1999 TLMI Converter of the Year
Bruce Bell's dedication to cultivating new talent has shaped TLMI's future vision of what it wants to be.
by Jessica Millward
As founder and president of Belmark Inc., Bruce Bell has achieved success in the tag and label industry by nurturing individual talent. From day one, Belmark's reputation and performance have been a direct result of its investing in employees and challenging their abilities. At Belmark, the whole is exactly equal to the sum of its parts.
That conviction has determined the nature of Bell's personal contribution back to the industry. His considerable work for the future of his own business and the tag and label industry has earned him the praise of his peers as packagePRINTING's 1999 TLMI Converter of the Year.
Building a business
Early on, Bell learned the value of guiding personal excellence toward a team goal. After earning a business degree from Ohio's Miami University, he joined the Navy, where, he says, he learned the basics inherent to the success of any operation: "organization, teamwork, and unity."
Following his stint in the Navy, Bell worked in the building, and then the business forms industries, with roles in sales, sales management, and product management. However, the lure of starting his own business was powerful, because, as he notes, "I needed to make things happen and they didn't happen fast enough working for someone else."
Through his business dealings, Bell had become familiar with the capabilities of a high-speed digital press. Perceptively, he saw a market for pre-priced bar coding within the garment industryan opportunity, he thought, to speed product through inventory. After researching the bar code printing industry, then in its infancy, and realizing the "expensive pioneering" it would involve, Bell abandoned his original plan to digitally print labels. He opted instead to pursue conventional pressure-sensitive label printing. His new venture, Belmark, was born in November 1977, in De Pere, WI.