P.B. Bell Announces Debbie Willis Retiring From Executive Team
By Claire Natale -
Monday Jul 31, 2023
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – P.B. Bell recently announced that Debbie Willis is retiring from the executive team after 40 years of service. Currently, she serves as the president and designated broker of property services for the multifamily housing company.
Willis started as the seventh employee of P.B. Bell in a temporary accounts payable position. Inspired by the people and culture within the company, she began to rise through the ranks and became one of many tenured employees.
“Culture is a big part of P.B. Bell’s success and our daily routine,” said Willis. “It started with Phil Bell saying: ‘Our industry is not about buildings. It’s about people.’”
During Willis’ 40 years at the company, P.B. Bell has grown to 145 employees that help manage more than 6,000 multifamily units across the Valley and northern Arizona. She has experienced multiple real estate cycles and managed communities throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, making her a seasoned expert within a dynamic real estate market.
“The one consistency is that real estate cycles,” said Willis “There’s going to be good times, and there’s going to be bad times. You’ve got to have the flexibility to deal with those changes because you are going to treat the assets, expenses and marketing differently as it ebbs and flows.”
Willis’ leadership extended beyond her work with P.B. Bell. She has been an active member with the Arizona Multihousing Association for the past 35 years, served on the board for 20 years, and is currently the ethics’ chair of the organization.
Through her years of service at P.B. Bell, Willis became a trusted, key leader of the team.
“The reality is you don’t replace an icon,” said Chapin Bell, CEO of P.B. Bell. “Debbie has meant so much, not just to me, but to P.B. Bell. She has done so many wonderful things for both the company and me personally over those 40 years.”
Willis reflected on her time with P.B. Bell and offered words of wisdom for the person who will take her place.
“Over the years many people have said, ‘I wish I had your job,’ and now is your chance,” said Willis. “In order to succeed in my role, you 1) must make culture ‘king’ and 2) make decisions based on the good of the entire company. Decisions are getting harder and harder to make to keep everyone happy. Don’t be pressured into making a decision that will only satisfy a few. The decision has got to be the best one for the company as a whole.”
About P.B. Bell
P.B. Bell specializes in the development and management of multifamily housing communities in Arizona. Based in Scottsdale, P.B. Bell has provided multifamily services since 1976 and remains family-owned. Committed to quality apartment homes and service, P.B. Bell’s portfolio spans throughout every Phoenix submarket as well as Northern Arizona and its clientele range from global investment firms to individual owners. As a leader in the multifamily housing industry, P.B. Bell has earned multiple awards for its design, development and management services. For more information, visit http://www.pbbell.com or call 480.951.2222.