Barbara R Coats


Barbara R Coats


Modern Woodmen membership is about relationships. We take time to get to know you and your needs. Get to know me and how we might connect.

Contact Barbara R Coats
At work

At work

At work

Why I do what I do

Why I do what I do

I am so blessed to make a living by helping others. Financial matters can be confusing, frightening and even overwhelming! Each day, I sit down and help people overcome financial concerns and obstacles. I also get to help my community with our fraternal programs and activities. It’s very rewarding.

I serve members in…

Starkville and the surrounding area, primarily, though I have clients throughout the state. Additionally, I'm licensed in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Indiana and Texas.

I can help you plan for life using a variety of tools, including…

life insurance, annuities, mutual funds and variable annuities.

I enjoy working with…

individuals and small-business owners. My special passion is teaching the basics to those who might otherwise be too intimidated to ask questions, or who feel investing is simply too overwhelming to understand. Never! I do a great deal of work with members of the Mississippi state retirement system (PERS) and I understand that system very well.

I attended…

Mississippi State University for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I also have several financial certifications from The American College of Financial Services.

I am very proud of…

the fact that my clients/members and I regularly put over $100,000 back into our Starkville-area community annually! This comes in the form of service projects, matching funds, educational events and honoring Modern Woodmen Hometown Heroes. How blessed am I to work for an organization that makes this a part of my job?

Before Modern Woodmen, I…

was director of student affairs at Mississippi State University's College of Veterinary Medicine for 14 years, and then an independent communication strategist for several years.

I chose Modern Woodmen because…

Modern Woodmen offered me the opportunity to be heavily involved in my community and to offer financial support to my community by helping individuals with their financial and retirement planning. It truly is the best of both worlds, and after 10-plus years with the organization, I continue to be more proud of Modern Woodmen every single day.

The best part of my career is…

seeing the light come on in a person's eyes when they "get it." Whether we're discussing life insurance, investing, college planning or a community service activity, knowing that my members are part of the decision-making process, rather than blindly following my lead, is very important to me.

A favorite moment in my career was when…

after hearing on the news that a young man had died in my community, I called his grandfather, who had - several years before - purchased life insurance for all his grandchildren. Obviously, I would have preferred to never have to make that call, but when I did, he said, "Barbara, I don't know what we would be doing right now if I hadn't run into you that day. I just don't know."


I firmly believe that God brought me to Modern Woodmen. What I do through this career is a ministry, and I am so incredibly grateful!

“I serve members in Starkville and the surrounding area, primarily, though I have clients throughout the state. Additionally, I'm licensed in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Indiana and Texas.”
At home

At home

At home

My life outside of work

My family includes…

my husband, Eddie, a helicopter flight nurse, and our three sons. Preston, also a nurse, is married to Ruth, a teacher, and they made us grandparents to Canon, Aubrey and Edie Ruth. Jason, a dentist, is married to Mary, a physical therapist, and they have Finley and Shaw. Kenny, a U.S. Air Force air traffic controller and pilot, is married to Natalie, a recruiting specialist at Mississippi State University (and graduate student).

In my free time, you can find me…

doing something with my family. I'm one of six children, and Eddie and I chose Starkville as our home so our boys could know their cousins. We are all each other's first choice for companionship! We live on 22 acres of land, so there is always something that needs cutting, feeding or fixing!

I’m passionate about…

family! Having five grandbabies has only quintupled the love! I also volunteer a great deal of my time to try to make where I live a better place for all of us.

My greatest blessing is…

the grace of God. He's given me an amazing family, a circle of friends and coworkers, perfect health and a work ethic that allows me to help others.

My personal motto is…

"In the end, it is not the words of our enemies we shall remember, but the silence of our friends." That's a quote from MLK Jr. and one that touched me deeply the first time I read it. Since that day years ago, I have never let fear of being uncomfortable allow me to remain silent when a friend is hurting. A simple "I'm thinking of you" or "I'm sorry for what you're going through" is all it takes. I never want to be a silent friend.

My hidden talent is…

I'm a pretty decent cook. My sons say my chicken salad is the best they've ever had!


I was incredibly fortunate to be the top female representative for all of Modern Woodmen for several years in a row. God is good!

Community impact

In the community

In the community

My local community impact

I have lived in my community…

all my life, with the exception of a few years in adulthood.

What I like best about my community is…

that Mississippi is an incredibly generous state. Everything Modern Woodmen does in our community wouldn't be possible without our members and friends giving their time and resources. All we ever have to do is ask!

I’m a member of…

St. Joseph Catholic Church, BNI (Business Network International), Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary, and the Starkville Police Department Community Policing Auxiliary. I'm also involved with Starkville Community Theater. Past involvements include Volunteer Starkville and Helping Hands Ministries.

My favorite volunteer activities are…

those I can look back on and see what we've accomplished.

It’s very important to me to support my community. My favorite Modern Woodmen programs are:

volunteering alongside other Modern Woodmen members.

My favorite memory from a fraternal event is…

the time I spent one Saturday morning with a group of Modern Woodmen members at a local nursing home. We played games, did some crafts and played music. One man so enjoyed our ping-pong bounce game that he played it for two hours without end. He was absolutely beaming as we doted on his skills. He died within weeks of that day, but I smile every time I think of his sweet smile and the "star" he was on that Saturday!


The pandemic brought about so many opportunities to help others. In our community, a group known as Starkville Strong formed, and is now a nonprofit. Starkville Strong pays no salaries nor overhead of any kind; it is run out of the retail store of a volunteer and is manned by volunteers. They focus on food and housing insecurity in Starkville, including managing 7 free food pantries throughout the town. Being involved with this organization has been a focus for my office this year.

Featured story

Featured story

Featured Story Image

Giving back to our teachers

Our Teacher Trivia Night has become a popular community event! Teachers form trivia teams, with the players making a contribution to play. Each teacher keeps his/her team's contribution, plus a dollar-for-dollar match from Modern Woodmen. MWA members prepare a terrific meal for everyone, and we play 5-6 rounds of trivia ... and we laugh a great deal! The teachers have unrestricted use of these funds in their classrooms, which allows them to purchase items they would otherwise have had to buy from on their own. This is my favorite fraternal event!

Current insights

Current insights

Our Wild About Animals campaign is making an impact nationwide. In the first quarter, a total of 437 service activities were completed, with a total of $56,923 fraternal dollars spent to help animals in local communities. Let’s keep the momentum going as we move into our next quarter -- helping local pets!

As your teen graduates and heads off to college, it might be a good time to teach them the importance of financial planning. Budgeting, saving and even the importance of life insurance aren't things they're thinking about, but need to be mindful of when they're off on their own. Need tips? I'd love to help.

It’s my pleasure to once again support Touch A Truck at Sudduth Elementary. Have you SEEN the new playground? It’s fabulous!

Have you ever wondered about our logo? The shield is the protection we provide our members. The clouds form an eagle's head, looking out for the communities we serve. The logo represents our values as an organization -- financial security, quality family life and community impact.


Contact me

Let’s connect

We can help you review your needs and plan for your financial future throughout life. (Learn more about Modern Woodmen's Planning for Life system and products.) Because Modern Woodmen is a fraternal financial services organization, we can also explore the benefits of being a member.

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Modern Woodmen is licensed to sell life insurance and annuity products in most states. This information should not be considered a solicitation in those states where Modern Woodmen is not licensed.

Securities offered through MWA Financial Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Modern Woodmen of America, 1701 1st Avenue, Rock Island, IL 61201, 309-558-3100. Member: FINRA, SIPC. Products are available in most states. Individual representatives may not be licensed to sell all products. Check the background on either the firm or the representative on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

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