Laurel Flowers and Kimberly Coleman are two sisters who have found success through service. The University of Mobile graduates used their degrees from the Grace Pilot School of Business, combined with their passion for serving others and their communities, to build award-winning careers as agents with State Farm Insurance.
Laurel is the agency owner of Laurel Flowers State Farm in Saraland, Alabama. Her older sister, Kimberly, is the owner of Kimberly Coleman State Farm a few miles down the road in Mobile. Both are heavily invested in their communities – Laurel is president elect of the Saraland Area Chamber of Commerce, and Kimberly is a chamber ambassador with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the alumni board at UM.
Their time at the University of Mobile is the common factor in each of their success stories.
Owner, Laurel Flowers State Farm
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics ’14
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Finance ’14
Master of Business Administration ’14
I’d just love to say ‘thank you’ to the staff and professors at UM for loving us students and going the extra mile to help whenever they can. They are what makes the University of Mobile what it is today. – Laurel Flowers ’14
After graduating in 2014 from the University of Mobile’s 5-year Integrated Master’s program (with two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and business administration/finance and a Master of Business Administration), Laurel trained with an agent in Nashville, Tennessee. She returned to Saraland, Alabama, and opened Laurel Flowers State Farm in 2017. Since then, she has earned some of the highest honors in the company, including Chairman’s Circle, Ambassador Club and Top 100 New Agents.
“I wanted to be a business owner to have the flexibility with my job to be there for all of my family’s special moments, and to plug into the community any chance I could get. I am a big believer in giving back, and my goal when launching my business was to be considered among the most generous people in my community. Insurance not only gave me that opportunity, but on top of that, my job was literally to step in when things didn’t go as planned for my customers,” Laurel said.
“I remember driving to a home that was still smoking from a total loss house fire to bring a State Farm check for $10,000 to the family so their immediate needs were taken care of, like clothing, toothbrushes, and a place to stay for the night. I’ve had a classmate and single mom that passed away in a tragic car accident and I was able to step in with a check for life insurance to make sure those babies were taken care of. It makes my job easy when I know we are selling a product that helps our customers protect their families.”
Owner, Kimberly Coleman State Farm
Master of Business Administration ’10
Being a part of the master’s program at the University of Mobile helped me in all facets of my business. – Kimberly Coleman ’10
Kimberly worked for a Farmers Insurance agent throughout her college career. After graduating with a Master of Business Administration from UM, she maintained her license requirements for 15 years while also building a career at Coca Cola Bottling company. There, she held several roles from sales analyst to marketing, covering many regions and working out of the corporate headquarters. Recently, she was offered a position back in insurance and, in 2021, opened Kimberly Coleman State Farm. Her team of four has held a top 10 position in a territory that includes over 46 tenured agents.
“My job as an insurance agent is to mitigate risks for my customers and make their uncomfortable circumstances a little more comfortable. Beyond that, insurance agency has given me the platform to share my testimony in ways my prior role could not. I can bring community initiatives and business together and help more people than in my prior career. State Farm has been a great support in providing resources to allow us to engage with our communities more than ever before,” Kimberly said. “I learned a lot working for corporate America; stewardship programs were something I knew I wanted to replicate. It is so rewarding to know that what you are doing is making an impact in the local community. I love to be out in the community, so often you will find me at an event or sponsored on a sports banner.”
Q: How did your University of Mobile experience impact you?
Laurel: The University of Mobile was such a unique experience compared to most universities. My classes were small enough where my professors and classmates knew who I was. The students and staff saw when I opened my agency, and many of them are now my customers. I’d just love to say ‘thank you’ to the staff and professors at UM for loving us students and going the extra mile to help whenever they can. They are what makes the University of Mobile what it is today.
Kimberly: Being a part of the master’s program at UM helped me in all facets of my business. From the accounting and finance courses helping me to understand the basics of balancing expenses, with net income, to the marketing courses that led me to discover there was more to investing in a business than just a billboard, to business classes that helped with a general scope of managing and running a company, these have all led and directed me to be a successful business owner. I don’t think you can ever fully prepare for managing people, especially through a pandemic, but through the courses and instruction at UM, I was able to smoothly navigate through being a confident business owner.