CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Bob Bell retired from Smith Turf & Irrigation on Friday, Jan. 17 after a distinguished 40-year career with the company. 

After being hired in 1973 as a commercial equipment (golf) territory manager for then E. J. Smith & Sons Co. in Charlotte, N.C., he quickly put his talents to use, traveling the western North Carolina area and forging lifelong customers and friends in the golf and green industry.
Bell was recognized as their Salesman of the Year in 1977, 1979 and 1982, and also by the Toro Company, earning their prestigious Green Blazer Award in 1983. He was named the Commercial Division Sales Manager and Vice President of Smith Turf & Irrigation Co. in 1984.
He has had a very successful career with the company, overseeing the growth of their largest grossing sales division where they set many yearly sales plateaus and records. His division won the Toro Best in Commercial award in 1999 and continues to be one of the largest in their worldwide distributor network every year. They have also been recognized by many other vendors as their top performing distributor.
Bell was equally dedicated to the green industry, representing STI on many committees, foundations and associations including:

  • Member and past president of the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina
  • Turfgrass Council of North Carolina 1994 Outstanding Service Award 
  • Member of South Carolina Turfgrass Foundation 
  • South Carolina Turfgrass Foundation Board Member
  • Past chairman and member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education – NCSU
  • Member of Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association since 1974
  • CGCSA Industry Advisory Committee Member  
  • CGCSA 2005 Distinguished Service Award (their highest award)

Bell’s legacy with Smith Turf & Irrigation cannot be overstated. During his career, he has helped to build and shape the company with a strong dedication to their customers, vendors and colleagues that will be greatly missed, but surely emulated.
STI is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated golf course equipment, irrigation, turf care and landscape products business headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. The company has been in operation since 1925 and currently has 21 locations serving North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Bermuda.