Bell’s Brewery has announced Laura Bell, co-owner and daughter of brewery president and founder Larry Bell, is taking over as CEO.
“This marks the beginning of the next chapter for our family-owned business and I am very proud of the leader Laura has become,” Larry Bell said in the announcement. “When I started this, I didn’t know that I would be so fortunate to have a partner that shared my passion for our brewery and the people who make it what it is.”
Bell’s story stretches back to 1983, when Larry opened a homebrew supply store in Kalamazoo, Michigan. By 1985, Bell would sell his first beer. Laura was 2 at the time.
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Growing up, Laura did odd jobs around the brewery and worked in the Eccentric Cafe’s kitchen during high school. The brewery blossomed into a career by 2007 after she graduated from Michigan State University. She held jobs in several parts of the organization, from sales to marketing to production. Most recently, Laura has been brewery vice president, where she oversaw four departments.
“I am honored and humbled at this opportunity,” Laura said. “Our team has done an amazing job and it’s exciting to think about where we go next not only as a brewery, but also as a company that is deeply committed to its community, its employees and partners.”
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Bell’s Brewery is among the 10 largest U.S. craft brewing companies, according to the most recent data, and remains family owned. Laura officially assumed the role of CEO February 1. She now oversees all brewery operations and planning for Bell’s as well as sister brewery Upper Hand, which opened in Escanaba, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in fall 2014.
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