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Lex Meagher

Executive Vice President
Senior Commercial Credit Officer

 

Q&A

What does a good day at work look like to you?

For me, a good day means variety. In my prior role as General Counsel, I relished being involved in many areas—from negotiating vendor contracts and answering branch calls, to reviewing mortgage documents and deposit disclosures. As Senior Commercial Credit Officer, my focus is narrower—oriented around commercial credit—but my days are anything but typical. I begin most days with a “to do” list, but rarely do the hours unfold as planned. Some level of controlled chaos is probably my sweet spot.

What do you like best about the culture at Kennebunk Savings? Which one of our brand values (Integrity, Empathy, Proactive, Trust) resonates most strongly for you?

When I think about the Bank’s culture, the first word that comes to mind is “helping.” Externally, our focus is on our customers and community—doing what we can to help them succeed. That’s definitely a shared goal across the organization. Internally—and, I think, a huge driver of our culture—is that same commitment to each other. There’s a genuine interest in helping each other succeed day-to-day, both in service of our shared organizational goals and, in many cases, personally. I know I’m biased, but my experience here is that we’ve got a bunch of a genuinely good people who want to do the right thing.

For me, the value of empathy resonates most strongly. When I think of the “helper” spirit at Kennebunk Savings, it’s rooted in empathy: understanding the feelings and circumstances of another person. Whether that person is a co-worker, customer, or member of the community—I think we’re at our best when we’re actively trying to understand the perspective of others.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Often, the greatest value you bring to an organization isn’t your “technical knowledge” or mastery of the responsibilities set forth in a job description. Don’t get me wrong—you’ve got to be able to do the job, and get the work done. But, really, the magic happens when you think institutionally: what is the organization trying to accomplish, and how can I help? In the past year, for example, I’ve observed our CEO underwrite PPP loans and Senior Managers deliver computer equipment to remotely-working staff. The exciting part is that needs are always changing! By being proactive and institutionally-minded, you’ll never run out of new and interesting challenges.

What living person do you most admire?

My mom.

What words or phrases do you most overuse?

Although I’ve been working in banking since 2011 and now spend my days focused on commercial credit, I haven’t fully kicked many of my “lawyer-isms.” That usually comes through in my writing, which tends to be overly formal (think: “therefore” and “whereas.”) I also say “I don’t disagree” a lot. Is that a lawyer thing?

What would you consider your greatest achievement or moment of greatest impact?

Professionally, I am most proud of my role in the Bank’s management of the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. When PPP went “live” shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was about 14 months into my tenure as Senior Commercial Credit Officer, having spent the previous 7+ years as the Bank’s General Counsel. Still relatively new to the job. The inaugural “PPP weekend” in April was a rollercoaster of challenges—complex rules, overwhelming demand, and a remote workforce. Together with a small group stationed at the Bank’s Operations Center, we developed, implemented, and scaled a system that ultimately enabled the Bank to originate loans that were critical to many of our local businesses at a difficult time. I’m pleased how we responded to step up for our community.