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Meredith Begley, corporate secretary-treasurer of Black Mountain Savings Bank, was recently elected chairperson of the North Carolina Bankers Association’s Young Bankers Division.

 The association created the North Carolina Young Bankers in late 2015 to identify emerging leaders in the state’s banking industry and to help foster their professional development. The division provides its members with educational resources, leadership opportunities and networking events. Members coordinate financial literacy efforts to help young North Carolina’s youth.

Begley grew up in banking, often hiding in a “secret cabinet in (her father Wendell Begley’s) large L-shaped desk,” she says in a testimonial she wrote to the North Carolina Young Bankers in August. A third-generation banker, she didn’t expect to go into banking. As a little girl, she found it boring.

“I have changed,” she wrote. “Community banks are the backbone of our communities.”

“To be able to help a customer face to face, it makes your job fulfilling and it puts the customer at ease. They trust you to take care of them,” she said last week.

Begley was among the 12 young bankers who were asked to formulate a mission and direction for the North Carolina Young Bankers. Modeled after similar groups in other states, the organization is now approaching 400 members. The newest young bankers group in the nation, it has the second-largest membership.

 “My being able to call on my peers who are similar to our size to see what they’re doing, I’m able to solve problems that arise here and make decisions that best fit us,” she said. “This has recharged my batteries. I’m around young people with new ideas – that’s inspiring for me. It renews my pride in my job as a community banker.”

Begley, who grew up going to Valley schools, started at the bank as a teller in 1995. She became corporate secretary in 2002. She coordinates the Black Mountain Rotary Club’s participation in the MANNA FoodBank backpack program that sends food home with children over the weekend. She is an officer of the Black Mountain Elementary School PTO and a sponsor of the Kiwanis Club’s K-Kids program there.

The bank began as Black Mountain Building and Loan Association, incorporating Nov. 30, 1908. Begley’s grandfather, Marcus F. Begley, began working there in 1962. Wendell Begley started as a teller in 1972 and is now president. Meredith Begley found her love for banking in college, at UNC Asheville, she said.

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