(WOIO) - James A. Haslam III, a Knoxville native, joined Pilot Corporation in 1976, a company his father, James A. Haslam II founded in 1958. During Haslam's career, Pilot Travel Centers has grown its annual gallon sales from approximately 125 million to 8 billion. In addition, the company has grown its network from 7 states in the Southeast to 43 states in the US and 6 Canadian provinces with over 600 travel centers and travel plazas. Today, Pilot Flying J is one of the top privately held companies in the United States and employs more than 21,000 people.
Haslam's civic involvement includes service on the boards of directors for the United Way of Greater Knoxville and Lakeshore Park. He is the co-founder of the Haslam Scholars Program at the University of Tennessee and formerly served as campaign chair for Knox Area Rescue Ministries and United Way of Greater Knoxville.
Haslam also serves on the boards of Innovation Valley Inc., the National Association of Truckstop Operators, First Horizon Corporation, and Anderson Media Corporation. In 2006, he served as Tennessee statewide campaign chair for the now United States Senator Bob Corker. Haslam was also the 2010 Tennessee statewide campaign chair for now Governor Bill Haslam. In 2010, he was named a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southeast region. In October 2011, Haslam was recognized as a "Significant Sig" by the Sigma Chi Foundation. He also received the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration's Distinguished Alumni Award.
In 2008, Haslam became a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, marking the first time ownership of the franchise expanded beyond the Rooney and McGinley families.