George Nichols III, President and CEO of The American College of Financial Services, announced today that Joellen C. Meckley has been named Executive Director of the American College Center for Special Needs. In her position, Meckley will oversee the Center for Special Needs’ research, programs, and outreach to provide support for families and caregivers of people with special needs to create a secure financial future.
“26% of adults in the United States have a disability, and that number is growing. Throughout her career, Joellen has proven to be a genuine leader and champion in the field of special needs planning who is passionate about helping vulnerable seniors and individuals with special needs,” said Nichols. “We are confident Joellen will continue to support our mission to educate and empower families and caregivers to ensure that individuals with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives with security and stability.”
Established in 2014 by a transformative gift from MassMutual, the Center for Special Needs seeks to be the nation’s leading voice on financial planning for professionals working with the loved ones, guardians, and caregivers of those with special needs. Formed from expert thought leaders in the field and backed by the best-in-class knowledge and know-how of The College, the vision of the Center is to offer information, programs, and education that focuses on this underserved but growing part of our communities.
“I’m always seeking new ways to provide understanding, encouragement, and opportunities to help individuals with special needs to lead productive and fulfilling lives. The opportunity to lead a Center of Excellence like this, and work for an institution like The College that sets the gold standard of financial services education is a personal and professional honor,” said Meckley. “The College through the Center for Special Needs has proven they are committed to elevating the knowledge of financial planning professionals in the area of special needs planning and promoting strategies and solutions that aid individuals with special needs as well as their caregivers.”
Meckley most recently was a partner at Begley Law Group where she concentrated her practice in special needs planning, elder law, estate planning, and guardianship. She is licensed to practice law in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Meckley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors in Psychology from The University of Michigan, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and her Master’s in Health Finance and Management from Johns Hopkins University. Following graduation, she became licensed in New Jersey and Maryland as a nursing home administrator and spent several years running nursing home and assisted living facilities in different states. Through that work with the special needs community, older adults and their caregivers, she found herself increasingly drawn to helping clients plan proactively for the challenges of disability and aging. That passion led her to obtain a degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law and many years in private practice as an Elder Law and Special Needs Attorney.
About The American College of Financial Services
The American College of Financial Services was founded in 1927 and is the nation’s largest nonprofit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has educated one in five financial advisors across the United States and offers two graduate degree programs, along with prestigious financial planning designations such as the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), Wealth Management Certified Professional® (WMCP®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®), Chartered Special Needs Consultant® (ChSNC®), Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), and education leading to the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification. The College’s faculty represents some of the foremost thought leaders in the financial services profession. Visit TheAmericanCollege.edu and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.