New NENA President Promises Strong Leadership in a Changing World
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Posted by: Chris Nussman
The new president of America’s leading 9-1-1 organization brings decades of leadership and front-line experience to the role.
Gary Bell, ENP – Director of Emergency Preparedness for Waukesha County, Wisconsin – was sworn in on June 17 as President of NENA: The 9-1-1 Association’s Board of Directors. He now leads the organization’s nearly 16,000 members in efforts to improve 9-1-1 through research, standards development, training, education, outreach, and advocacy.
Watch the on-demand replay of the installation ceremony and President Bell's remarks here.
After taking the oath of office, Mr. Bell promised that the organization would help the 9-1-1 community meet the challenges of the day. “We live in difficult times, and we must be nimble and responsive to our members and to the public we serve,” he said. “Recent events have shone a bright spotlight on the importance of 9-1-1 professionals.”
Further, Bell pledged to remain focused on the organization’s key initiatives and priorities, including standards development; training and certification; wellness and resiliency; and the classification of 9-1-1 as a protective-service occupation. “It is long overdue that 9-1-1 be recognized as the fourth public-safety discipline, alongside law enforcement, fire, and EMS,” he said.
A second-generation dispatcher, Bell has worked in 9-1-1 for nearly three decades. His public-safety career includes service as a 9-1-1 telecommunicator, communications training officer, supervisor, and manager. In his current position, he oversees communications, emergency management, and radio services for a populous county in southeast Wisconsin.
Prior to his election as Second Vice President in 2018 and subsequent ascension to First Vice President and now President, Bell served on the NENA board as North Central Region Director. He is a Past President of the Wisconsin chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO) and previously served on the NENA Institute Board, the body charged with overseeing the Emergency Number Professional (ENP) certification program.
In addition to Bell, nine other members of NENA’s Board of Directors were sworn in during the ceremony: Immediate Past President, Monica Million, ENP; Northeastern Director, Erin Malloy, ENP; Private Sector Director, Karin Marquez, ENP; Canadian Director, Holly Barkwell, ENP; Western Director, Bruce Romero, ENP; North Central Director, Daryl Ostendorf, ENP; Southeastern Director, Cassie Lowery, ENP; First Vice President, Jennifer White, ENP; and Second Vice President, Laurie Anderson, ENP.