Enterprise Bank had several reasons for wanting to open a branch in Dracut. First of all, the company had no branches on the north side of the Merrimack River. Then there was the fact that Dracut was (and still is) a growing town with an economy to match.
And then there was the one factor that sewed it up -- Meredith Boumil-Flynn.
The Dracut native and longtime community volunteer was working for First Bank at the 1168 Lakeview Avenue site where now stands the Enterprise Bank branch. When First Bank was bought by Shawmut, Enterprise swooped in and hired Meredith, then opened the Dracut branch with her as its manager.
George Duncan, founder and chairman of Enterprise Bank, said getting Meredith on board was a key to opening a Dracut branch.
“She had run that bank when it was First Bank,” George says. “We knew how outstanding she was and how deep her roots run in Dracut. She’s probably as well respected as any banker. She has great customer service and great dedication to the community as well. She really was the bank.
“When we had Meredith on our team, that was the clincher. We had other options, but she really sealed the deal for us.”
That was in 1997. This year, Enterprise Bank’s Dracut branch celebrates its 25th anniversary and is Dracut Economic Development’s December Business of the Month.
Meredith still works for Enterprise Bank, though now as a regional manager and senior vice president. Jessica Silva is the branch service manager for the Dracut office. In 2017, Enterprise Bank bought the plaza that houses its Dracut branch, sandwiched between Mama’s Italian Restaurant and Mathew G. Boule Memorial Park.
Meredith points out that the Dracut branch was the sixth opened by Enterprise Bank, founded by George in 1988. This year, the bank opened its 27th branch in Londonderry, N.H.
“The plan was always to get on the north side of the river,” Meredith says. “They had Lowell, Tewksbury, Leominster, Billerica, and Mr. Duncan wanted to come to Dracut. And I decided to come work for him.”
That move into Dracut, according to George, opened more opportunities for the bank, including branches north of the border.
“In a sense, the success Meredith had in Dracut became a cornerstone for us going into Hudson and Pelham,” he says. “We build a strategy around people, and then the branch becomes a step into the next community.”
With Meredith at the helm when the Dracut branch opened, she was able to continue her – and the bank’s – tradition of giving back to the community. Meredith has served on Dracut’s Affordable Housing Partnership Committee, Capital Planning Committee, Finance Committee and the board of the Dracut Food Pantry. She is also on the Board of Trustees at Ste Jeanne d’Arc School in Lowell, and was honored in 2012 at the Massachusetts State House an Unsung Hero at a ceremony honoring women who demonstrate dedication to the cities and towns in which they live.
That type of volunteer spirit fits right in with that of Enterprise Bank.
“If we see something or someone that needs help, we want to help out,” Meredith says. “There’s a spirit of caring.”
George is proud to point out that Enterprise Bank is perennially one of the top companies in the state in terms of volunteerism.
“We have always been a major leader in philanthropy compared to other companies in the state, not just banks,” he says. “Community involvement has always been something we’ve been known for.”
The bank’s founder is also proud of Enterprise being named 10 years straight as one of The Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work. This year, the company was also recognized by Energage with a Top Workplaces National Culture Excellence Award, earning praise for its professional development, employee appreciation and employee well-being.
If that’s not enough, Enterprise was also named in 2021 as the Granite State Development Corporation’s top Small Business Association lender for issuing more SBA loans New Hampshire than any other lender in the state that fiscal year.
As George says, “We’re a local bank whose culture is to get involved in the community, to be a major player in the community -- business lending, mortgage lending, investment management. That’s what we’re all about. And we have a high level of customer service. Those are the things that set us apart from other banks. A lot of banks talk about these things, but they don’t pull it off like we do.”