Giving back to the community is an important mission in Lori Meads’ professional and personal life. It’s evident in the lengthy list of organizations with which she is involved.
Now vice president of marketing and administration at Seamen’s Bank, she got started in the banking industry almost right out of college. Meads joined the bank initially as a teller and moved up through the ranks to her present position. In her current role, she oversees all of the advertising, promotional materials and events for the bank.
She’s become an integral part of the community – the bank has five branches in the Provincetown area – as she is a lifelong resident of the Cape.
“As [the bank] got more involved in community events, I [was] asked to sit on nonprofit boards,” she said. “The bank has given me the flexibility to be able to serve on those community service boards to give back in the capacity that represents the communities.”
Her involvement the Cape Cod Children’s Place is particularly important to her. She was asked to attend a meeting to address an issue emerging on the lower Cape. Businesses were desperately in need of child care for their employees so they could continue to work and provide for their families, she said. At the same time, the Children’s Place was looking to expand to accommodate its increasing enrollment.
“At Seamen’s, we had several employees that were on maternity leave and were starting to make plans for how they were going to come back to work,” Meads said. “We made the conscious decision that our employees were a part of our success and we needed to support them and take that risk.”
The bank then worked out a plan with the Children’s Place, and as a result Seababies opened its doors in January 2005 and “has been full of children from Seamen’s Bank and others from all over the lower Cape ever since,” she said.
She’s also proud of her involvement with the Community Development Partnership (CDP), an organization that promotes environmental and economic sustainability while expanding opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents and preserving the lower Cape’s culture and character. The CDP, where Meads serves as president, addresses issues of economic development, affordable housing and support of local fisheries through loans and workshops to help them thrive.
But her day job isn’t her only job – Meads cites her biggest personal success as being a mom. Professionally, she says, being named a Community Bank Hero has been a pretty big highlight of her career.
“Getting this award [means] being recognized for the 20 years of community service that Seamen’s Bank has allowed me to engage in and give back to all of the communities that we serve in so many ways,” she said. “[I really appreciate] the interaction that I have with all of the community leaders and our customers and being able to react to their needs quickly and see the results of those efforts. I just think it’s really important for community banks to continue to exist and thrive because they do serve a bigger purpose than most people think.”