The Titan of Local Capital


by Kelli White

orn and raised in Quincy, MA just a few miles south of

the late 1800s. That’s how Meade got his first real estate and construc - tion experience. He saw the major remodeling work his parents did on their new home, and throughout his formative years, Tom helped his dad do small projects around the house. In high school, Meade participat- ed in a foreign exchange student program and lived in Argentina for a year with a host family, an experi- ence that affected his life perspec- tive. “As a 16-year old kid, I moved to a foreign country in a different hemisphere (Christmas falls in the Summer!), learned a new language and culture, and attended school and church fully immersed in Spanish. Coming back from that year, I had a new outlook. First, I had a great-

er appreciation for my family and friends. It’s true what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder. I had really missed them. But at the same time, I had gained self-confidence and independence. I saw the value in learning things literally from the bottom up. I had to re-learn everything about day-to-day life. Beyond the obvious language barrier, they had bidets and they ate dinner at 8 or 9 pm every night!” Meade didn’t know at that time that learning from the bottom would turn out to be the strategy that helped him build his successful career. Right out of college, Meade went to work for Merrill Lynch where he had interned in the mailroom when he was still in school. This time, he


Boston, Tom Meade and his three siblings were children of working parents—his dad a nursing-home administrator and his mom a regis- tered nurse and clinical director of programs for autistic young adults. “I like to say I never missed a meal as a kid, but we didn’t have a lot of extra money. We went to Disney World once as a family, in August (the cheapest time of year to visit Florida),” he recalled. His childhood home was a two-family house; his aunt and grandmother lived on the first floor, and Tom’s family lived upstairs. When he was in 5th grade, his par- ents bought “a serious fixer upper,” an 11-room Victorian house built in

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