Meet Jeff Bell, February's Featured Board Member

We are excited to continue our monthly series highlighting our Board of Directors!  This month we are delighted to feature Jeff Bell.  Take a look at the interview below!

And in case you missed it, you can check out our first three Board Member interviews with Sue Lani MadsenMatt LaytonTodd Koyama, Mary Selecky, and Gary Stokes on our blog.


Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Partner with Gallatin Public Affairs and counsel clients in the areas of politics, public policy and crisis communication

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I grew up near Portland Oregon and convinced my parents that I needed to attend college in southern California.  Besides enjoying the sun, I went to film school at USC and worked in the film business primarily as a film editor in TV and later on feature films.  I loved the business, but wanted to get back to the NW when Kristi and I started our family. So we moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1989 and shortly got involved in politics which eventually led me to Gallatin where I started in 1997.  Kristi and I have two grown daughters, a dog named Sammi and live on Diamond Lake.  We could not be happier with our choice to life and work in this great area. 

What is your favorite book?

I had the great fortune to work on Out of Africa and was introduced to literature from that era in Africa.  Besides the wonderful works of Isak Dinesen, I particularly like a book called “West with the Night” written by a women aviator of the time Beryl Markham.  Once you read the book, you won’t forget it. 

How long have you been a member of the EHF Board?

I am beginning my second year as a board member

What attracted you to the Empire Health Foundation Board of Directors?

I had the good fortune of working with the Foundation as a consultant on several projects and was immediately impressed with the mission, ambition, and skill of the leadership and staff in making real change in our region.

What most excites you about our work and mission?

Most everything.  I am particularly excited about the foundation’s work on childhood obesity, foster care, and rural health care.  In just a short period of time working in partnership with other great organizations, real positive changes are happening.

Has anything surprised you about Empire Health Foundation?  If so, what?

I had some familiarity of the Foundation before joining the board, but I was surprised and a bit overwhelmed with the number of initiatives and activities the Foundation has initiated and continues to invest in to better the health of every resident of this region.  It is truly impressive.

Finally, when you have an out-of-town guest visit, what is your “must do” in your community?

It depends on the season, but kayaking on one of our lakes or down a river is a great way for a guest to experience the beauty of our area.