News & Media
The Bell Company July 2017 Manager's Meeting
August 10, 2017
On July 27th, The Bell Company, LLC’s management team gathered in Annapolis, MD for the July 2017 Project Manager’s Meeting. The two-day event began with a day of back-to-back meetings. With several new projects ramping up and several more in the queue, the leadership had a lot to discuss. Steve Ruether, The Bell Company President, presented a 2017 Performance Awards to Denys Copeland for her excellent support and performance over the past year. Executive Vice President Mike Benulis presented Performance Awards to Pat Nugent and Dennis Ringer, while Executive Vice President Andy Carayiannis also gave Performance Awards to Paul Stiles and Wayne Townsend for their outstanding contributions to the Company’s success over the past year. Matt Bardin and Steve Cox also received engraved watches to commemorate ten years of continuous employment at Bell.
(1) Mike Benulis thanks Project Manager Pat Nugent with a 2017 Performance Award for
his contribution to Bell’s success.
(2) Matt Bardin celebrates 10 consecutive years with The Bell Company.
(3) Project Manager Paul Stiles receives award for exceptional performance over the past year.
(4) Andy Carayiannis thanks Steve Cox for his ten-year commitment to The Bell Company.
This year, the July Project Manager’s Meeting was a little different from years past. In a memo released to the surprised management team, company president Steve Ruether announced that on Day 2 of the meeting, in lieu of gathering in a conference room to conduct company business, Bell would host a fishing charter for meeting attendees. At 6:00 A.M. the next morning, everyone met at the Queen Anne Marina in Stevensville, MD equipped for a morning of sport fishing. The event gave participants from all four offices an opportunity to connect and strengthen relationships between departments.
Although the morning was overcast, the water was calm on the Chesapeake Bay. The captains of the Bonehead, the Brawler, the Hot Lick and the Just-A-Gamble embarked Bell’s management team and set out looking for the best spot to catch Maryland Rockfish.
The Hot Lick team was the first to catch their limit (two each and one for the boat) and return to shore.
The Hot Lick Team with their haul.
The other three boats took their time, holding back waiting and hoping to score the prize for the largest fish. By 11:45 all the boats had caught the maximum allowed and were safely docked at the marina, making it back seconds before the rain started to fall.
The Brawler team, led by Executive Vice President Mike Benulis, laid claim to the largest fish – crew mate Steve Cox brought in a 32 ½” Rockfish that is still in his freezer. He was in good company; all 22 participants brought in fish that were at least 23”.
Steve Cox proudly displays the winning catch.
Bell President Steve Ruether headed up the Bonehead’s team. As he sat back and watched, his team-mates fished for more than two hours, competing with each other for the biggest catch. Finally, his mates convinced the boss to pick up a rod and within minutes Ruether caught the largest fish on the boat.
(Left) Ruether enjoying the show.
(Right) The Bonehead’s impressive Friday morning take.
Some opted to donate their catch to local charities, while others took theirs home on ice in anticipation of a great meal and a chance to tell their personal fish tales from the Bell Fishing Trip 2017.
(Left) Just a Gamble’s team showing off the morning’s catch.
(Right) Bell Safety Manager Ryan Zelenka and his tall fish tale
The Bell Company Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary at Founder John P. Bell Day Event
June 17, 2017
June 19, 2017 - Friday afternoon the 16th of June, members of the Bell Family, current and past employees, and other guests who hold a long-standing relationship with the Company gathered to honor The Bell Company's founder at the annual John P. Bell Day picnic. More than forty people enjoyed delicious food from a popular Rochester barbecue restaurant as they listened to Bob Bell and his compatriots share stories of the early days of the company.
Bell President Steve Ruether recounted highlights from The Bell Company's impressive history, from the newspaper article that first announced the formation of the new company, through its evolution from a small family business into one of the largest (and most well-respected) mechanical contracting companies on the East Coast. It was a treat for the newcomers to hear first-hand how things were done "back in the day" when, as Ruether explained, true to the Company's culture of Performance, Innovation, and Integrity, every man and woman on the site worked hard to get the job done. He told stories about past jobs and how each employee’s determination and spirit was evident not only on the job site but after the day's work was done. As Tom Bell liked to say, “We work hard and we play hard.” That is how The Bell Company operated from the beginning and that is how they built relationships that are holding fast ten, twenty, and thirty years later.
Executive Vice Presidents Mike Benulis and Andy Carayiannis also hailed the company's culture and commitment to excellence. Benulis praised Bell employees past and present for their work ethic and adaptability to the ever-evolving construction industry. Carayiannis detailed some of the challenges the Company has faced and overcome, crediting the culture that John P. Bell and Sons instilled when they founded the company and that still sets The Bell Company apart today.
Pattie Chuhta, Bell's Controller, honored two of her staff, Laura Ferrin and Kelly Smith, for their commitment to the company. Each received a ten-year service award and thanks from the entire company for their hard work and dedication.
Bell's Safety Week Activities Extend Through May
May 25, 2017
Safety Week 2017 Mission Statement:
“The mission of Safety Week is to collectively raise the awareness of the construction industry’s continuing commitment to eliminating worker injury, and to clearly communicate its dedication to a shared culture of care and concern and the belief that EVERY week must be Safety Week.”
In 2012, OSHA started an annual “National Fall Protection Stand-Down” to raise awareness of and improve safety practices aimed at preventing falls on construction sites. The success of this event led construction industry leaders to establish a Safety Week to include all aspects of safety on construction sites. Each year The Bell Company takes the opportunity to thank their employees for their dedication to safety and work to educate, inspire and share best practices.
In keeping with Safety Week’s Mission Statement and Bell’s company-wide commitment to “Focused on Safety”, Bell has allocated a week for each project to be a Safety Awareness site throughout the month of May, and is conducting Safety events at each site to observe Safety Week. At these events, Bell holds Safety Stand-Downs to educate workers on the serious dangers of falls and how to protect against the hazards of falls on site. Workers are reminded of the Competent Person Inspection Requirements for all Bell Fall Protection Equipment, daily user inspection requirements, fall clearance and anchorage points, and fall hazards associated with using ladders.
The University of Virginia’s University Hospital in Charlottesville, VA and the Nuclear Power Training Unit (NPTU) project in Charleston, SC were Bell’s featured Safety Awareness Week sites for the first week in May. The University of Virginia organized training at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA, with different vendors providing training throughout the day. NPTU held a job-wide safety meeting every day of the week focusing on different hazards in the construction industry.
The second week in May, Johnson Controls (JCI) Applied Development and Engineering Center in Shrewsbury, PA was Bell’s featured Safety Week site. To demonstrate their commitment to safety week the site held a job-wide safety meeting daily and included a fall protection demonstration. Week three focuses on Bell’s safety practices at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA, and the month-long campaign wraps up with a Safety Awareness Site event at Park Center IV Data Center project in Chantilly, VA.
Safety Week is sponsored by members of The Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) and the Incident & Injury Free Executive Forum (IIF). Additional support comes from the Alliance Partners, many of which are non-profit associations. For more information, visit www.constructionsafetyweek.com
Community Service Challenge - Bell's Rochester Office Runs Miles for MacKenzie
May 8, 2017
Sunday, May 7th at seven in the morning, members of Bell’s Rochester office took up the volunteer baton from the Richmond office and ran the second leg of the company’s 2017 community service challenge. Braving 37 degree temperatures and driving rain, the Bell team, along with more than 250 others, met to raise money for MacKenzie Bennett, a six-year-old girl from the area who has a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable brain tumour at the base of her brain. It is a highly aggressive and difficult to treat tumour, but the Bennetts – and their community - are doing everything they can to help save her from this devastating disease.
The community organized a Superhero & Princess 5K Run/Walk – Miles For MacKenzie – to help raise money toward her medical expenses. Racers made their way to the site knowing the minor discomfort of the morning would go a long way toward easing the suffering of MacKenzie and her family.
Kevin Halligan, Kelly Smith, Jason Cady, Christina Dean and Jan Murray donned race t-shirts, bibs, rain gear and even super-hero costumes as the field of runners assembled for the race. The intrepid team shivered and laughed and ran well - Jason won his division with a time of 22: 37, Kevin came in third in his division, and Christina, Kelly, and Jan also had respectable times despite a few daunting uphill stretches.
The race, combined with a fundraiser at McDonalds the night before, brought in more than $25,000. These funds will be used to help pay for MacKenzie’s treatment and cover some of the expenses incurred for travel. (There is currently no approved medical treatment for her condition in the United States, so the family is now traveling to Mexico for experimental treatments that have been successful in other patients with her condition.)
It’s expensive – each treatment cycle costs in excess of $30,000, so the local community is rallying to support this family in need. Bell is proud to be part of this effort, and happy to report that the treatments are already improving MacKenzie’s condition.
Bell Lends Skill and Labor to Install New Plumbing in Richmond Women & Children's Homeless Shelter
May 1, 2017
Saturday, April 28th, 2017, homeless mothers and children in the Richmond, VA area received a much-needed lifeline: new plumbing for one of Home Again Richmond’s emergency shelters for families in crisis. Bell employees Paul Stiles, Steve Benulis, Jerry Betts, and Rob Wilderman performed the work, which involved installing new plumbing and new lavatories within the family communal bathrooms.
Bell has a long history of community service: Celebrating 50 years in business this year, since the company’s inception Bell employees have donated time, money, skill, and effort to organizations that help those less fortunate: the United Way; Run for the Sun (Race Against Melanoma); Team River Runner, an organization that helps wounded and disabled veterans heal through paddle sports; providing Christmas care baskets to families in need; Free to Breathe (Race Against Lung Cancer); and YMCA’s “Send A Kid To Camp” initiative, to name a few.
Community service that makes a difference in the lives of our people, customers and community is an essential part of The Bell Company culture. Projects like this give us the opportunity to share our company culture and celebrate our 50th anniversary in a way that honors our founders. Kudos to our Richmond team for representing Bell and living up to our commitment to serve the communities where we live and work!