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Derek Bell


Experience and Interests

Teaching experience

  • Associate Lecturer, MBA, UW-Stevens Point
  • Full-time  and Part-time Faculty, Mid-State Technical College, Leadership Development and Health Promotion & Wellness 
  • Teaching Assistant, Division of Communication, UW-Stevens Point

Research interests

  • Wellbeing
  • Joy in Work & Human Flourishing 
  • Gratitude
  • Organizational Wellness, Communication, and Leadership
  • Population Health Management
  • Mental Health Support 
  • Healthcare 
  • Soccer
  • 80’s Hair Metal

Professional Experience

  • VP, Solutions & Clinical Operations, VITAL WorkLife Inc. 
  • Instructor, Leadership Development Program, Mid-State Technical College 
  • Director of Wellbeing & Joy of Practice, Ascension (2021-2022)
  • Business Development Manager and Wellness & Strategy Leader, Ascension Wisconsin Employer Solutions (2012-2021)
  • Membership & Community Director, South Wood County YMCA (2010-2012)
  • Executive Director, National Wellness Institute, (2000-2009)
  • Head Boys Soccer Coach, Stevens Point Area Senior High School, (2001-2006; 2017-2023)


  • 2020 recipient “Coach of Significance” award. United Soccer Coaches Association
  • Creator and Host, “Highway to Well” podcast


National Organizations

  • Contributing writer, “Life on the Move” WELCOA and “Rise Together”
  • Presenter, WELCOA National Conference, 2022
  • Summit Presenter, American Nurses Foundation, “Mental Wellbeing & Resiliency” 2022
  • Has appeared on state and national podcasts for Wellness Council of Wisconsin, WebMD, and Rise Together

Fun Facts

Last book you read?

“The Creative Act” by Rick Rubin 

Best advice you ever received?

“People follow people,” and “Wellness looks different to everyone, every day.” 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?


Favorite Quote?

“Doing the right thing is never the wrong thing.” – Ted Lasso 

One thing about your school that you are most proud of?

That there is a course in the MBA program that is specifically designed for well-being, meaning and purpose in our work. We are actively building antidotes to burnout in this class. 

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Creating a learning lab and safe space to share what matters most. 

A piece of advice for students in your school?

Grace and space in spades will make us all better. 


Derek Bell
Executive Educator - MBA
VP, Solutions & Clinical Operations - VITAL WorkLife


M.S. in Human and Community Resources
UW-Stevens Point, 2012

B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Political Science
Knox College, 1994

Certified Wellness Practioner
Worksite Wellness Program Management

Premier Diploma
United Soccer Coaches Association