Terry Pegula is a self-made success story, rising from humble beginnings to become one of the most respected leaders in the energy industry, and one of very few professional sports owners to operate franchises in multiple sports at the highest level.
On February 22, 2011, Terry and his wife, Kim, who previously been season ticket holders, realized their dream of owning a hockey franchise with the purchase of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. They followed up their commitment to hockey by purchasing the AHL’s Rochester Americans later that year, restoring a longtime affiliation between the Sabres and Amerks, who collectively enter their 37th season as working partners at the NHL and AHL levels, respectively. Today, it remains one of the longest and successful partnerships between and an NHL club and its AHL affiliate.
Raised in Carbondale, Penn., Terry is a 1969 graduate of Scranton Preparatory School. He entered Penn State University as a math major and was accepted into the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Program with a scholarship. He went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1973 and landed his first job with Getty Oil Co. in Victoria, TX. He later joined Felmont Oil Co. as an Area Engineer, a decision that brought him to Olean, NY in 1975.
In 1983, Terry borrowed $7,500 from family and friends to create East Resources Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration and production company operating in the Appalachian Basin. Over the next 27 years, Terry built East into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. In July of 2010, Royal Dutch Shell purchased the assets of East Resources Inc., which continues to be active today. In 2012, Terry formed JKLM Energy. JKLM is staffed with many former East Resources employees and takes pride in contributing to U.S. energy independence by producing Pennsylvania natural gas, elevating the state into one of the top producing regions in the world.
Upon the sale of East Resources assets, Terry focused his attention on his love of sports. In September of 2010, the Pegulas announced a gift of $102 million to construct Pegula Ice Arena, paving the way for Division I hockey at Penn State University and the formation of the Big Ten Hockey Conference.
The Pegulas then began construction of a multi-purpose ice complex and opened HarborCenter in 2014. The $200 million dollar personally-financed complex, next door to the Sabres’ KeyBank Center, includes two NHL hockey rinks, training facilities, four restaurants, a full-service Marriott Hotel and parking. The combination of KeyBank Center and Harborcenter have allowed Buffalo to be at the epicenter for hockey, hosting the 2016 NHL Draft, NHL Combine, 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships and the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four.
Together with his wife Kim, Terry added another franchise to their Buffalo holdings on October 10, 2014. The Pegulas received the unanimous approval of NFL owners to succeed Pro Football Hall of Famer Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. and become the second owners in the storied history of the Buffalo Bills.
Terry serves as CEO of the Bills and currently sits on the NFL’s Health and Safety committee. In 2016, the Pegulas were honored with the Tank Younger Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions towards diversity in the NFL.
In addition to overseeing the family’s sports operations, Terry runs JKLM Energy in Pittsburgh, and his business operations in Boca Raton, Florida. Terry and Kim have five children between them: Michael, Laura, Jessica, Kelly and Matthew.