Ronald G. Bruno
Class of 2009

Category: Distinguished Alabama Sportsman


 

Mr. Bruno has been a business leader in this community for more than thirty years. His family's philanthropy efforts have enriched hundreds of thousands of individual lives in this city and state over the years and will continue to do so in the future.

 He graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Following graduation, he started working for the Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc., holding various management positions from 1974 through 1991. In 1991, he became Chairman and CEO and held that position until the company was sold in 1995.

 His family's philosophy of giving back to the community combined with their passion for golf lead Mr. Bruno and his father, Angelo, to start an annual golf tournament in Birmingham on the Senior PGA TOUR in 1992. Tragically, just weeks after the press conference to officially announce the tournament, Angelo Bruno, his brother, Lee Bruno, and seven other valued company associates were killed when the company's plane crashed. After the accident the tournament was renamed the Bruno's Memorial Classic.

The tournament has become an annual tradition for Birmingham area residents, drawing some of the largest crowds on the Senior PGA TOUR. The Bruno's Memorial Classic was recognized as the Best Champions TOUR event by players, tournament officials and media in a Sports Illustrated poll in both 2001 and 2004, the only times the award has been given.

 In 2006, Regions Financial Corporation became the event's title sponsor, changing the name to the Regions Charity Classic.  After retiring from Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc. in 1995, he founded an investment company, Bruno Capital Management, where he currently serves as president. Later that same year, he formed the Bruno Event Team with partner Gene Hallman and serves as its chairman. 

The Bruno Event Team has grown to encompass five separate divisions employing more than 50 full-time employees in eight offices throughout the United States. The five divisions include Golf, Five Star Catering, Zoom Motorsports, University of Alabama Gameday Operations and Think + Creative Services. The company is also affiliated with the Alabama Sports Foundation, managing numerous events for the Foundation. The Golf Division alone currently manages five annual tournaments on the Champions, LPGA and Nationwide TOURS. Bruno Event Team has managed, for the United States Golf Association, five of the last seven U.S. Women's Opens and every U.S. Senior Open since 2004. They are also currently managing a combined five Senior and Women's Opens through 2013.

 Mr. Bruno has served on numerous charitable and corporate boards over the past 25 years. The charitable boards include St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation where he served as President, United Way where he served as Campaign Co-Chairman and Tocqueville Society Chairman as well as the Metropolitan Development Board. He is also very active with the University of Alabama, serving on the President's Cabinet and has served as Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the College of Commerce and Business. He has also sat on the board of directors for the following corporations: SouthTrust Bank, Bruno's Supermarkets, Inc. and Russell Corporation; he currently sits on the board of directors for Books-A-Million.

 He was inducted into the Birmingham Golf Hall of Fame in 1994.



 

Mr. Bruno graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.  Since graduation, Mr. Bruno has been a very engaged member of the alumni community, having served on the University of Alabama Presidentís Cabinet and as the Chairman of the Board of Visitors at the College of Commerce and Business. 

Following graduation, Mr. Bruno started working for the Brunoís Supermarkets, Inc., holding various management positions from 1974 through 1991.  In 1991 he became Chairman and CEO and held that position until the company was sold in 1995; at the time of sale, Brunoís Supermarkets, Inc. operated 250 stores in six states with a sales volume approaching $3 billion. 

The Bruno familyís philosophy of giving back to the community combined with their passion for golf lead Ronald Bruno and his father, Angelo, to start an annual golf tournament in Birmingham on theSenior tour.  The Brunoís Classic tournament would celebrate its inaugural year in 1992 with proceeds going to local charitable organizations. 

Tragically, just weeks after the press conference to officially announce the tournament, Angelo Bruno, his brother, Lee Bruno, and seven other valued company associates were killed when the companyís plane crashed.  After the accident, the eventís name changed tothe Brunoís Memorial Classic with both Angelo and Lee Bruno serving as Honorary Chairmen in Memoriam.

The inaugural Brunoís Memorial Classic washeld at Greystone Golf and Country Club in Hoover with George Archer becomingthe eventís first champion.  Greystone served as the tournamentís home forthe next 14 years, and interestingly 14 different champions were crowned overthat time.  The tournament became an annual tradition for Birmingham area residents, drawing some of the largest crowds on the Senior PGA TOUR as well as some of the most notable players including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, HaleIrwin, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino.  The Brunoís Memorial Classic was recognized as the Best Champions TOUR event by players, tournament officials and media in a Sports Illustrated poll in both 2001and 2004; the only times the award was given. 

In 2005, Regions Financial Corporationbecame the eventís title sponsor, changing the name to the Regions Charity Classic.  The tournament also changed venues that year, moving to TheRobert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Ross Bridge for the 2006 tournament. 

In 2008, the tournament celebrated a milestone as it surpassed $10 million in charitable giving to the Alabama community.  Giving back to the community was initial reason for startingthe tournament and this milestone is something that Mr. Bruno and his family take great pride in.

After retiring from Brunoís Supermarkets,Inc., in 1995, Mr. Bruno founded an investment company, Bruno Capital Management, where he currently serves as president.  Later that same year, Mr. Bruno formed Bruno Event Team with partner Gene Hallman and he currently serves as chairman.

Since its start in 1995, the Bruno Event Team has grown to encompass five separate divisions employing more than 50 full-time and 20 limited-term employees in eight offices throughout the United States.  The five divisions of Bruno Event Team include Golf, Five Star Catering, Zoom Motorsports, Gameday Operations andThink + Creative Services.  The company is also affiliated with the Alabama Sports Foundation, managing numerous events for the Foundation including the Magic City Classic, SEC Baseball and the Alabama High School Athletic Associationís state championships.

Mr. Bruno is also very active in the local community having served on numerous charitable and corporate boards over the past 25 years.  The charitable boards include Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Metropolitan Development Board, St. Vincentís Hospital Foundation where he served as President and United Way where he served as Campaign Co-Chairman and Tocqueville Society Chairman.  He has also sat on the board for the following corporations: Southtrust Bank, Brunoís Supermarkets, Inc. and Russell Corporation; he currently sits on the board of Books-A-Million.

Mr. Bruno was inducted into the Birmingham Golf Hall of Fame in 1994. 

Mr. Bruno and his wife, Lee Ann, have one son, Gregory.  The family attends Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church.






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