Bill had agreed, at his father’s urging, to work “for a couple of years” managing his family’s small chain of gas stations. In the early years, Bill spent long days driving all over the country identifying, negotiating and purchasing good locations for new truck-stops. While lots of politicians talk about creating jobs, Bill Haslam has actually done it. When he first went to work for the company, Pilot Corporation had 800 employees; and when he left had more than 14,000 employees in 39 states. Throughout his time at Pilot, Bill sustained the company’s growth by allocating resources wisely, managing the business conservatively, and working hard to increase sales and satisfy customers.
It was here that Bill gained the essential hands-on knowledge that makes the chief executive officer of a complicated enterprise successful. In 2003, at the urging of many friends, he ran successfully for Mayor of Knoxville.
The skills he honed in the private sector have helped make him an extremely effective Mayor. Reelected in 2007 with 87 percent of the vote, Bill has balanced seven consecutive city budgets, tripled the Rainy Day Fund, insisted that city
government focus on providing services in an efficient manner, helped found key education initiatives, and recruited and retained thousands of jobs to the city.
On November 2, 2010, Bill was elected Tennessee’s governor with 65 percent of the vote – winning 90 of 95 counties and securing the largest victory of any nonincumbent gubernatorial candidate in the state’s history.
Having celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary earlier this year, Bill and his wife Crissy have also been blessed with three children and a daughter-in-law: Annie, Leigh and Will (Hannah). For 27 years, Bill and Crissy have been members of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Knoxville and for 21 of those years Bill has served as an Elder.