Bell Bank Champions

Teaming Up for Good

What is a Bell Bank Champion? Our Bell Bank Champions are ambassadors for Bell, and more importantly, for paying it forward to help others. These highly respected individuals champion the Bell Bank name – and we love to partner with them to pay it forward to people, places and causes we may not otherwise be able to reach.

From music stars and pro athletes to world-renowned chefs, these diverse Champions embody Bell’s values – including being a family, treating people well and making our community a better place. These individuals add to our rich company culture, performing at events, attending celebrations, mic’ing up as keynote speakers and sharing their wisdom and inspiration with employees and customers alike.

We’re grateful to these outstanding individuals. The Champion roster has never been stronger!

Josh Duhamel, Emmy Award-Winning Actor

Television and movie actor Josh Duhamel is a Bell Bank Champion, adding to his roles in acting as a brand ambassador for Bell, and partnering with us through his charitable work.

Josh has appeared in All My Children, Las Vegas, four Transformers films, The Lost Husband, Think like a Dog and more.

In spring 2020, Josh joined professional golfers Amy Olson and Tom Hoge and 3-time Stanley Cup winner Matt Cullen for the first ever Play It Forward charity golf event presented by Bell Bank. The event raised more than $267,000 for local charitable organizations. (While not yet a Champion at the first event, golfing with 3 Champions inspired Josh to join the roster soon after.)

Called one of “Hollywood’s humanitarians,” Josh has also been involved in fundraising and support for charities including the American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish, WildAid and the African Community and Conservation Foundation (ACCF).

Gavin Kaysen, James Beard Award-Winning Chef

Top chef Gavin Kaysen owns 3 nationally recognized Twin Cities eateries – Spoon and Stable (a 2015 James Beard finalist), Bellecour Bakery at Cooks, and Demi in the North Loop. Mentored by celebrated chefs early in his career, Gavin now mentors and showcases up-and-coming chefs through the nonprofit ment’or BKB Foundation (formerly Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation).

In 2020, Gavin started a nonprofit called Heart of the House Foundation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which deeply affected the restaurant community. As founder of Soigné Hospitality Group, Gavin’s mission was to sustain the growth, health and prosperity of each and every Soigné restaurant team member and their families.

Gavin has been honored with 2 James Beard Awards – as Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2008 and Best Chef: Midwest in 2018.

Gavin lives in Minneapolis with his wife and 2 sons.

Ben Leber, Former NFL Linebacker & Sportscaster

Retired Minnesota football player Ben Leber is now a college football broadcaster for FOX Sports and a Vikings sideline analyst for KFAN radio in Minneapolis. Ben was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2002 NFL draft. He joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. In his 5 seasons with Minnesota, he was part of several top-ranked run defenses and played in the 2009 NFC Championship game. He was selected a player representative all 5 years and given the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award by local media.

One of Ben’s first projects as a Bell Bank Champion was the "Ben Leber Bell Bank Challenge" fundraiser. Ben and Bell teamed up to match donations dollar for dollar, helping patients and families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Ben has been involved in numerous local charities including St. Jude and the “Taste of NFL” initiative for hunger relief.

Matt Cullen, 3-Time Stanley Cup Winner

Moorhead, Minn., native and former NHL player Matt Cullen shares his Midwest roots with Bell. He represents Bell at community and civic events, engages in business development through professional contacts, and serves as an ambassador for Bell’s culture.

Matt won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, then with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017. He retired in 2019 after 2 final seasons with the Minnesota Wild and the Penguins.

Matt and his wife, Bridget, and their 3 sons now live in Moorhead, Minn. He and Bridget do extensive charitable work through their Cullen Children’s Foundation – improving the quality of life and increasing awareness for children and families dealing with cancer or life-threatening diseases. Matt’s initiative, ProjectGRACE, a part of the foundation, also reaches children more directly, funding whatever they need.

Lindsay Whalen, College Coach & Former WNBA Star

Minnesota native and women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen is a great role model: an ambassador for her sport and for the state of Minnesota. Lindsay led the U of M women’s basketball team to its first NCAA Final Four appearance and later played for the Minnesota Lynx, winning 4 WNBA championships, 2 world championships and 2 Olympic gold medals.

Off the court, Lindsay is passionate about promoting social justice issues, adding another great voice to the work that can make our communities even better.

Tyus Jones, NBA Player

Apple Valley native and NBA point guard Tyus Jones is a great ambassador for the Twin Cities and the entire state of Minnesota, two of Bell Bank’s core markets. A stand-up guy whose values match Bell’s, Tyus is a former NCAA National Champion with Duke University, Team USA gold medalist and first-round NBA draft pick.

He’s channeled his passion for mentoring, leading his Team 1 Tyus AAU team and developing the Write Your Own Story inspirational teaching platform for kids.

Bell has teamed with Tyus to sponsor his AAU team and work with him to host children of military families at several NBA games.

Amy Olson, LPGA Golfer

Bell Bank has been one of Amy Olson’s major sponsors since she got her LPGA tour card in 2014. A native of Fargo, and North Dakota State University’s most decorated golfer (she holds the NCAA individual victory record with 20), Amy had a breakout season in 2018. She’s among the top 50 earners on the LPGA tour and was right in it at the 2018 Evian Championship, tying for second.

Bell is one of Amy’s biggest fans and even went as far as creating T-shirts with “Amy’s Army” to cheer her on at the 2019 LPGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. The feeling is mutual, as Amy isn’t shy about the fact that she loves her bank – and is proud to be represented by a company she’s banked with since she was 6 years old.

When not on tour, Amy lives in Fargo, N.D., with her husband, Grant.


Tom Hoge, PGA Golfer

Fargo native Tom Hoge has been a professional golfer since 2011 and joined the PGA TOUR in 2015. As one of his major sponsors, we’re proud to see him sport Bell Bank’s logo. Among the top 100 players in FedExCup rankings, Tom has career earnings of more than $5.6 million.

To kick off the 2020 Masters Tournament, Tom teamed up with golf legend Tom Lehman for an exclusive virtual discussion, called “Chasing the Jacket: A Masters Chat.” With Bell as the presenting sponsor – along with partners Forum Communications and WDAY-TV – bank employees and customers conferenced in for stories from the greens and insights about golfing at the highest level.

Tom calls The Village Family Service Center and The First Tee of Fort Worth 2 causes he’s passionate about.

Chris Hawkey, Country Artist & Radio Personality

Chris Hawkey wears many hats. He’s a rising country music singer and songwriter and a co-host and producer on KFAN sports radio. He also regularly produces and contributes to Minnesota Vikings radio broadcasts (with fellow Bell Bank Champion Ben Leber).

Chris combines his loves of music, broadcasting and helping others through so much of his work. In fact, he has been involved in numerous charities, including Tuberous Sclerosis (TC) Alliance, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

A fixture at our some of our biggest team events, Chris is also a proud Bell Bank customer. Read more of his story, and find out why he loves Bell.

Branden Scheel, Triathlete

Fargo native and triathlete Branden Scheel has banked with Bell his whole life. He says that makes Bell’s sponsorship of him even more meaningful. Bell is proud to support Branden as he pushes his mental and physical limits in multisport races that test his endurance through swimming, cycling, and running. In addition to setting 5 course records around North Dakota and Minnesota in 2018, Branden also came in sixth in his age group in the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championship in Australia.

When he’s not out competing, Branden’s passionate about supporting Colorado Youth Outdoors and Smile Train, a charity that helps children who have a cleft lip or palate.

The Blenders, Quartet Music Group

Originally from Fargo, The Blenders now proudly call Minneapolis their home. This energetic quartet has entertained U.S. audiences for nearly 30 years with their unique, close-harmonized vocals. Since 2015, Bell Bank has been the proud official sponsor of The Blenders’ annual Holiday Soul Tour, a Midwest Christmas tradition.

In 2020, The Blenders made the tough decision to cancel their holiday tour in light of COVID-19. But instead of doing away with their show completely, the creative quartet turned circumstances into an opportunity to raise money for charity. The group launched a Kickstarter campaign to keep tradition alive with a goal of raising $25,000 so they could shoot 6 live performance videos of Christmas favorites.

In addition to teaming up with individuals who share our values, we’ve also partnered with organizations that help make our communities a better place. Read all about them here!