Stan Hays is the CEO and co-founder of Operation BBQ Relief. A seasoned and accomplished competitor on the barbecue circuit, Hays and fellow cofounder Will Cleaver launched Operation BBQ Relief when a tornado swept through Joplin, Missouri, in 2011. Hays’s passion for barbecue and assisting those in distress culminated in creating Operation BBQ Relief, which has served over 9 million meals in 30 states. In 2017, Hays was recognized as a “CNN Hero” for his work with Operation BBQ Relief. Hays has participated in more than 35 sanctioned barbecue contests, with two grand champion awards, four reserve champions, and several top 10 finishes. He was runner-up in the 2015 season of Chopped: Grill Masters on Food Network and in 2019 won Food Network Canada’s Firemasters.
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