As a little girl, Beth Ann Meehan vacationed on Nantucket Island and vowed someday to live there year-round. In September 1994, she kept that promise, established a career and became a champion for affordable housing.
Meehan holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from SUNY Oswego and a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, but her heart lies in the mortgage business. She began her career as a mortgage originator in 1996 at Pacific National Bank on Nantucket and spent 15 years with the institution as it went through a number of mergers. In April 2012, she joined Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, where she works to create affordable mortgage products. “Cape Cod Five is now meeting the needs of all low- and moderate-income homebuyers on Nantucket, both with MassHousing and a portfolio of Nantucket affordable mortgage products,” she said.
While she thrives in her role as mortgage loan officer, her passion lies in advocating for affordable housing on the island. In 1999, she joined the board of the Nantucket Sustainable Development Corp., which focuses on community conservation. She also helped secure a $20,000 donation for Nantucket’s first-ever Year-Round Housing Needs Assessment.
In 2000, Meehan became a member of the Nantucket Housing Office and was instrumental in writing guidelines for the Nantucket Housing Needs Covenant program, which provides affordable housing for middle-income households earning up to 150 percent of Nantucket’s area median income. In 2013 and 2014, she continued to assist the Nantucket Housing Authority, which broke ground this year on a 40 single-family affordable housing project called Sachems Path.
William Hourihan, senior vice president, and regional president for the Nantucket market, praised Meehan for her long history of advocating for change and improvements in the affordable housing market on Nantucket.
“Her tenacity in taking care of those that need a voice is well known. When barriers present themselves, she finds a way to hurtle or, if need be, knock down barriers for those who are deserving,” Hourihan said. “When there are people to help, she can be as stubborn as a mule and kick twice as hard when it comes to advocating for them. This is especially true for affordable housing, Nantucket’s number-one problem in island living.”
“Her daily work in her chosen profession, plus her efforts in the nonprofit world, make her a champion for the many hard-working young families that make the island tick. Because of her efforts these families have a better chance for decent affordable housing, and a good place for their children to go to after school in the form of the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club,” Hourihan added.
As a parent, Meehan understands the challenges Nantucket parents face in trying to work, raise their families and make a difference on the island. She serves on the board of the Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, which her children, 11-year-old Maisie and 10-year-old Gillis, attend daily.
As for the future, Meehan plans to stay right where she is.
“I started as a loan officer 20 years ago and never wanted to step away from the interview. I would miss face-to-face contact with customers if I became a manager,” she said. “On the island, what drives you is giving back. My job is a mix of the best, with family and giving back to customers.”