This nine-member Board, whose current makeup includes attorneys, financial and business experts, a victim consultant, a pastor and a human resources consultant, governs the operations of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ or Agency). They also serve in a separate capacity as Board of Trustees for the Windham School District.
Leading this group of highly successful business leaders is Oliver J. Bell. Mr. Bell has served on the Board since 2004 and held the positions of secretary and vice chairman before his appointment as chairman in April 2008. During his tenure as a member, he has provided guidance to staff while serving on several committees, to include Education, Human Resources, Victim Services, Business and Financial Operations and Health Care.
As a private businessman, Mr. Bell is the CEO and Founder of an Austin-based, human resources, labor relations and diversity consulting firm - Oliver J. Bell & Associates. His company has been involved in hundreds of client engagements designed to improve working relationships between employees and supervisors. His clients include fortune 500 companies as well as mid-size and smaller organizations.
With a focus on consensus building and timely issue resolution, Mr. Bell’s firm helps businesses align employee and management goals to sustain productive work environments while maintaining positive employee-management relationships. Mr. Bell and his associates work with clients to help their workforce and leaders understand how, why and where each adds value to the organization, their importance to that organization, and their individual impact on the customers, stakeholders, the community and the organization’s overall success.
Due to his level of expertise, Mr. Bell speaks regularly on business, education and employment issues for clients and professional conferences. He is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management, the Research Advisory Group at the Wharton School of Business, and has served as a labor relations subject matter expert for HR (Human Resources) Executive Magazine.
Mr. Bell’s other community and business activities include serving on the boards of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Ronald McDonald House of Central Texas. He is a founding member of the Army Historical Foundation, a lifetime member of the 11th Armored Cavalry “Blackhorse” Association and a member of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (also known as Boulé, an African American fraternity focused on maintaining a higher quality of life through continued improvement in the areas of Leadership, Economic Development, Education and Social Interaction).
A former army officer and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mr. Bell successfully completed “Airborne” and “Ranger” training and was assigned to Germany to patrol the then East-West German border. He commanded an armored cavalry troop with the 11th Cavalry, commanded a tank company with the 10th Cavalry, and served as the officer-in-charge and course leader of the U.S. Army Scout Platoon Leader’s Course. Mr. Bell was selected to attend graduate school and return to West Point to teach, but declined to pursue a non-military career.
Prior to founding Oliver J. Bell & Associates, Mr. Bell began his career in the private sector with Mobil Oil, as a member of their Human Resources Group. He left Mobil to pursue a career in labor relations consulting. Mr. Bell worked several years for a large labor relations consulting firm, rising to the position of vice president. He departed to form E Team Communications and Global Labor & Employment Strategies. He was the CEO of both organizations prior to forming his current company, Bell & Associates.
With his appointment as the TBCJ Chairman, Mr. Bell commented, “I am honored and humbled that Governor Perry has the faith and confidence in me to select me to chair the oversight of such an important state agency. During my tenure on the Board, I have been impressed by the caliber and professionalism of the Agency’s executive staff and the employees of TDCJ, and am happy to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Texas. While TDCJ faces challenges, the Agency also has a reputation nationwide for launching some of the most positive and innovative initiatives in the field of corrections. I look forward to working with legislators and the Governor’s Office to continue developing these positive programs.”
As with his predecessors, Mr. Bell’s devotion and respect for the Agency and its leadership will continue to provide outstanding support and direction. His willingness and that of his fellow Board members, to share their time and expertise will be a valuable asset to the Agency’s success in the years to come.