The Bell and Company name has been popping up with regularity on the Central Arkansas mountain biking scene, both on the Bell and Co. Mountain Bike Team jerseys and in sponsorship as was the case at CARPe Diem.
Clayton Bell handing out the iron to podium finishers at last fall's CARPe Diem
I started asking around and the answers ranged from, "I don't know, but they're cool" to "a firm of Certified Public Accountants". Now, I don't want to spew generalities and I'll confess to having been an accounting major during my short and undistinguished time as a student at the U of A in Fayetteville, but "cool" and "CPA firm" just rarely appear in the same thought bubble. I had to look a little deeper, so I contacted Richard Bell. What I found was a family of interesting and accomplished folks who seem to be enjoying their success and at the same time giving a great deal back to a far-flung community.
Here is how they describe themselves in this statement from Richard Bell's blog for the trucking industry:
Bell and Company
North Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Bell and Company, PA was founded in 1982 by Richard Bell. We are a full service CPA firm. Our clients know they can count on team Bell & Company to provide them with the most proactive, relevant advice that can increase the gross profit of their companies while helping them manage their tax liabilities.
Well, that sounds appropriately dry, but when you look a little deeper, you see that Richard Bell is a CPA, an attorney, and a mountain biker. His son Clayton is the Bell and Company Mountain Bike Team captain, though when I started this article way too long ago, Clayton was volunteering at the Cloud Forest Medical Clinic in Haiti. Here are a few more of Clayton's credentials from LinkedIn:
•Physician and Clinic Administrator at Humanity First USA
•Founder and President at "Where the Stars Still Shine"
•Founder, Captain and Racer at Bell and Co Mountain Bike Racing
OK, these are pretty accomplished folks and from what I can see it stands to reason that they were selected for a Governor's Award for "Life - Work Balance"
Below is a little e-mail Q&A between Richard Bell and me, in which Richard graciously answered questions poked at him by a blogging stranger:
JB: How did you come to sponsor a mountain bike team?
Bell: Clayton Bell started the bike team while in school at the U of A. The sponsorship grew out of his love and passion for mountain biking.
JB: How did the relationship come about for the CARPe Diem event?
Bell: The Carpe event idea came from Clayton. Clayton wanted to do a special mountain bike event to showcase Camp Robinson and the mountain bike community , and encourage our team members to participate in working the event, as community service. Our firm provides considerable community service work and charitable donations. For instance we were able to provide $2000 checks to the Salvation Army and Where the Stars Still Shine, with proceeds from the Carpe Race last year.
JB:What would you say to other businesses who may be interested in getting involved in cycling?
Bell: Health and physical well being are important in the work place. Bell and Co was selected for The Spotlight award last year at the Governor’s awards for Family Friendly Work Places, for our work in sponsoring staff with bike , helmet, clothes etc. We also pay for our employees to participate in a boot camp work out at the local gym.
Bell and Co promotes healthy life styles and our philosophy is that it allows for better professional services to our clients.
JB: Have any of your clients or potential client mentioned your cycling sponsorships to you? Are any of your clients cyclists?
Bell: When you walk into our upper board room, we have all the Bell and Co Trophies, pictures, Rocks, etc, It is a definite topic of conversation. We also use the mountain biking in our ATA ads as well.
JB: Other than the very positive impact on the community as a whole, do you see your involvement in sponsorship as good for your business?
Bell: Sponsorship of the mountain biking team, and participation in the mountain bike races, speaks to our ability to overcome financial mountains and peaks and valleys for our clients. Mountain biking is a mental measure of who you are, and it spills over to servicing clients as well.
Bisiklet for Haiti
Bisiklet for Haiti is a ride on which Jeff Crawford, Clayton Bell and Kyle Martin embarked on April 4 to ride from Los Angeles to Charleston, S.C. on a mission to raise $30,000.00 for providing health care in Haiti. Follow the link above for details of the ride and the cause. It is a magnificent effort.
This ride is the impetus for me finally completing this article, as the boys will be passing through their home state this weekend and could use some support! This from Gary Lamb of CARP:
Clayton and his crew will be reaching Arkansas, in the next few days and Richard (Clayton's dad) has contacted me to ask "Would CARP be interested in buddy riding with Clayton across parts of Arkansas, with a stop at UCA on April 29th , and then the Art Gallery showing at Argenta on the 30th , followed by a night ride on the 30th to May 1st to Memphis, to the Redbirds baseball stadium, that Sunday afternoon?" This is a great idea, and it would be a privilege to get to ride with these guys while they pass through.If you are interested in joining any portion, for any length of the journey, let me know.A copy of their itinerary can be found at
We are talking about this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so let me know ASAP, and I'll get you the necessary information.Let's support these guys as they pass through their home state!
I think Diane might still spank me if I set out on a night road ride before I'm fully recovered from my last adventure, but I may have to show support for this worthy cause with my check book.