The second nearest-neighbor modified embedded-atom method (2NN MEAM) interatomic potential is an extended version of the MEAM originally developed by Baskes. Over the last two decades, 2NN MEAM has been applied to more than hundred binary and multicomponent metal and covalent bonding systems, including carbide, nitride and hydride systems. In recent years, the formalism has also been extended in a way that combines with a charge equilibration scheme originally proposed by Goddard, to account for ionic bonding systems. In the present talk, the parameter optimization strategies, transferability and challenges in 2NN MEAM potential developments will be outlined with examples. The probable differences between 2NN MEAM and MEAM formalisms for a binary system, which should be taken care of when combining potentials from both formalisms to describe a higher order system, will also be outlined.