Raymond J. Harbert College of Business alum
Scott Bell graduated from Auburn in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He is the founder and CEO of Alabama-based Bell Media, which he created as a student at Auburn during his time in the entrepreneurship program. Bell Media currently owns and operates approximately 60 digital and traditional outdoor billboards and 300 indoor digital advertising screens located in local restaurants. When he was an infant, Bell was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system. At the time, he was not expected to live to adulthood, but now at 31, he says he believes a cure will be found during his lifetime and that he wants to be a part of finding it. This month, Bell kicked off the project "Run Bell Run," in which he has committed to running 1,000 miles in one year in an effort to raise $50,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
1. How did you come up with the Run Bell Run idea – 1,000 miles/365 days?
I was searching for ways to increase cystic fibrosis awareness and fundraise year-round, rather than one or two months out of the year like we have been doing. The idea popped into my head to incorporate exercise, which is an important part of maintaining my health. I've been running for years, but certainly wanted to challenge myself and thought 1,000 miles not only had a good ring to it, but would push me to do more. I felt that if I could get people to make a financial pledge for every mile I ran, I would have better success than simply asking for the money. I'm hoping those who pledge are engaged in the process.
2. How did Bell Media get its start?
Many of my senior projects were based on Bell Media, and my brother and I came together to create the company shortly after I graduated from Auburn. Bell Media offers out-of-home advertising products – outdoor and indoor billboards – that help businesses get their name out into the community and develop a more identifiable brand. The company has now been in business for seven years and has markets in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
"Love local" is the company's slogan and is core to our product and service offering. Our goal is to deliver media products to small local businesses that want an efficient and affordable advertising solution. Local businesses support our products and are our core customer group, and we support local businesses, so we thought this phrase best summed up our customer focus and what's important in a community.
3. What was your Auburn experience like?
My brother Neil and his wife Amber both graduated from Auburn, and my wife Tiffany is also an Auburn graduate. Our Auburn experiences were great, and we come back periodically. We would love to visit more. I still get that feeling of freedom when I walk on campus, and there isn't a better feeling than the fall in Auburn.
4. When you're not running 1,000 miles, what other things do you like to do?
I work too many hours, so I honestly don't have many hobbies. I occasionally play golf and would like to start playing more once again. I'm so consumed with my work that I would say it's a hobby – I really enjoy what I do. After layering on Run Bell Run, there isn't much time left over.
5. What is your favorite Auburn memory?
I believe my favorite Auburn memory is my time spent at Locos on South College. This may sound strange, but I worked there, met my wife there and made friends there. Whenever my wife and I come back to Auburn we try to stop in. I have so many good memories there.