Allen Bell (’85)

Category: Accomplished Alumni | Awards

As a partner with PwC heading up private company services for the firm’s Southern California market, Allen Bell (’85) is a prime example of how far Volunteers can make it when they couple their talents with hard work, a great attitude, and willingness to always lend a helping hand. That’s what Volunteers are known for, after all.

Bell, who received an Accomplished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recently spoke to an audience of students, faculty, and staff at the Haslam College of Business about his journey from tiny Springfield, Tennessee, to UT and then Nashville, Dallas, and Los Angeles in pursuit of his career.
“Mentoring people so they can develop professionally has been a passion throughout my career,” Bell says. “I do a lot of campus recruiting, and so it’s really rewarding to see folks flourish and succeed, as well as to help them come up the ranks of the firm.”

Bell expresses this passion in part through philanthropy. Along with his wife, Karen, he established an endowment a few years ago to provide UT students with scholarships. It is in the name of his mother, and Bell’s generosity is motivated in part by the strong foundation UT delivered during his own time as an undergraduate student.
“I felt very well prepared for my career,” Bell says. “UT played a huge role, and a big part of that was a certain level of caring the faculty had for students. In fact, my initial opportunity with PwC came from a faculty member’s recommendation, and overall, those faculty relationships and that caring and support, was just really important to me as a student.”

Because of this experience, Bell was glad to see his son choose UT as well. Jack Bell is currently a junior accounting student in the Haslam College of Business.

“Jack is a fourth-generation family member to attend UT,” Bell explains. “Over the years I always brought him to football and basketball games, and so he’s been coming to UT since he was a little kid. He’s had a great experience so far and fits right in.”

When Bell spoke at the Haslam College of Business on September 6, not only did he take the time to give the group of accounting students insight into life in the profession but he also entertained individual questions. Although competence, knowledge, and intelligence are crucial to success in accounting, Bell says other less-tangible assets also play a significant role.

“If you show up with a great attitude every day and are willing to try new things and take on new responsibilities, that can be a key to advancement,” Bell told students. “That’s where UT really shines. I’ve certainly had a level of success and achievement thanks to great support and mentorship from a lot of different people who invested time in me and my career, and I’ve made a point of trying to return that.”