About The Town of Merrillville
Merrillville is Indiana’s largest town with a population of about 36,000 residents and a busy business district with 100,000 daily visitors each hour. It is estimated that each day, 1 million people pass through Merrillville. It encompasses 33 square miles and was incorporated in 1971.
The Future of The Town of Merrillville
I know that the Town of Merrillville will continue to prosper for years to come.
Doing Business in Northwest Indiana
I love living and working in Northwest Indiana. With my position with the Town Council, I’m able to serve my community, which is a real honor.
Why I Joined Northwest Indiana’s Chamber of Commerce
From a Town Council perspective, we need to know our business leaders to learn what they need to be successful. The town businesses are the backbone of the town. We need to work together for the benefit of all residents and visitors to our town. Networking and meeting those who work and run our business community is a great way to get connected in our area as well.
About Rick Bella
Rick Bella is currently serving in his 4th year of a 4-year elected position on the Merrillville Town Council. It is not his first time serving on the council. He ran and served three consecutive 4-year terms from 1991 through 2003, also representing Ward 5.
Bella is retired from the food business, mainly the fresh produce industry where he held a variety of positions including retail, wholesale distribution, and direct sales. He ran the national foodbank fresh produce program for a decade while working for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief charity. He supported over 200 food banks across the country in his role as National Produce Director and designed and implemented the national grocery purchasing program for the network. He was named in 2006 as One of the Most Influential Persons in the Fresh Produce Industry by The Packer, a national industry newspaper. He is known as an ‘idea’ person always challenging norms and breaking records everywhere he has worked. ‘Just Do It’, the old Nike advertising phrase is one of his favorites as he encourages fellow associates to work collaboratively to do more than they would typically do on their own. Bella is also co-owner of a family-owned business with his wife Jodi, named Bella Studios, a photography, videography, design, and marketing studio based out of Valparaiso, Indiana. They have been in business for 25 years offering services to a variety of clients that have had them travel from coast to coast and into Canada several times.
He is an alumnus of Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and the Indiana Chapter of Acacia Fraternity where he served as a house officer. Today he enjoys serving the residents of Merrillville, promoting the town and his business while flying his drone capturing interesting videos and images of his surrounding areas across the region. Rick is serving in his 4th year as Town Council President, an honor bestowed on him by his fellow council members. He is currently running for re-election in the November 7th, general election.