes in loan applications in a variety of technology packages.
Before working as a consultant, Myrna worked as an officer with Main Street Financial Corporation, a multi-state, regional banking concern based in Martinsville, Virginia. Myrna planned, scheduled, and coordinated loan application conversions for the many new acquisitions to the Main Street company during the 1990s, prior to its acquisition by Branch Banking & Trust Company. During this time, she also managed the Loan Servicing (Operations) area for the company with responsibility for new loan input, investor accounting, escrow administration, quality control, and customer service, and she also served as systems administrator for the bank’s loan platform system. Myrna worked as an independent consultant just prior to joining Harper McNeil and focused on the development of training materials and writing procedures for banks in Virginia and North Carolina.
Myrna brings with her a great deal of management experience in loan administration and operations. Since joining the company, she has worked with banks up and down the eastern coast and as far west as Texas to ensure the accurate conversion of core system data. In addition to her work with core conversions, she has completed reviews of lending operations for banks and savings banks as well as managed the search and conversion process for new bank lending platforms.
Myrna attended Patrick Henry Community College and is a graduate of The School of Mortgage Banking at the University of Illinois. Her project management abilities and detail-oriented knowledge mesh well with the overall goals of Harper McNeil, and she is a great asset to our company.
Along with her husband, Myrna enjoys cruising in their restored 1937 Chevrolet Business Coupe and spending time with their family. The Fergusons are members of Jones Chapel Church of the Brethren, where she has chaired various commissions, served as church board chair and church treasurer, and enjoys singing in the church choir. Myrna has served on the board of the Virginia District COB and as secretary of the Commission of Stewards for the district. Myrna has plans to retire in 2016, and we wish her all the best for this next chapter in her life.
Bennett joined Harper McNeil in January of 2005 with over 30 years of direct, hands-on experience. He had previously been a management consultant since 1998, providing consulting services to community, regional, and money center banks along with credit unions, both domestically and overseas. Before 1998, Bennett has held positions ranging from Executive Vice President – Operations to Chief Information Officer in multi-bank holding companies. He directed an average staff size of 200 in information systems, back office operations, conversions, and administration.
Most recently, Bennett managed a project to convert a bank’s credit card and ATM/POS processing to real-time. The project involved the design and installation of updated communications and applications software, evaluating debit/credit card processing vendors’ features and pricing, and negotiating contracts. It was completed within seven months and reduced monthly costs by over $30,000. Other recent projects for community and regional banks have focused on compliance in operations, information technology, and core applications. These projects resulted in identifying potential problems and implementing control and productivity improvements.
Bennett has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, with majors in industrial management and finance. His bachelor’s degree in science is from The Principia College, Elsah, Illinois, with majors in chemistry and mathematics.
In addition, Bennett is an adjunct faculty member for Washington University and Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, for courses in information technology, project management and economics. He is a Director at the Mid-America Payments Exchange (MAPEX), holds a Treasury Management Certification from Treasury Management Institute, earned his Project Management Professional Certification, and is a Life Certified Information Technology Professional from the State of California.
His other interests and hobbies include sailing, PG Wodehouse, and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. Bennett’s analytical skills and high level technology exposure add depth to the Harper McNeil roster.