Oklahoma Baptist University

Seminole Businessman Featured Minter Lecturer

A local roofing industry entrepreneur will share insights into a cancer survivor's view of life and business during Oklahoma Baptist University's Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice, Monday, March 4.

Brian Paul Coates, president of Coates Roofing Co. in Seminole, deliver a lecture on "A Cancer Survivor's Outlook on Life" at 10 a.m. in Yarborough Auditorium. The evening lecture and reception at 7 p.m. will be in the university's Geiger Center, 218-220. He will speak about leadership in the business community.

Coates has been president of Coates Roofing Co. for more than 15 years. His company has installed roofs for national companies such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Bama Foods, Home Depot and Lowe's in 46 states.

An instrument rated pilot, Coates also flies the company plane.

The Seminole native has attended Seminole State College, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Central Oklahoma.

A member of First Baptist Church in Seminole, Coates serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher. He is chairman of the board of the Seminole airport.

Coates was elected to the board of trustees for OBU in 1998.

After working as a brakeman and a switchman for the AT&SF Railway, Coates joined the family roofing company in 1982, when it was owned and operated by his father and an older brother. When they retired in 1985, Coates established the current company with his younger brother, Bruce.

The company has completed roofs on more than 600 Wal-Mart stores nationwide with an average of 75-100 employees. Their gross receipts have averaged $8-12,000,000 annually for the past 10 years. They are now engaged in two separate contracts which exceed $900,000 each.

In 1999, Coates was diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma. He underwent radical surgery at the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Hospital to remove the cancer from his lower lip. Coates has since had several reconstructive surgeries to rebuild his face.

He and his wife, Rhonda, have four children, Dalton, Amelia, Reagan and Abigail. They enjoy riding horses together on their cattle ranch northeast of Seminole.

The Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice is underwritten by 1940 OBU graduate Lloyd G. Minter of Bartlesville. The annual series began in 1991.

Minter built a successful 35-year career with Phillips Petroleum Co., rising to the position of senior vice president and general counsel before retiring in 1978. His desire to help OBU religious vocation students broaden their understanding of the business community led to establishing the innovative lecture series.

OBU annually has the largest number of religion majors among Southern Baptist four-year colleges and universities. The Minter Lectureship is designed to provide orientation and training for those students in the history and nature of the American economic system and to help the students understand and appreciate the business and professional community.

In addition to equipping the students with business knowledge for the institutions they will lead, the Minter Lectureship promotes proper management of personal finances.

Minter, who earned a law degree at the University of Oklahoma, currently is counsel for Boone, Smith, Davis, and Hurst of Tulsa. He has served five terms as an OBU trustee and two terms as a trustee of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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