After 50 years, Larry Bell, one of the most respected and legendary salespeople our industry has known has recently retired. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of our selling based series, “Optical Briefcase,” is Larry’s son. We asked Robert to write a tribute to his father.

A Love Letter to Larry

Dear Dad,

Retirement? You?

I know this is a hard transition to make. I think it’s because this was never “work” for you. It was a love affair and it was an extension of your family. 

If this song lyric is true, “...and it’s only the giving that makes you what you are,” then you are a GIANT!

“Larry’s way was to greet everyone with his big, lovable smile. He always knew the right story to tell to get the laugh we all needed.”
—Jeffery Frumkin, CEO, EyeQ Eyewear

“We knew Larry from the start. We were so impressed with this gregarious, charming, generous and funny guy. We not only became bound by business but by a wonderful friendship.”
—Fred & Mimi Friedfeld, Founders, ClearVision Optical

“Larry took me under his wing on many occasions, taught me how to do things better and inspired me to be my best. Larry is a gentleman, a great friend, a spectacular salesperson and coach to all.”
—David Friedfeld, CEO, ClearVision Optical

“Larry is bigger than life. He greets everyone he encounters with enthusiasm and a robust friendliness.” 
—Mike Hundert, President/CEO, REM Eyewear

“To love people, be genuinely interested, naturally enthused. To be warm, quick with a smile, glad with a story. That’s Larry.”
—Keith Lehrer, President, LBI

“Larry always won the hearts of the account before he would even begin to sell them a product.” 
—Bill Habacker, VP, Eyewear Designs

“When Larry speaks to people, he has a way of making them feel like they are the most important person in the room.”
—Donna Bauman, EyeQ Eyewear

“Larry taught me to treat your competition with respect and kindness. If Larry couldn’t meet the needs of an account, he would recommend my product. Who does that? Only Larry!” 
—Steve Gintis, Industry Veteran

“With Larry, it was always the man not the product. You just always felt good doing business with him.”
—Bob Hillman, Optical Retail Trailblazer

“A crucial aspect of what Larry did was he always followed through, no matter what.”
—Randal Golden, Leader, SEE

“You always have to look at the integrity of the person you’re purchasing from. You’re never just a customer to Larry, you’re a true friend.”
—Cheryl Massa, Operations Manager, Riverfront Optical/Opti-View Vision Centers

“Larry’s name comes up often. And it’s never just Larry Bell said this or that. Its always ‘my friend’ Larry Bell said this. That’s the key to Larry’s success.”
—Steve Benjamin, EyeWear Designs

“Integrity + Compassion + Enthusiasm = Mr. Larry Bell.”
—John Barry, VP, EyeQ Eyewear

“Larry is the prime example of making yourself invaluable as a business resource and a friend.” 
—Michael Lange, OD, Lange Eye Institute, CEO, Fortifeye Vitamins

“It always amazed me to realize that your success was as important to Larry as it was to you.”
—Matt Larkin, CEO, Monroe Optical

Dad, your success in the industry is a widely celebrated story. You’ve touched us all profoundly.  We celebrate your achievements but, more importantly, we celebrate you.
I love you very much.

Your son and most appreciative student,