KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Haslams may be our most talked about new neighbors. Channel 3 News traveled to Knoxville for a hometown tour with Jimmy Haslam's wife, Dee.
Dee Haslam knows hard work and, without fail, she shows up and does it every day.
"I don't remember a day, even when I'm sick, that I just call it a day and don't show up," said Haslam, in an exclusive interview with Channel 3's Sara Shookman.
Why? Because she loves every busy minute.
She's adding a role with the Cleveland Browns to the other work she headlines.She's raised three kids, millions of dollars for charity, and kept her creative juices flowing as CEO of RIVR Media Interactive.
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"I like to work. I think everybody, I think working is really important. Hard work is really important too, to us," said Dee. When she says us, Dee means her family with Jimmy, of course. But also the family she grew up in.
"My mom and my dad worked together for years, building a production company. They were just a tremendous example to me," she said.
Dee worked at Bagwell Communications alongside her parents since her college days at the University of Tennessee. In 1999, she took over the reins, transforming the business in RIVR with business partner Rob Lundgren.
Her dad, Ross Bagwell, still sits just steps away. For the Haslams, business is all in the family.
"Dee inherited those creative genes, has a great creative mind, and has learned to be a good disciplined financial operating person," said her husband Jimmy Haslam, co-owner of the Cleveland Browns and President of Pilot Flying J.
While there are staff meetings on Mondays and development meetings on Tuesdays at RIVR, don't expect to catch Dee sitting still for long.
"I'm able to do the fun part. I love development. I love being able to sit down and watch a show and talk about kind of, what's working, what's great about it, and it's great to see a show that comes together and looks so good," she said. "But then I love...working on development pieces."
"I would say that's the favorite part of anyone's job. Or do you think it would be trying to figure out what we're going to do with our insurance policies?" she said, with a laugh.
One of her newest projects: NFL Road Tested, a Travel Channel series that debuted Tuesday night that takes you behind the scenes with Dee's favorite football team.
RIVR's four-building headquarters is just five minutes away from the Haslam's home, and another five from Pilot's world headquarters as well.
While taking on the Dawg Pound, Dee has also launched a film company this fall: Nest Productions. How does she do it all? She says technology, plus great people and great planning.
"At RIVR Media, I have great partners. We work really well together. I have been so involved in the community, and politics, doing so much, they're pretty used to be coming and going," she said.
And with a new nest 500 miles north in Cleveland, she's just getting started.
"It just works, you just make it work. You just cram a lot more into your day," she said.