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Friday, May 14, 2021

Western alumna embraces new role with Bells

Stephanie Morrell will be using her love for Bellingham and its community, along with skills she learned from her time at Western, to conquer a new role with the Bellingham Bells baseball team.

Morrell, originally from Yakima, Washington, picked Western and Bellingham on a beautiful 75 degree day as a senior in high school. When she looked out at the vast waterfront beyond the Viking Union, she knew she had found her home away from home. She could never have known she would become entranced by Bellingham that day, but she has and she doesn’t mind one bit.

“Being a part of this community has been special,” Morrell said. “People rally around things here and it’s a place that has a small-town feel to it.”

Morrell graduated from Western in 2008 hoping to pursue a career in the public relations field. She met her husband at Western, and said they loved the area so much they decided to put down their roots in Whatcom County. She started as an advertising sales consultant at the Bellingham Herald and in her time there, she worked closely with the Bells.

“I fell in love with [the Bells’]vision and their community-centered approach to summer baseball,” Morrell said. “When they were searching to grow their front office team in 2013, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a community-centered organization with a solid mission, a clear vision and a lot of opportunity to grow and thrive.”

Morrell will be taking over the general manager role from Nick Caples, who is moving to vice president of operations. Caples said he can see Morrell’s adoration of Bellingham shine through her.

“She loves this team and has a deep love and deep commitment to this community,” Caples said.

Morrell said she feels deeply connected to Western and has nothing but fond memories of her alma mater.

“Western gives you a diverse, educational experience and a solid foundation for the future,” Morrell said. “It made me feel connected. It made me want to stay.”

No two days are the same for Morrell and the rest of the Bells’ front office, but she does her best to make things fun and fresh for the nearly 1,300 fans that file into Joe Martin Field on summer nights. Morrell’s main job is to oversee a plethora of day-to-day operations including marketing, ticket sales, promotions, community relations and game-day operations.

“My day-to-day varies and that’s part of the fun,” Morrell said. “I’m ready and willing to jump in on whatever project needs my attention.”

Nate Anderson, a former Bellingham Bells player, raved about Morrell and her ability to use her sense of connection to Bellingham as a way to connect with the fans.

“Stephanie is one of the best people I know. She has really good interactions with everybody,” Anderson said. “As far as working for the Bells goes, she makes the fan experience so much better.”

Forrest Longanecker is another Western student with first-hand experience seeing what Morrell brings to the table. Longanecker has lived in Bellingham his whole life and said he feels Morrell’s hard work keeps the Bells moving forward.

“She’s a hard worker. I worked for her last summer and I don’t think I ever saw her sit in one spot for more than a minute or two. She’s always moving, always getting stuff done,” Longanecker said.

Morrell said she is just focused on doing right by her community and will prove all of the good people have said about her.

“We take a great amount of care in our job,” Morrell said. “We want Bells games to be a place you can go with anyone and have a good time no matter what.”

For additional information on Bellingham Bells baseball, visit bellinghambells.com.

Stephanie Morrell, General Manager of the Bellingham Bells and Western Washington University Alumna, sits on the bleachers of Civic Athletic Complex on Jan. 23.// Photo by Daniel Liddicoet
Stephanie Morrell, General Manager of the Bellingham Bells and Western Washington University Alumna, sits on the bleachers of Civic Athletic Complex on Jan. 23.// Photo by Daniel Liddicoet

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