Jo Ann Bell is originally from upstate New York. The journey westward included several years in Arizona, where she organized anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, worked with the National Welfare Rights Organization, and earned both her Bachelor of Science and Masters in Social Work from Arizona State University.
The day after graduation, Jo Ann left for California. She was the first female, LCSW clinical supervisor for Riverside Adult Mental Health Services. While volunteering for the domestic violence coalition, she helped write California’s initial domestic violence legislation and chaired the board when it opened the Riverside shelter. Jo Ann has lived in Santa Barbara since 1980 — originally as a B&B owner, a teacher of workshops for aspiring innkeepers, a board member of Shelter Services for Women (now DVS) and then, in 1989, a co-founder of the national trade association for B&B owners.
Since retiring in 2001, Jo Ann travels whenever possible, rides with her “Vesparado” friends, and hangs out with her Havanese (“Chipper”).