Meet one of our supporters
Pictured above is Barb Matteson and Steve Clayton as they get ready to bid in the Live Auction at Hookers Ball. Learn more about Barb and her relationship with the Fishermen's Alliance through the following Q&A.
Q: You’ve been a long-time supporter of the Alliance. Why?
A: I believe Cape Cod would not be the same without our fishermen. The Cape was historically a fishing community, and what’s more, it is part of what makes our small towns viable today.
Q: Viable. Can you give us a banker’s perspective on that—after all, you’ve been at Cape Cod Five for nearly 40 years.
A: Yes, well, fishing is incredibly important to our year-round economy. Work relating to fishing supports a good many people here. Plus, it is an industry that keeps us focused on protecting our natural resources—which are major assets.
Q: How did you find out about the Fishermen’s Alliance?
A: That’s actually a bank-related tale that goes back some twenty years. A group of fishermen—they weren’t yet officially the Alliance—came to us for a loan. They explained they were banding together to create an organization to work on preserving fishing as a way of life. We liked that idea. But they did not have the kind of financial history the bank required. I was a branch manager at the time and when I went ahead and approved the loan, I worried I might lose my lending authority. I’m a VP now, still here—and so is the Alliance.
Q: What made you believe in those fishermen?
A: They were just so committed. Each one of them was prepared to sign on the loan personally. I also had an insider’s point of view, I suppose. I had been married to a fisherman at one time, and I remembered so many cold mornings shivering under my blankets while he was out fishing. I knew how determined fishermen could be in the face of risks and hardships.
Q: When you tell people why they should support the Alliance now, what do you say?
A: One thing I think people aren’t yet aware of is just how concerned our local fishermen are with sustaining the fish stocks. The Alliance is doing important work bringing fishermen’s experience to bear on sustainability. And of course I tell people about the Hookers Ball.
Q: What do you like best about the Ball?
A: The auction, definitely. I always bid on the clambakes. Last year, I didn’t get one. But I was happy to be outbid. I’m hoping it means more people are starting to get behind the Alliance’s work.