On Sunday, October 20, at High Point Market, leaders of manufacturing, retail and design joined together for the 25th-annual Furniture Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony hosted by Adriana Hoyos. Of the six nominated as “Industry Fellows,” John Bassett III, Hassel Franklin and Eugene Rosenberg were officially inducted, joining 91 other elected members.
"The home furnishings industry is comprised of highly diverse roles and products, which is represented in this year's slate of the leaders in our industry," said George Cartledge III, president of the Furniture Hall of Fame foundation. "Each person represents a lifelong career of exemplary achievement, leadership, innovation and generosity. Each nominee has earned the respect of his peers as well as the industry as a whole.”
2013 Furniture Hall of Fame nominees & winners clockwise from top: Audi, Bassett III, Baughman Jr., Rosenberg, Franklin and Capel Jr.
Bassett, chairman of manufacturer Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, is a champion of American-made furniture, serving as chairman of the Committee for Legal Trade and advocating for a critical Environmental Protection Agency rule change to benefit both the furniture industry and the environment. He has led the company from sales of $38 million when he joined the company in 1983 to more than $90 million today. In 2012, he oversaw an $8 million expansion and reopening of a factory. A recipient of the American Home Furnishings Alliance Distinguished Service Award and the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn. Pillar of the Industry Award, Bassett willingly shares his best practices about American manufacturing. He supports many community organizations and created the Vaughan-Bassett Free Clinic, which provides free medical care for all employees and their families.
Franklin, chairman and CEO of manufacturer Franklin Corp., launched a small, family-owned business in 1970, which now supplies American-made upholstered motion furniture worldwide and has sustained double-digit growth nearly every year. It has more than 1,300 employees and a 75-acre campus in Mississippi. Franklin has received the AHFA Distinguished Service Award, the Upholstered Furniture Action Council Industry Service Award and was elected to the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame. He has served on a number of business and civic boards and established a $1 million endowment at Mississippi State University for the Franklin Furniture Institute, a research and training center benefitting the furniture industry.
Rosenberg is a founder of Top 100 store Bob's Discount Furniture, based in Manchester, Conn. and a partner in the revival of Boyles furniture. In 1962, he co-founded Gene Rosenberg Associates (GRA), now called Planned Furniture Promotions, which has assisted over 6,000 retailers with high impact sales that have enabled retailers to survive, reorganize or close without extensive debt. In 1991, he co-founded Bob's Discount Furniture. Dedicated to assisting those in need, he founded Camp Rising Sun for children stricken with cancer, and the Bob's Discount Furniture Foundation which benefits dozens of children's charities and other charitable groups.
“We applaud the foundation's Industry Fellow Selection Committee, who worked diligently to find the very best candidates that each represents enduring excellence, superior accomplishments, innovation and creativity, and philanthropic generosity in their time, talents and resources,” added Cartledge III.
This year’s nominees also included Aminy I. Audi, CEO and chairman of L. & J.G. Stickley; Milo Ray Baughman Jr., who founded Milo Baughman Design Inc.; and A. Leon Capel Jr., who led Capel Inc. for over 60 years. Each of the nominees were honored during the banquet.
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