Sunday, July 19, 2015

Business spotlight - Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial - By Michelle Libby

Modern Woodmen is a financial organization that cares about its members, finances, and more. Modern Woodmen has two parts, one is the financial side and the other is the fraternal side, where members are encouraged to volunteer and get involved in fun monthly activities sponsored by Modern Woodmen. The branch in Windham, run by Managing Partner Tim Graham, is involved in many community activities from matching funds for local projects, to plant a tree programs and educational programs. Also there is Hometown Heroes, which honors positive role models.  

“It really comes down to the relationship you have with someone,” said Graham. “Members have to have a warm and fuzzy feeling when you’re working with them.” At Modern Woodmen, they foster that personal relationship and know that communication is priority one. 

“It’s about you, not about the advisor,” said Graham. They get to know their clients and find out about risk tolerance and financial goals. The team in Windham is office manager Stephanie Dow, financial representatives Laurie Paradis-Graham, Mike Toth and Graham. When hiring team members, he looks for people who are honest, have high integrity and morals. These are the people clients are trusting to take care of their financial wellness. 

 The mission of Modern Woodmen is “To improve the quality of life for our members.” Modern Woodmen’s goals are to, 1. Take care of its members. 2. Keep the lights on. 3. Put the balance of the money back into the community. “It’s a good business model,” he said. “Our philosophy is to treat our members’ money as if it was our own.” 

Modern Woodmen got its name 132 years ago when the organization was created to care for the widows and orphans of the logging industry. Today that tradition of caring is what drives the employees of the company. 

 Today, members are anyone from a family with young children to older couples who want to discuss estate planning or when to take Social Security. Modern Woodmen offers life insurance, online banking, retirement plans, college saving programs and most other financial products.  “Modern Woodmen is rated A plus by A.M. Best for 31 consecutive years,” said Graham. For every $1 of liability Modern Woodmen has, they have $1.11 on hand, should a payout be needed.  

“I like helping people when they are just starting out, to helping people secure their financial futures. We grow as they grow,” Toth said. 

The Windham branch services a 30 mile radius around Windham.  Recently they have been helping current clients and new clients develop a plan and become educated on the opportunities available when their companies give them a buy-out option or they have to discuss retirement.  They like helping people should they be laid off or have to roll their 401k. 

The company also works with small businesses to develop employee benefit plans to help retain employees.

“We educate them so they can make a good decision,” said Graham. 

At one point the industry thought day trading on personal computers would make the need for financial advisors obsolete, but now people have realized that it’s the personal interaction that can help a person meet their financial goals. Modern Woodmen offers yearly reviews and for some members they meet more often as requested. There are many member benefits like college scholarships, accelerated benefits and a prescription savings card. 

“The best part is when someone retires and they start getting paid,” said Graham. They are then reaping the benefits they have worked so hard for, he added. 

Modern Woodmen is working on developing another chapter on its fraternal side, which will enable them to give back to the community more. For more information or to speak with a financial advisor, contact Modern Woodmen at 207-892-0302 or online at

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