Which former player is now part owner of the Steelers?
In 2009, the Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed former NASA consultant, philanthropist and Pro Football Hall of Fame member John Stallworth as a part owner of the team.
The Steelers welcomed Stallworth and two other business groups (Bruce Rauner, chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner and future governor of Illinois; and New York’s Varischetti family) as owners of an undisclosed percentage of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Stallworth’s inclusion was far from a token gesture meant to appeal to fans. While he was still playing for the Steelers, Stallworth met Sam Hazelrig met at his son’s soccer game. A retired Army engineer who spoke the military’s language and knew the bid process. In 1986, Hazelrig, Stallworth, and Stallworth’s wife, Flo, founded Madison Research.
Based in Huntsville, Alabama, Madison Research became a leading engineering and IT company that specialized in network administration, system design, modeling, analysis, logistical support, program supervision, and facility management for government agencies like NASA, the Air Force, and the Army. When Madison Research was sold in 2006 for $69 million, Stallworth’s company had more than 450 employees in 15 states monitoring military defense systems around the world.
“We’ve set up air defense systems in Egypt and Norway and for our troops in Afghanistan,” Stallworth told Inc.com in 2006. “ Look at who many of our ultimate users are: soldiers. Since the beginning, I’ve known that we are supporting the military in conflicts all over the world. Somebody’s life could depend on how this company–my company–does its job. That’s very sobering.”
Since selling Madison Research, Stallworth has become a partner in Genesis II board member of six organizations, including the John Stallworth Foundation. Both the John Stallworth Foundation and Genesis II are philanthropic, community-oriented organizations.
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