In August the SC SBDC lost a cherished member of its family when Mike Bell, a Hartsville, South Carolina native and consultant with the Florence Area Center, passed away after a two-year struggle with cancer. Despite his illness, Mike remained committed to his clients, frequently working from home when he was unable to make it to the office.
“There is a quote that says ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ Well, the day I met Mike Bell, I stopped working,” said Eddie Watson, a close friend and fellow consultant. “Thanks to Mike, our center was always filled with laughter.”
When presenting the 2018 Team Spirit Award to Mike Bell at the June Statewide Conference, SC State Director Michele Abraham said that Mike’s positive attitude and enthusiasm were genuinely infectious, creating an enjoyable workplace. “Up against titanic-sized obstacles, Mike maintained his signature can-do and will-do approach to both life and work,” said Abraham. “In the words of one of Mike’s associates: ‘If it concerned the SC SBDC, Mike was ‘ALL IN.’”
Mike earned a degree in computer programming from Wingate University in North Carolina, and a finance degree from the University of South Carolina. Working for such notable companies as John Deere, Shakespeare Fishing International and Silver Star Limited; Mike had an illustrious career in international business that spanned more than two decades and transported him from Milan, Italy, to South Korea and back to America.
In 2005, Mike joined the SC SBDC as manager of the Florence Area Center. In recognition of his ongoing contributions, the SBDC featured Mike in its January 2013 newsletter where he provided the following quote: “Life is good back on the farm where I grew up. I enjoy watching turkeys and deer as I walk the land with my two dogs, Jack and Buddy. I always count my blessings—which, among many things, is a wonderful family including my wife, Debbie, our two daughters and two granddaughters. I am sincerely grateful for a long life filled with amazing opportunities, both personal and professional.”