Power Couple of the Year, Jerry & Ruth Bell

Power Couple of the Year, Jerry & Ruth Bell

We are proud to announce Jerry and Ruth Bell were nominated and chosen Power Couple of The Year 2017. Married for 33 years, they are the first Black couple to endow a scholarship at USF for Black students. For the past 25 years over a hundred young people have obtained their college degree through this fund.

This Power Couple were college sweethearts at Arizona State University, where he pledged Kappa Alpha Psi and she pledged Delta Sigma Theta. Jerry graduated with a BS in Computer Information Systems and Ruth with a BA in Mass Communications. Following college, Jerry was drafted by the NFL to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a Tight End and Ruth moved to the DC area and worked as a lobbyist for the public employment agencies association. They married in 1984 and from this union came their proudest accomplishment, their children; Vanessa and David Bell.

After an awesome professional football career, Jerry’s second career was in Information Technology sales, with IBM, GE, and smaller technology companies. He’s the current President of Bell IT, a value-added reseller of information technology consisting of IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and more. For the past 20 years, he has been an adjunct professor at Hillsborough Community College, where he teaches marketing and management courses within the business track. Also, Jerry recently started teaching at Pasco Hernando State College.

Ruth is and has always been a phenomenal woman. She has worked at the federal, state and local levels of government. She currently serves as Senior VP of Public Affairs at LifeLink Foundation, a non-profit which facilitates the recovery of life-saving organs and tissue for transplantation. However, for the last 22 years, she has committed her career to increasing awareness and donor registrations. Ruth was recently honored as the recipient of the “2017 Reg Green Award” for her long-standing and superior commitment. Ruth has also participated on national professional organization boards related to organ and tissue donation. In her home state, she worked quietly behind the scenes on legislation to improve the state registry.

Community service has been a large part of their lives, with volunteer and leadership roles at the American Cancer Society, various service projects through their Greek organizations and tutoring young men. They have served on boards at HCC, USF, MOSI, The Boys and Girls Club, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, and Tampa Crossroads.

Currently, Ruth is an active member of Tampa Alumni Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Tampa Chapter of The Links, Inc. where she served as president, the Athena Society and numerous professional organizations.

Education is another important part of their lives; Jerry obtained an MBA at University of Tampa; Ruth obtained an MPA at USF. Additionally, Jerry is a founding member of the new initiative - USF Black Leadership Network (BLN) which is focused on three pillars: scholarships, mentorship, and internships for Black students. Jerry is an active member of Sigma Pi Phi (Boule’), and the NFL Players Association. He plans to become active again with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
In their spare time, they enjoy a love of travel, throughout the US and the world. They have visited places in five of the seven continents – locales in Europe, Asia, Canada, South America and Nigeria and 50 of the 52 United States.

Congratulations Jerry & Ruth Bell!

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