Donelon Names Patrick W. Bell as Deputy Commissioner of Minority Affairs
Commissioner Jim Donelon announced that Patrick W. Bell has been appointed Deputy Commissioner of Minority Affairs at the Louisiana Department of Insurance effective November 1, 2010. As head of the Office of Minority Affairs, Bell and his staff will work to assist small, minority and disadvantaged insurance agencies and producers by fostering a greater awareness of the skills, training and education necessary to prepare for employment opportunities in the insurance industry. The office also assists minority and disadvantaged people throughout Louisiana with complaints of discrimination and harassment.
Before joining the department, Bell was director of government relations at Capital One Bank where he was responsible for monitoring and lobbying for banking-related legislation before the Louisiana and Texas State Legislatures and occasionally before the United States Congress. Prior to Capital One, Patrick served on the staff of United States Congressman Billy Tauzin for 13 years as Senior Executive Assistant.
Bell has been active in the insurance industry arena since his appointment by Donelon in September 2009 to the Louisiana Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Board of Directors. “I am excited to have Patrick Bell as the newest member of my executive staff,” Donelon said. “With his vast experience in government relations and dedication to serving the community, I believe Bell will be able to make great strides in assisting minorities in the Louisiana insurance industry.”
While at Capital One, Bell served on the Government Relations Councils for the Louisiana Bankers Association and Texas Bankers Association, the Legislative Liaison Advisory Committee for the American Bankers Association and the Government Affairs Council for the Financial Services Roundtable. He is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.
Bell has served the Louisiana community in leadership roles for many years. He was a member of the Government Affairs Committee for the World Trade Center of New Orleans and the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, where he was the chairman of the Public Policy Committee.
In early 2004, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin appointed Bell to serve on the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor Corporation. He was re-appointed in 2006 to serve another term on the Yacht Harbor Board and served as President from August 2007 until January 2009.
In 1995, then-Governor Edwin Edwards appointed Patrick to serve on the Southern University Board of Supervisors for a six-year term. As a member of Southern's board, he chaired the Audit and Compliance Committee and the Legislative Committee. He also represented Southern University as a member of the then-Management Council for the Baton Rouge Community College, which was managed jointly by LSU and Southern. During his tenure on the Management Council, he was elected to serve as the Board’s Vice Chairman.
In July 2008, Governor Bobby Jindal re-appointed him to the Southern University Board of Supervisors representing the Third Congressional District. Once again, he has been appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Board.
A native of Thibodaux, Bell is an active member of the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is the proud father of a 16-year-old daughter, Nicole.
Former Deputy Commissioner of Minority Affairs, Richard Chambers, retired from the Department in July 26, 2010, after 21 years in the position.