Mike's Dad while stationed in Korea.
Beginnings & Values
My Dad was a career Marine, and I was born just outside Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California. I was raised in Cherry Point, North Carolina where my father was stationed when he was not serving on an aircraft carrier. Dad taught me that a job is worth doing right, or not at all. After all, if he made mistakes, people paid a price. My mom was a church-goer and she always told me to do right by people and find a job that allowed me to help people. We never had much but I did leave home with a work hard ethic and a high moral compass that continues to this day.
Mike receiving his dolphins after becoming submarine-qualified.
Service, Submarines & Healthcare
After two years of civil engineering in college, I felt a call to duty during the Vietnam era. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman wanting to care for my fellow man and serve my country. Fully expecting to be assigned to a Marine Division, the Navy had other plans as I was assigned to nuclear powered submarine duty. I also worked in an outpatient clinic as a physician’s assistant and the emergency room every fourth day at the submarine base in Groton, CT. During my return to college, I served in a mobile surgical unit, which you know as a M.A.S.H. unit.
Michael R. Bell & Company holiday party and employee drive to benefit Toys-for-Tots.
CPA Degree, Return to Healthcare & Building a Business
I earned a degree in accounting and passed my CPA examination on first-sitting. During my first job with a big 8 accounting firm, surprisingly they had few CPA’s familiar with hospital systems. So, I was back in healthcare on the systems side, rather than clinical side.
Eventually, I started my own firm, Michael R. Bell & Company, PLLC (Spokane, Washington) 6/91 – 7/10 and we grew to 20 employees. We specialized in helping hospitals, clinics and healthcare organizations in Spokane, Chewelah, Deer Park, Newport, Omak, Tonasket and a hundred other communities in the West.
Mike and Maria in the Holy Land, site of the Dead Sea scrolls.
Blessings, Travels, and the Next Generation
My wife, and partner in life, Maria and I have lived in Nine Mile Falls for 20 years. Maria is a retired educator from the Nine Mile Falls School District. We have been fortunate to travel the world together which broadens our horizons, while allowing us to appreciate home even more.
We brought three children apiece to our marriage who are now adults working in the building trades, healthcare, retail, agriculture, and public service. Proud grandparents of seven, we recently welcomed our twin granddaughters into our family.
Mike reading with his granddaughters a few years ago.
I want all my children and grandchildren to find happiness and have opportunities for success in their lives. Especially my granddaughters, who should be paid equally for their work and have the opportunity to raise their own families, if they choose, with access to affordable healthcare and an education system that allows them to reach their potential.