Bill Haslam was sworn in as governor of Tennessee on January 15, 2011, and was re-elected in 2014.
Under Haslam’s results-driven, common sense leadership, Tennessee is recognized as a national leader in education, job creation and fiscal responsibility.
Born and raised in Knoxville, he was blessed with parents who instilled their strong faith and work ethic in their children. As a young man, he excelled in academics and sports and was a leader in student government. When he was 16 years old, the sudden, unexpected death of his mother marked a turning point in his young life. His family leaned on each other and on their faith to get through the tough days.
After graduating from Emory University, Haslam returned to Knoxville, where he managed his family’s chain of gas stations. When he first went to work for the company, Pilot Corporation had 800 employees, and when he left, it had more than 14,000 employees in 39 states.
Haslam was elected mayor of Knoxville in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. As mayor, he balanced eight 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 Knoxville.
He and his wife Crissy have three children and four grandchildren. For more than three decades, they have been members of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Knoxville, where Haslam serves as an elder.
Crissy Haslam was born in Houston, Texas, and moved with her family as a young child to Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated with a double major in finance and marketing from Emory University’s College of Business in 1980 and served as the vice president of the Business School Council.
After she and her husband, Governor Bill Haslam, were married and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1981, Mrs. Haslam worked as the assistant director of admissions for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She received her master’s degree in education (college student personnel) from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1985, where she also worked as an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts.
As first lady of Tennessee, Mrs. Haslam introduced a three-part initiative that focuses on the interplay between family engagement and literacy improvement in Tennessee. She travels the state to stress the importance of parents as first teachers, parents as education partners and also to raise awareness for the exponential value of reading at grade level by the third grade.
The Haslams have three grown children, Will, Annie and Leigh, and one grandchild, Wyatt. Mrs. Haslam has served on numerous civic and community boards and has volunteered extensively at the Love Kitchen, a provider of meals for Knoxville’s poor and home-bound population. She currently serves as chair of the Tennessee Executive Residence Foundation.