New NEFBA president following a family tradition

Meagan Hart Perkins combines a career, public service and family while adding another duty.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 12:00 a.m. January 31, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Meagan Hart Perkins, 37, is the youngest woman to lead the Northeast Florida Builders Association. Her father led the group in 1996.
Meagan Hart Perkins, 37, is the youngest woman to lead the Northeast Florida Builders Association. Her father led the group in 1996.
  • Real Estate
  • Share

The Northeast Florida Builders Association has elected Meagan Hart Perkins as its 2024 president.

Hart Perkins, 37, is the fourth woman to lead NEFBA and the organization’s youngest female leader. 

 The last woman to lead the organization as president was Barbara Moore in 2012.

Hart Perkins works with her father, Curtis Hart, at Hart Resources. The company represents developers in land use planning and zoning matters.

Curtis Hart was NEFBA president in 1996.

Executive Officer Jessie Spradley sees that as an advantage.

“I think Meagan is going to keep NEFBA focused on government affairs and advocacy, not just in Jacksonville but the entire region,” Spradley said.

“Curtis Hart has been a long-time serving member. Those are big shoes to fill, but she is more than capable of living up to that challenge.”

Hart Perkins is an attorney with her own law practice. She is chair of the St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Agency, an appointed position by the County Commission. If Hart Resources has business before the agency, she recuses herself. That may happen once a year, she said.

Hart Perkins is a graduate of Florida State University, where she majored in finance and real estate before deciding to attend law school. 

After graduating from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2011 and becoming a lawyer, she worked in the State Attorney’s Office focusing on assaults and domestic violence matters.

She found the job too stressful.

“You know, it’s just not something I wanted to put myself in the position of having to deal with and then come home to my family,” she said.

After 2½ years she joined her father’s company. Whether separately or together, Hart Perkins and her father regularly meet with Jacksonville City Council members to discuss proposed zoning bills.

She prepared for her NEFBA leadership role in 2019 by becoming part of the inaugural class of the organization’s Emerging Leaders Program. 

She is the first president to have graduated from the program.

“I got involved in a great program just to get me a holistic view of what happens in our industry,” she said.

“Not just from a developer’s point of view, but from the builders, from the mortgage lenders and other points of view that maybe I don’t deal with every day.”

Increasing membership is always a goal and NEFBA is growing.

It has recruited nearly 200 members the past two years and has an 83% membership retention rate. Maintaining and increasing those numbers is important to Perkins.

“Our membership is up to 1,234, which is really good, but it could always do better,” she said.

NEFBA has the fourth-largest membership of the builders associations in the country, Spradley said.

During her year as president, Hart Perkins wants NEFBA to work to ease red tape that she says developers face, particularly in St. Johns County. 

She wants NEFBA’s Government Affairs committee to concentrate on ways to communicate members needs more effectively.

Hart Perkins plans to lobby for state funding so NEFBA can build a single facility for its apprentice program. Trades are now separated into locations around the area. Interest in the building trades is increasing with 440 apprentice applications last year, she said.

With so much going on in her life, it takes a strong partnership to make it all work, she said.

She is married to Matthew Perkins and they have two children, ages 9 and 6.

“So if it weren’t for him, I probably would not be able to have the time to do it.”



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.