As an independently owned community bank, we’ve made it our mission to make a difference in the communities we serve. And for the fifth year in a row, Minnesota Business magazine has recognized our efforts by naming Bell Bank a finalist in the Community Impact Awards.
Michael Solberg, Bell's president and CEO, says the company is built on the premise that people matter.
“Everyone at Bell realizes it’s important, not only how we treat our co-workers and customers, but also how we impact the community,” he remarks. “We provide employees with paid volunteer time and Pay It Forward dollars to give where they see the greatest need. That grassroots approach to giving has made all of us better stewards, as we are constantly on the lookout for people who need a helping hand.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Bell’s Pay It Forward program, which gives full- and part-time employees money to donate to people and organizations in need. So far, Bell has given more than $11 million through the program to help others, such as a North Dakota organization that trains service dogs to help people with serious medical conditions; the family of an Arizona law enforcement officer who lost his life in the line of duty; and a Minneapolis mobile food shelf program that makes sure low-income seniors and people with disabilities have something to eat.
Bell also sponsors programs that make a difference in our communities, like Trollwood Performing Arts School, which provides arts education and performance programs for students. Bell gives employees paid volunteer time. And we’ve teamed up with hockey star Matt Cullen to give kids dealing with health issues a VIP experience at a Minnesota Wild hockey game.
(You can read more of our giving stories here.)
We were honored to be a finalist in both Workplace Giving and Best in Class Large. Workplace Giving recognizes companies for “creating a successful, focused employee-giving program or volunteer campaign,” and Best in Class Large recognizes companies for “overall excellence in making a substantial and positive impact on Minnesota communities.”
Community Impact Award nominations are submitted and then distributed to an internal review team, which narrows them down to the top five. An external judging panel of industry experts then ranks their top three in each category, and Minnesota Business calculates the scores based on those rankings.