Kim Pegula

Last updated on 21 April 2017

Kim Pegula (née Kerr) is an American businesswoman and, along with her husband, Terry Pegula, one of the principal owners of the Buffalo Bills in the National Football League. She is also one of the key personnel of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which is the holding company that manages the Bills alongside with the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League, Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, HarborCenter and Black River Entertainment, an independent record label based in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with Shahid Khan, Mrs. Pegula is one of only two persons of non-European descent to own a franchise in the NFL.

Early and Personal Life

Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She has no recollection of her birth name, no record of her biological parents nor any account of her life in South Korea, only a secondhand account of being abandoned in the streets of Seoul at the age of five and a DNA test that showed one of her parents was likely Japanese. She was brought to the United States and there adopted by Ralph and Marilyn Kerr on December 30, 1974. Along with her adopted family, she grew up in Fairport, New York, a suburb of Rochester. Kim participated in cheerleading and her school band, playing bassoon. After following her brothers' footsteps in enrolling at Houghton College, she and a roommate ventured to Alaska to work near a fishing camp upon hearing there was money to be made. It was there that she met her future husband, Terry Pegula, when he and his coworkers ate at a restaurant in which Kim was working as a waitress. Pegula offered her a job at his natural gas company, and they eventually entered a relationship, marrying in 1993. Kim is the mother of Matthew Pegula, Kelly Pegula and professional tennis player Jessica Pegula; she is also stepmother to two of Terry's children from a previous marriage. Kim resides with Terry in Boca Raton, Florida.

Career

Pegula was involved in her husband's company, East Resources, from 1991 to its sale in 2010. Shortly afterwards, the Pegulas purchased the Buffalo Sabres and its two affiliated teams, the Buffalo Bandits of the NLL and the Rochester Americans of the AHL Kim had a big influence in the planning and construction of HarborCenter, a mixed-use development next to the Sabres' arena and part of the revitalization of downtown Buffalo. After the death of longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, the team was put up for sale. The Pegulas competed with real estate mogul Donald Trump and a consortium comprising rock singer Jon Bon Jovi and key people in Toronto-based Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for the team. The Pegulas ultimately won, making an NFL record $1.4 billion bid all in cash. Following the acquisition, Kim and Terry reorganized their sports franchises plus record label Black River Entertainment into a new company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment. She helped coin the term "One Buffalo" and is also involved with the NFL Foundation. The Pegulas have also donated significant amounts of money to their alma maters, including $12 million to Houghton College, which allowed it to build a new athletics complex and transition to NCAA Division III. A pronounced fan of desserts, Pegula helped formulate "One Buffalo" branded premium ice cream and cupcake products.

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