Board of Directors

Lynn Spruill


Lynn Spruill joined Volunteer Starkville’s Board of Directors in November 2014. Spruill is highly involved in the Starkville community and enjoys volunteering at the Starkville Community Theater as well as serving on the board for the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. Spruill first became involved with Volunteer Starkville during her time as the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, a position which she held from 2005 to 2013. Because of her belief that Volunteer Starkville is a much needed resource for volunteering in the Starkville and Oktibbeha County community, Spruill has dedicated herself in helping to support Volunteer Starkville in the community by choosing to serve as a member of the board.

Spruill is currently the owner and General Manager of Spruill Property Management, which comprises the management and development of many apartments in town as well as Greenbriar subdivision. She has been a member in good standing of the Mississippi Bar since 2001 and is certified to practice law in Mississippi and Georgia. In 2005, she was named as one of the fifty top business women in Mississippi.

Jay Hurdle

Vice President

Jay has served on the board of Volunteer Starkville since September 2013. Jay is a local attorney who maintains a solo practice in Downtown Starkville focusing on family, corporate and criminal law. He believes that giving back is the best way to create a higher quality of life both for the beneficiaries and for the volunteers themselves.

Jay also serves on the board of directors of Starkville Young Professionals. As a graduate of Duke University, Jay’s favorite sporting event of the year is college basketball’s March Madness.

Barbi Bassham


Barbi Bassham is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with T.E. Lott & Company in the Starkville office, and Adjunct Accounting Instructor for online courses for Florence-Darlington Technical College in Florence, South Carolina. She moved to Starkville in May of 2016 and she looks forward to getting involved in the Starkville community and surrounding areas by lending a helping hand with various charitable activities. She’s always enjoyed being a part of a group that aspires to encourage and help others in need.

Barbi and her husband, Jason, recently relocated to Starkville in 2016 from Florence, South Carolina. They have two precious boys named Henry and Calvin, and a beloved dog they saved from the humane society named Bart. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, running, reading, and getting out to meet new people.

Judy Middleton


Judy Middleton is a project coordinator with the Mississippi State University’s Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU). The RCU supports Mississippi’s public education institutions through providing innovative and relevant educational resources. Before moving to Starkville, she worked for over 20 years in economic development organizations in the Cincinnati region.

Locally, Middleton has served as PTO President and member at Starkville High School. She also mentors at Overstreet School. Prior to moving to Starkville, Middleton served on the University of Cincinnati’s Advisory Committee, Cincinnati Eye Institute Board, Easter Seals Board, Urban League Leadership Development Steering Committee, Leadership Cincinnati Steering Committee, and Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce committees.

Middleton earned a Business Management degree from the University of Minnesota, and complete a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Mississippi State University. She is married to Stephen Middleton and they have a son at Mississippi State University.

Barbara Coats

Barbara Coats serves as the President of Volunteer Starkville and has been involved with the organization since the spring of 2012. Barbara’s passion for volunteerism extends far beyond her involvement with Volunteer Starkville, as she was integral in the founding of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service in 1993. With Coats’s understanding that “volunteering is at the heart of who we are in Mississippi,” she says that it is in that spirit that she continues her participation in advocating for volunteerism within the Starkville community.

Coats is a financial advisor (MBA, FIC, RR) with Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, a not-for-profit whose mission is to better the lives of its members and the communities in which they live. She states that she feels fortunate to be able to work with a fraternal financial that has contributed more than $300,000 real dollars into north Mississippi communities in 2012. Through her work with Modern Woodmen, Barbara earned the Modern Woodmen Career Development award in her first year with the company.

Dr. Cade Smith

Dr. Cade Smith has served on the board of Volunteer Starkville since it evolved during the fall of 2011 and is currently serving in the role of Secretary for 2014. Dr. Smith is the Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement (SLCE) and Assistant Dean of Students at Mississippi State University (MSU). In the Office of SLCE Dr. Smith is responsible for three leadership programs, the Mississippi Delta Alternative Break Network, MSU’s Alternative Spring Break Program, and the Maroon Volunteer Center. These programs closely overlap with the mission of Volunteer Starkville, so his being on the board is a great fit for both Volunteer Starkville and the Office of SLCE.

In 2012, programs within the Office of SLCE generated 23, 692 service hours in the Golden Triangle and Mississippi Delta Region with an estimated dollar value of $362,014. He states that the reason he continues to serve on the board is because “the best way to build stronger communities is through broad-based collaborative community efforts; so working hand-in-glove with Volunteer Starkville is natural.” Dr. Smith enjoys going on the Alternative Spring Break Learn and Serve trip to the Mississippi Delta with the MSU Alternative Spring Break Program. He finds time for service and fun outside of his busy work schedule and serves on the service committee of Trinity Presbyterian Church (PC-USA). He and his wife Dr. Becky Smith, Director of the MSU Extension Center for Economics Education, are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy competing in triathlons, marathons, and ultra marathons. Both have run 50 and 100 mile endurance runs and Ironman Triathlons. They have five children, ages 8-20.

Kathleen Burnett

Kathleen Burnett is a Senior Personal Banker at Cadence Bank, focusing on consumer and small business relationships, including assistance with account origination and maintenance and loan production. She is licensed with the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), and she is also licensed as a Notary Public in the state of Mississippi. In 2012, she was presented as a Mississippi Young Banker Scholar (Swayze Award Finalist), which is awarded to the top 5 Banking and Finance students in Mississippi each year.

Kathleen has been involved with community service events for over 10 years, getting started in high school. She particularly enjoys volunteer activities that involve animals, special holiday events, providing food/baking meals, and cleaning our city.

She is also an involved member of Pinelake Church and participates in some of their Care Center events during the holidays. She holds the Consumer Retail Banking position in BNI (Business Network International) and is an active member of Starkville Young Professionals. Besides work and community service events, Kathleen enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking with her husband, Cody. They support Grassroots Animal Rescue and adopted their two dachshunds, Nellie and June, through the organization.

Lauren Lang

Lauren Lang is a Pilates instructor at Midtown Pilates and a stay-at-home mom. She is originally from Columbus, MS and is a graduate of Mississippi State. She is married to Benjamin Lang of Vollor-Lang Law Firm, and mother to Anna Hudson. She became a board member in January 2017. 

Lauren believes volunteer work always teaches you something new about yourself, others, and the needs of your community.  She is excited to explore  all of the great volunteer opportunities in our community and actively work in bringing different groups together to make a lasting difference in Starkville. She has been involved in community service since moving back to Starkville in 2010, and has spent much of that time working with those in need. She has served with the Starkville Community Market, Casserole Kitchen, and is currently on the boards of Helping Hands Ministries of Oktibbeha County and Modern Woodmen Chapter #146.

Her hobbies include Pilates, playing and reading with Anna Hudson, spending time with family and friends, volunteering in the community, and binging on too many tv shows with her husband.