Dee and Jimmy Haslam

CEO and Chairman, Managing Partners

Dee and Jimmy Haslam have created three primary areas of focus to set the team’s culture in Cleveland and help direct all important processes and decisions for the organization. The club’s standard is centered on providing a consistently winning team on the football field; taking exceptional care of the team’s fans by providing a premier experience throughout the year; and striving to make a positive impact in the Northeast Ohio community with an emphasis on education, youth football, community engagement through volunteerism while advocating for social justice.

The Haslams are committed to restoring championship football in Cleveland. To best position the team for success, the Haslams have consistently invested in the organization and its facilities to provide the best resources available, while working diligently and responsibly in partnership with the City of Cleveland and the City of Berea.

Making a Difference

Dee and Jimmy are immersed in numerous philanthropic and community endeavors to impact Northeast Ohio and have always taken a proactive approach to help address the needs of their communities. Upon becoming owners of the Browns, they quickly engaged themselves in the Northeast Ohio community.

The Haslams are deeply immersed in supporting programs for youth hat remove barriers and improve chances for success academically and motivate children to go to school. They have focused on renovating football fields throughout Northeast Ohio to enhance the football programs but also improve physical education offerings for students and allow community groups to benefit. These community assets are not only used for sports but for recreational programs that keep children and families active, engaged and inspired.

The Haslams have helped refurbish many Cleveland public school’s athletic fields, installing 14 high-quality synthetic turf fields across Northeast Ohio. Beginning in 2016, Dee and Jimmy announced a commitment to provide five Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) fields with high-quality synthetic turf during the next two years. Three fields — Roye Kidd Field, James F. Rhodes Field and Bump Taylor Field — were renovated before the start of the 2016 high school football season. In 2017, renovations were completed on John Adams Field and John Marshall Field. The fields are available to all CMSD schools and are lined to accommodate multiple sports to offer more students opportunities to benefit from the upgraded playing surfaces. In 2018, the field project expanded beyond Cleveland with fields in Toledo, Lorain and eventually Akron and East Cleveland.. The Haslams have also initiated the turf field project in Knoxville, providing funding to transform 13 fields at area high schools.

The Haslams have invested $11 million in Breakthrough Charter Schools, which helps provide equal educational opportunities for local youths throughout greater Cleveland. In 2019, the Cleveland Browns also launched the “Get 2 School, Stay in the Game” Network, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University’s Proving Ground, to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism.

Dee and Jimmy have led the Browns efforts and impact in the social justice space. They have met with Browns players to support their ideas and efforts in determining the best ways to make an impact. Since, 2017 the team has donated over $2 million to organizations that work to impact the space. The Browns have hosted three social justice summits; two that brought together the Cleveland Police Department with Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school students to create a forum for open and honest dialogue about social injustice and another that brought community and civic leaders to the Browns facility to engage players and the entire organization. Players have also participated in ride-a-longs with local police departments and the Haslams have provided written testimony in support of state criminal justice reform bills. Dee sits on the NFL’s social justice committee that works directly with players to advise league on social justice initiatives and funding of programs.

Since 2022, the Browns through their social justice efforts have supported minority and black-owned businesses through a partnership with Jumpstart, a Northeast Ohio-based, nationally recognized venture development organization providing capital, services, and connection to help entrepreneurs grow and corporations innovate. With Haslam’s support, the team has hosted hundreds of minority entrepreneurs at small business boot camps at Cleveland Browns Stadium and has provided capital grants to participants of Jumpstart’s business accelerators cohorts. Since partnering with JumpStart, over 25 minority and black-owned businesses across Northeast Ohio that have participated in the cohorts have experienced significant employment and revenue growth.

In November of 2020, through donations from players and matched by the Haslam family, $350,000 was raised to purchase equipment for the East Cleveland school district so their students could learn remotely during the pandemic when the digital divide became even more pronounced in underserved communities.

In January of 2019, Dee participated in a panel discussion as part of the R.I.S.E. Super Bowl Champions of Change Town Hall at the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss team ownerships’ role in the league’s social justice initiative.

Dee and Jimmy Haslam were presented with the Maltz Heritage Award that recognized their transformational leadership, civic engagement, and philanthropic contributions in Northeast Ohio.

Dee and Jimmy launched the Haslam Sports Group Diversity and Opportunity Fellowship in 2021. Designed to improve the pipeline of diverse future sports industry leaders, the year-long sports business fellowship provides a unique, immersive opportunity to recent college graduates. The fellowship program provides a range of experiences in several sports business disciplines across the two major league professional sports teams that comprise Haslam Sports Group (Cleveland Browns and Columbus Crew SC) to expand the participants’ knowledge of and experience in the business of professional sports and prepare them for a successful career.

In 2022, the Browns received inaugural John B. Wooten Award by the Fritz Pollard Alliance. The award honors NFL teams that embody workplace diversity, equity and inclusion across the hierarchy. The Browns have filled their business and football operations departments with multiple fellowships and diverse hires that have helped the organization grow.

In March of 2020, Dee and Jimmy on behalf of the Haslam family pledged $1.5 million to COVID-19 relief funds throughout the state of Ohio. Through their Haslam 3 Foundation, the Haslams earmarked $1 million to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and $500,000 to the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.

“We are humbled by the tremendous work of people around the world in their efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 and we wanted to try to positively impact those affected in our own communities of Cleveland and Columbus,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “We are grateful for the individuals who are putting others before themselves and for the sacrifices they are making.”

In August of 2019, the Haslam 3 Foundation donated $4.5 million to education-based programs that give school-aged children more access to three arts organizations in Cleveland: Playhouse Square, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Orchestra.

“Education is one of our priorities,” Dee Haslam told after the donation. “We know that engaged students are more likely to go to school. We’re able to help in a way that may make a difference and excite these children to be engaged in something that touches their hearts,”

In 2017, the Browns’ philanthropic efforts through the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Community Relations and personal giving from the Haslams, coaches, players and the rest of the Browns organization were unified with the creation of “Browns Give Back.”

The Haslams established a focus and direction for the Browns Give Back initiative, with a commitment to make a continuing impact in education, youth football and community engagement through volunteerism. The foundation of the Haslam’s philanthropy strategy is based on the belief that every child deserves a quality education. They have made improving education in underserved and disadvantaged communities a priority for their philanthropic efforts.

In December of 2019, the Haslams helped open the doors to the Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex in the Lonsdale community of Knoxville, Tenn. The $8 million privatively funded project by the Haslam and Sansom families consists of 30,000 square feet and includes two fields, which can be used for soccer or football, a gymnasium with two full-sized basketball courts, a chapel, a community room and a medical clinic. It was built for the Emerald Youth Foundation and the complex will serve the more than 1,400 young people within Emerald as well as help hundreds of families in the underserved Lonsdale neighborhood.

The Haslams worked strategically and passionately to bring the NFL Draft to Cleveland, knowing the impact it could have on the community to host such a signature event. On May 22, 2019, Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Cleveland would host the 2021 NFL Draft in partnership with the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Destination Cleveland.

Dee is also committed to the betterment of the Northeast Ohio community through her active involvement as a member of the board of directors for the Greater Cleveland Partnership; the United Way of Greater Cleveland (Executive Council); University Hospitals Systems; the Cleveland Orchestra; and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She also serves on the boards of the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business; the Emerald Youth Foundation; State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) in Tennessee; and is the acting chair of Lakeshore Park. Dee also serves on the board of the Greater Columbus Partnership.

In May of 2017, Dee was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to ExcelinEd’s Board of Directors, which is a foundation that has become a national leader in the education reform movement. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate after delivering the commencement speech at Baldwin Wallace University.

Dee and Jimmy helped co-found the Haslam Scholars Program in 2008. The program offers unique in-depth academic enrichment for top students at the University of Tennessee.

Jimmy also serves on the boards of the American Federation for Children, the National Association of Truckstop Operators and Anderson Media Corporation. In 2006, he served as Tennessee statewide campaign chair for Bob Corker, now a United States Senator. Jimmy was also the 2010 Tennessee statewide finance chair for Governor Bill Haslam. In October 2011, Jimmy was recognized as a “Significant Sig” by the Sigma Chi Foundation. Jimmy’s additional civic involvement includes service on the boards of directors of Lakeshore Park in Knoxville, Tenn. He formerly served as campaign chair for both Knox Area Rescue Ministries and United Way of Greater Knoxville.

In June of 2017, Jimmy was honored by the Cleveland branch of the NAACP at its 105th Anniversary Celebration Freedom Fund Dinner.

To help further advance the NFL, Jimmy is a member of the league’s business ventures, media, and Hall of Fame committees and chairs the investment committee. Dee serves on the social justice working group, legislative and conduct committees.

The Haslams received their first award as members of the NFL in 2014 when they were recognized by the Fritz Pollard Alliance with the Paul ‘Tank” Younger Award for promoting diversity within NFL front offices.

During their tenure, the Haslams have also directed major renovation projects that resulted in a $125 million of upgrades to Cleveland Browns Stadium and $15 million to the team’s training facility, in partnership with the City of Cleveland and City of Berea.

Beyond the NFL

In January of 2019, the Haslams expanded their sports interests and investments when they reached an agreement with Major League Soccer to operate the Columbus Crew. After only two seasons in their role as investor-operators, the club captured MLS Cup 2020, their second championship in league history. Dee has led the efforts to create Field, the new Columbus Crew downtown stadium, which officially opened in July of 2021. The dynamic, modern and inspiring stadium is an accessible and inclusive community asset for the city of Columbus and serves as an anchor to the adjacent mixed-use development neighborhood called Astor Park that is set to open in 2023. Additionally, in June of 2021, the Crew opened the Ohio Health Performance Center, a new dynamic 42,000 square feet, first-in-class MLS training facility for all soccer operations, including First Team and Academy. Dee and Jimmy worked passionately to bring the MLS All-Star game to Columbus and the signature event will be held at Field in 2024. Dee was also named to MLS’s Board of Governors. After the family acquired the Crew, they formed the Haslam Sport Group (HSG). In addition to owning and operating the Crew and the Brown, HSG also explores various investment opportunities within the sports and entertainment industries. HSG recently became an investor in Misfits Gaming Group, a global esports and entertainment company.

In April 2023, HSG added to their sports portfolio when the NBA Board of Governors approved an ownership share purchase of the Milwaukee Bucks by Dee and Jimmy Haslam. The Haslams joined Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan as co-owners of the Bucks. The new ownership group will control and operate the Bucks; Fiserv Forum; the Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center, the team’s training center, the Wisconsin Herd, the Bucks G League affiliate; and Bucks Gaming, the team’s 2K League affiliate.

A native a Knoxville, Tenn., Jimmy Haslam began his career at Pilot Corporation in 1976, a company his family founded in 1958. In 1980, Haslam was named vice president of sales, development and operations. At that time, Pilot operated 100 convenience stores with annual fuel sales of about 125 million gallons. Under Jimmy’s leadership as CEO of the Pilot Company, a position he had held since 1996 and the company saw exponential growth of its network and today supplies more than 11 billion gallons of fuel per year. Pilot has an industry-leading network of more than 950 retail and fueling locations that offer a variety of products, amenities and innovative solutions to make road travel easier. The Pilot Flying J travel center network includes locations in 44 states and six Canadian provinces with more than 680 restaurants. Pilot Company’s energy division supplies fuel, DEF, bio and renewables and provides hauling and disposal services as the third largest tanker fleet in North America. In October of 2017, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway acquired an investment-stake in Pilot Flying J. Jimmy was thrilled to collaborate with Berkshire Hathaway and expressed those feelings in a recent interview, “Obviously to have a partner like Warren and Berkshire Hathaway, I think, is a tremendous honor for our team members. Pilot Flying J has always been a growth company, and obviously partnering with Warren is an opportunity to grow even more.” On January 1, 2021, Jimmy became chairman of the board and remains in that position today.

Dee, an Emmy-nominated TV producer, was the executive producer and CEO of RIVR Media Companies. Since launching RIVR Media in 1999, Dee has been the executive producer for ground breaking series such as “Trading Spaces,” “Whale Wars,” “World Series of Poker,” “Renovation Realities,” “Fat Guys in the Woods,” and “Escaping Polygamy.” Recently, RIVR was named a Realscreen’s Global 100 TV production company. In June of 2012, Dee started Nest Features, an independent film company that produces films in and about the American South. Prior to RIVR’s launch, she worked in various production roles with Bagwell Communications and Cinetel Productions. Dee transitioned from her role as CEO at RIVR Media in early 2018 to devote more of her time to Cleveland but remains a partner and executive producer.

Dee’s professional association memberships include: Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; In Counsel with Women; Women in Cable Telecommunications; International Women’s Forum; C200; and the Society of International Business Fellows.

In July of 2018, Cleveland Crain’s honored Dee as a Women of Note for her efforts and commitment towards the betterment of Cleveland.

The Haslams first became involved in the NFL by acquiring minority ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008, marking the first time ownership of the franchise expanded beyond the Rooney and McGinley families. The Haslams kept that stake until taking control of the Browns.

On Aug. 2, 2012, Dee, Jimmy and the Haslam family agreed to purchase the Cleveland Browns. The sale was unanimously approved by NFL owners on Oct. 16, 2012, and the closing took place on Oct. 25.

The Haslams have three adult children and six grandchildren.