International Association of Women Recognizes Katherine Bell as a 2018-2019 Influencer

Katherine Bell, Owner/Operator of Martin County Firearms Academy, joins networking organization

​The International Association of Women (IAW) recognizes Katherine Bell as a 2018-2019 Influencer. She is acknowledged as a leader in entrepreneurship. The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online networking platform with nearly one million members, 1000+ in person and virtual events, over 100 Local US based Chapters and International Chapters in several cities in China.

“I’m pleased to welcome Katherine into this exceptional group of professional women,” said IPDN President and IAW Spokesperson Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.”

Katherine Bell grew up in Brooklyn NY, where owning and using anything but a toy guy was not even a question for the average citizen. As an adult living in North Carolina, though, she began to see the necessity of owning a gun for protection for many reasons, from home invasions to bears.

Ms. Bell obtained her CCH (Concealed Carry Handguns) in 2014 and soon realized she didn’t know what to do with her newly acquired gun. The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapter of Rocky Mt came to her rescue. Ms. Bell joined and began training under her State Leader, Rhonda Allen, and the Founder of TWAW, Carrie Lightfoot, and in 2015 became a Certified Well Armed Woman Instructor.  This led to more training with NRA instructors from diverse backgrounds and locations, including a retired navy seal.

After retiring in 2015 from counseling, Ms. Bell set her sights on a new project and Martin County Firearms Academy was born. As Owner and Operator of the business, she teaches students how to safely and effectively handle a handgun. Other than the accounting, which is handled by another woman-owned business, Allen Accounting and Taxes in Plymouth NC, Ms. Bell handles almost everything else. With the help of a Range Safety Office volunteer, Ms. Phylle Foxwell, Martin County Firearms Academy flourishes in Martin County NC. “Customer service is one of my strong suits, which I use to serve my students from the diverse population that makes up Martin and the surrounding counties,” she said.

Although she faced some challenging when she first started her business, especially as a woman of color, Ms. Bell persevered. “Entering into a male-dominated field has had its challenges, but when a woman calls and says I was looking for a woman to teach me and then watching them go from timid and afraid to empowered and confident makes everything worthwhile. It’s rewarding to see a woman walk through her fear and come out feeling empowered and confident,” she said. “Watching a man who sits in my class, arms folded and sitting back not wanting to be open to anything I might have to say, and then have him sitting forward on the edge of his seat listening to every word and shaking my hand afterwards and thanking me for being their instructor is also very rewarding,” she said.

As she continues to grow her business, Ms. Bell said she hopes to eventually “be responsible for teaching one million women and people of color how to defend themselves. “I would also like to have an indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art training facility one day,” she added.

Awards & Accomplishments: Associate’s, Pitt Community College, Human Services; The Well Armed Women (TWAW) Pistol Instructor Certification; NRA Training – Refuse to be a Victim, Intro to Shooting, Basic Pistol Instructor, Inside the Home Protection Instructor, Firearm Safety Instructor, Chief Range Safety Officer; NC Dept of Justice Certified to conduct Concealed Carry Handgun permit classes


About IAW
The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online professional networking platform that provides nearly one million women the forum, professional development and services needed to thrive in an interconnected world. Through 100+ local chapters, International Chapters in several cities in China and 1000+ in person and virtual events, members cultivate valuable connections, develop professionally, and promote themselves and their businesses. Founded in Chicago in 2017, IAW is a division of Professional Diversity Network, Inc., an online network tailored to provide diverse professionals in the United States with access to employment opportunities.

Source: International Association of Professional Women


Categories: Sports Safety

Tags: concealed carry permit, defend, gun safety, guns, safely handle a gun, shooting, teaching, training


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The International Association of Women (IAW) is a global in-person and online professional networking platform that provides nearly one million women with the forum, education, and services to thrive in an interconnected world.