NFL TEAM CO-OWNERS AND PHILANTHROPISTS
UT Knoxville, ’86
Dee Haslam was just 17 when she began working in the television business for her father, cable production pioneer Ross K. Bagwell Sr.
Jimmy Haslam grew up spending Saturdays working with his father at Pilot gas stations, then worked as a janitor at company headquarters while studying transportation and logistics at UT Knoxville.
Today, Dee Haslam, who studied elementary education at UT Knoxville, is CEO and partner, along with Rob Lundgren and Lori Stryer, in Rivr Media, a production company that has generated some well-known series such as Whale Wars for Animal Planet, Trading Spaces for TLC, World Series of Poker for Discovery Channel and Renovation Realities for DIY.
Jimmy Haslam is CEO of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, one of the top 10 privately held companies in the United States and employing more than 24,000.
“I’m the one who’s more conservative and, ‘Let’s think about that before we do it. Jimmy is more like ‘Fire, ready, aim!’…we kid about that. I think that’s been a great balance because he is willing to go forward, and I’m asking, ‘Can we think about that?’” Dee Haslam says in a WBIR-TV Knoxville interview.
In 2012, Dee and Jimmy Haslam purchased the NFL franchise Cleveland Browns. They now split their time between Knoxville and Cleveland,vOhio.
Beyond that, the couple give to their Ohio and Tennessee homes in a myriad of ways.
Dee and Jimmy Haslam have donated money to refurbish high school football fields in Ohio and Knoxville and have made transformational investments in Breakthrough charter schools in Cleveland.
The Haslams have given to UT to endow professorships and support the Haslam Scholars honors program. They have been generous supporters of the Haslam College of Business and UT Athletics.
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.