Last Updated: September 19, 2022
New Bedford, MA, USA, March 21, 2016 – Fiber Optic Center, Inc., (FOC), an international leader in distributing fiber optic components, equipment and supplies and recognized as one of the most technically savvy fiber optics companies in the world, announces Neal Weiss honored by NBAM/ArtWorks! Patron of the Arts.
This past Friday, March 18th, the New Bedford Art Museum, NBAM/ArtWorks!, recognized Neal Weiss for truly impacted the arts community with the Patron of the Arts Award. In an area that is so highly populated by artists and has seen revitalization due in part to the arts community, the Museum recognized those that have helped New Bedford achieve success in this area.
Neal Weiss has been a huge supporter of the artistic community through both his own businesses and personal support by attending events regularly and donating to financial support. He has been connected with the NB Symphony, the YWCA, the Whaling Museum and Sine Nomine Choral Ensemble. He served on the Board of the New Bedford Art Museum including a stint as chair and he is currently the Board Chair of the New Bedford Education Foundation which supports programs for students not included in the school budget.
Neal founded Fiber Optic Center in 1991 and led the company as President, until earlier this year when he turned over the operations to his sons. FOC is a 30+ person high tech distribution company located in the Historic District of downtown New Bedford. Local businesses like FOC make New Bedford a comfortable culture for creative enterprise not only in the type of work they do and the workers they attract, but also in the issues they support in the downtown.
In 1999, Neal founded a second business, Whaling City Sound, which releases and distributes CD recordings of local and national talent. Neal and Whaling City Sound have supported and grown the local live music scene giving many local artists their start in live gigs and exposure through recordings. Hosting and sponsoring Centre Street Sessions in the months of June, July, August and September AHA! Nights, the FOC parking lot turns into a concert stage to showcase the best local jazz musicians. Neal also quietly funds live music for nonprofit events giving local talent work and visibility while making great entertainment for fundraisers within reach of the organizations. Additionally, he played a large role in helping orchestrate New Bedford’s JazzFest now going into its fourth year.
Neal anchors both of his enterprises in a historic downtown structure, the Kaller Beef Warehouse building, using the rear side to house Whaling City Sound. This thoughtful mixed use of space has made him a leader in bringing the downtown forward into an economy which is both supportive of industry and local arts and culture.
Lee Heald, who announced this award, said, “Neal is the real deal – a generous and giving spirit, a successful entrepreneur and business man and favorite impresario of the local music scene.”