TEMPLE TERRACE – Lee Bell has taken his seat as the new head of day-to-day operations of the Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce.
The Colorado native and graduate of the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University assumed his new role as president and CEO on June 25, filling the slot of Dustie Amatangelo, who left the organization in May.
Bell, 53, said it’s a position he’s wanted since joining 10 years ago, an even more so while serving on the board of directors for the last seven of those years.
“I want to be a driving force in promoting and serving the chamber members in the greater Temple Terrace area,” said Bell said.
Prior to moving to the Tampa Bay area Bell spent 20 years in various positions domestically and internationally as an employee of Ashland Chemical Company, headquartered in Covington, Ky.
In 2004 he founded and oversaw 100 employees at Express Employment Professionals, a Temple Terrace business he operated until 2013, when he sold the franchise to new owners who also are active members of the Temple Terrace chamber.
“I purposely chose to start my staffing business in Temple Terrace because of the great business climate and the sense of community the city projects,” said the Davis Islands resident. “I promote Temple Terrace everywhere I go.”
Bell, who is single, now owns Career Fit One, a career assessment and coaching firm in which he, as its sole employee, helps students and adults from all over the world understand their natural abilities and how to use them in a career. He plans to continue that work on a very small scale via referrals.
He believes his more than 30 years of experience in the business world and his involvement in multiple chambers of commerce, including the Greater Tampa and South Tampa chambers, well equip his for his new job.
“My background in accounting, project management, sales, management, leadership and administration all come together to be an asset to the (Temple Terrace) chamber,” Bell said.
“I feel I was chosen from a great pool of candidates due to my experience in so many different areas and my flexibility to all sorts of situations – and my very strong desire to serve,” he added.
Bell is a member of Hyde Park Methodist Church, where he’s actively involved in mission work, youth leadership and local outreach efforts. In addition, he is engaged with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
He has his private pilot’s license and enjoys traveling, college sports and reading biographies and history books. His other interests include scuba diving, skydiving and white water rafting.
“I am also a big proponent of ‘pay it forward’ and I practice it every day,” Bell said.
Cheri Donohue, who from 2002 through 2009 held the position Bell now occupies, currently serves on the Temple Terrace chamber board and was a member the committee that chose Bell for the role she once had.
“We’re really happy that Lee has accepted the position,” Donohue said. “He really understands small business and how important it is to our city to help it grow.”
Chamber board chairman Jamie Klingman wholeheartedly concurred.
“The Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to have the talent and dedication that Lee Bell brings,” she said. “His years of experience in conducting business in Temple Terrace, as well as his strong civic drive, will help the chamber further serve our community.”
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]