Stan Hays is the co-founder and CEO of Operation BBQ Relief a disaster relief non-profit that has provided over 1.75 million hot bbq meals in 248 deployment days since 2011. Operation BBQ Relief started after the Joplin, MO tornado in 2011 when the BBQ community came together to help cook meals. As competition BBQ Pitmasters who better to set up in a parking lot and cook for the masses. Pitmasters from 8 additional states came to help in Joplin which started Operation BBQ Relief. Now over 6500 volunteers have helped Operation BBQ Relief serve meals in 24 states from 44 disasters.
Stan was recently recognized as a 2017 Top 10 CNN Hero for his work with Operation BBQ Relief. Stan also competed on Chopped Grillmasters in 2015 where he was Runner Up in the tournament. In his BBQ career he has competed in over 35 sanctioned BBQ contests has been Grand Champion twice, Reserve Grand Champion four times and had numerous Top 10 finishes and first place category wins.
He has received other awards for his leadership with Operation BBQ Relief but most rewarding are the “thank you’s” from the people that they have fed over the last 6.5 years.
Outside of barbecue and Operation BBQ Relief Stan has worked for Farmers Insurance Company since 1994. Stan has had many roles in various departments starting in claims moving to field distribution and now sales management promoting to positions of increasing responsibilities throughout his career.
Stan lives in a bedroom community to Kansas City, MO called Pleasant Hill. He is married to Amy Hays and they have 2 children Nathan 14 and Anna 12.