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Pilot Flying J and Bunker Labs Partner to Empower Military Veteran Entrepreneurs

Anne LeZotte, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Relations

In honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Pilot Flying J is donating $125,000 to Bunker Labs, a national not-for-profit organization headquartered in Chicago and built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans to start and grow businesses. A veteran-founded company itself, Pilot Flying J’s donation will aid Bunker Labs in its expansion across the country.

“It’s both an honor and a responsibility to show recognition and provide resources to the men and women who protect our freedom,” said James A Haslam II, Pilot Flying J founder and chairman. “I hope the partnership with Bunker Labs will result in opportunities for our veterans, in helping them settle into and prosper in their post-military life. We’re humbled to be a part of this and to help support our veterans with Bunker Labs.”

Through local chapters across the U.S., Bunker Labs has helped to launch more than 360 companies since 2014, creating more than 1,700 new jobs in the process. Of the $125,000 donated from Pilot Flying J, $25,000 will be applied directly towards expanding the Bunker Labs chapter in Tennessee, part of a three-year plan to donate $75,000 for this chapter.

“I believe military veterans are out there with great ideas, and we need to be the catalyst and support system for them to bring their dreams to life,” said Todd Connor, Bunker Labs founder and Chief Executive Officer. “What we’re trying to do is to reach out and find military veterans who don’t otherwise know this is an option for them. This grant and partnership with Pilot Flying J allows us to expand our reach to support more veterans and to create the spark that this is in fact possible for them.” 

Pilot Flying J’s philanthropic efforts aim to make an impact in several important areas, with one of the key focuses being on organizations and programs that support and create opportunities for our veterans and the U.S. armed forces. Its founder and chairman, Mr. James A Haslam II, completed service in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (1952-1955), which included deployment to Korea. Over the years, Pilot Flying J has also supported other military-focused beneficiaries, some of which include Wreaths Across America, the National Desert Storm War Memorial and the National Museum of the United States Army.

To learn more about Pilot Flying J, visit or download the mobile app. For more information about Bunker Labs, please visit,

About Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, more than 100 Roadside Assistance Trucks and growing as part of its Truck Care Program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 35 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 70,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,900 showers and more than 5,000 diesel lanes offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. Visit for more information.

About Bunker Labs

Founded in 2014, Bunker Labs is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Chicago and built by military veteran entrepreneurs to empower other military veterans to start and grow businesses. Through local chapters organized in cities across the U.S., Bunker Labs provides educational programming, industry experts, events, and thriving local networks to help military veterans succeed and thrive as entrepreneurs and innovators.