Haslam to Receive NATSO Hall of Fame Award

Pilot founder will be honored for his industry participation, dedication to community

James A. "Jim" Haslam II

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- James A. "Jim" Haslam II, founder of Pilot Corp. and chairman emeritus of Pilot Flying J, will receive the association's Hall of Fame award at The NATSO Show in Savannah, Ga., Feb. 2-6, said NATSO, the trade association representing the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

The Hall of Fame Award recognizes individuals for notable participation in their communities, the truckstop and travel plaza industry and in NATSO. Members nominate candidates for the award, and NATSO's executive committee and past Hall of Fame recipients select the winner.

Haslam first entered the fueling industry in 1958 with one gas station. He continued to open stations and within seven years he had 12 locations in three states. Pilot opened its first travel plaza in 1981, right around the same time President Reagan deregulated trucking and a number of small trucking companies started up.

Haslam's focus on customer service and convenience resonated with drivers and carriers. Pilot Flying J now is one of the largest travel center chains in the country with more than 650 locations and about $30 billion in sales in 2011.

"Mr. Haslam clearly had a vision of what similarities there were in the convenience store business and the truckstop business and how he could make the transition from the convenience store sphere to the truckstop world, and did it phenomenally well," said Roger Cole, president of Highway Service Ventures and NATSO's 2013 Chairman and former Hall of Fame recipient. "They moved into a business model that focused on speed, economy and efficiency."

Not only has Haslam built a successful business, he has found success on a personal level as well.

"Mr. Haslam's dedication to his community through his charitable contributions is awe-inspiring," said NATSO president and CEO Lisa Mullings.

"He's built the largest brand in our industry, he's been very philanthropic and he's been a successful husband and father. That is someone we can all look up to and emulate," said Jim Goetz, vice president of Goetz Cos. and a past NATSO chairman and Hall of Fame recipient.

Haslam's son, James A. "Jimmy" Haslam III, will present the award on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at The NATSO Show.

NATSO, founded in 1960 as the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, is the trade association of America's travel plaza and truckstop industry. It represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters, serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truckstop industry, provides education to its members, conducts an annual convention and trade show and supports efforts to generally improve the business climate in which its members operate.