Dec 3, 2019

Kindness Forges Unexpected Friendship

Minneapolis Receptionist Recognized with Bell Bank Award

Minneapolis Receptionist Recognized with Bell Bank Award

When a group of high school students were participating in a work-study program at Bell, Terry Carlson, a receptionist at our Colonnade office in Minneapolis, went out of her way to make sure they felt welcome.

Bell Bank partnered with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School for the 2018-2019 school year by sponsoring a team of 4 students for their work-study program. In preparation for college and career development, the students spent 1 day a week at Bell helping with projects.

Terry made quite an impression on Cristo Rey freshman Mari Marquez, because Terry received a formal invitation to Mari's quinceañera – a Latin American tradition that celebrates a girl’s 15th birthday and often includes a mass, reception and dance. 

Terry felt honored to have been invited, and during the procession, Mari’s mother recognized Terry among the 300 guests and invited her to join the family. Mari’s mother, brother and sister all thanked Terry for befriending Mari, telling her that Mari talks about her all the time and enjoys spending time with her.

“Terry is a true leader for making a difference in someone's life,” says Jan Knott, Colonnade executive assistant.

For going out of her way to befriend a young student, Terry received a Bell Value Award for Unequaled Personal Service. The Bell Value Awards are our company’s highest honor, recognizing the special ways employees take care of each other, our customers and members of the community.

“Our friendship just sort of flowed from time spent together here at the front desk and her willingness to share what was happening daily in her life,” Terry says. “I love listening to people and learning about who they are and what’s important to them. It is important to me that Mari knows how special she is and that she realizes all her potential.” 

Throughout the year, employees nominate each other for “How Bell of You” awards, which recognize those who excel in demonstrating our values of service and paying it forward. Those employees are then considered for Bell Value Awards.

“The students from Christo Rey are an awesome group of talented,  hardworking and genuinely good kids,” Terry comments. “If we each take this opportunity to influence and encourage these students, we will impact their future for the good. So, I am thankful that I had this chance to raise awareness of this amazing program."