Michael P. Bell
Mayor of Toledo
Michael P. Bell was elected Mayor of Toledo, taking office on January 4, 2010. Bell's love of family and dedication to Toledo are behind his desire to lead his hometown through some of the most challenging times it has faced in decades.
Mayor Bell's life work is bringing people together to solve problems. He believes that Toledo must be a great place to do business, and he pledges to work regionally to create a favorable business climate and remove barriers to progress.
Bell has over 19 years of executive experience as Fire Chief and State Fire Marshal, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and over 500 employees, and working with multiple agencies and business interests.
His career in Public Service began in 1980 when he joined the Toledo Department of Fire and Rescue as a firefighter and later became a certified paramedic/EMT. In 1990 he was appointed as Chief of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, the first African American as well as the youngest person ever to lead the department. He remained in that position for over 16 years. Under his leadership the TFD earned the prestigious honor of Accreditation by the Commission on Fire Accreditation, a certification held by only the most elite fire departments.
In 2001, following the tragic events of September 11th, Bell was tapped to lead the homeland security efforts of the region, bringing public safety organizations, hospitals, businesses, school districts and neighborhood organizations together to handle the challenges of that most difficult time in our nation?s history.
In 2007 he was appointed as State Fire Marshal by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. In that position he implemented the "Everyone Goes Home" program, stressing firefighter safety. That program earned the Seal of Excellence Award from the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program.
Mayor Bell grew up in North Toledo attending Spring Elementary School and Woodward High School where he was he inducted into its Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of the University of Toledo where he earned a degree in Education, with a concentration in business. He was awarded a scholarship during his junior and senior years. He was co-captain of the UT football team, and was named the UT Student of the Year in the field of Education during his senior year.
Michael is the oldest of Norman and Ora Bell's four sons. He is predeceased by his brother Shawn. His parents instilled in him many valuable lessons that he lives by, most importantly that you must treat people fairly and nothing good comes easy.
Mayor Bell has served the Northwest Ohio community through countless civic organizations, volunteering his time and serving on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club, The American Red Cross, Bethany House, The American Liver Foundation, the Old Newsboys Goodfellows where he served as President, Easter Seals, the Boy Scouts of America and the Salvation Army. He has also been an active supporter of the American Cancer Society and the Toledo Symphony.
He is a member of the International Fire Chief's Association and received the President's Award for his efforts with diversity. In 2011 he was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Hall of Fame and received the University of Toledo "Gold T" award. He is a life member of the NAACP and a member of True Vine Missionary Baptist Church.