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Celebrating 25 Years, The American Furniture Hall Of Fame Foundation Inducts Three New Members Into The American Furniture Hall Of Fame

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine
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Pictured above are left to right, Rosenberg, Franklin and Bassett

Three industry leaders have been inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. Joining the current 91 Hall of Fame members are John D. Bassett III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture; Hassell H. Franklin, chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation; and Eugene Rosenberg, a founder of Bob’s Discount Furniture and Planned Furniture Promotions. The banquet was a celebration of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary.

The sold-out international banquet was attended by leading retailers, buying group members, interior designers, manufacturers, suppliers and other foundation members, and hosted by Adriana Hoyos, international designer of interiors and furniture.

“The diversity of the slate this year was representative of the breadth of our industry and the richness of our leadership. Every person on the slate is to be greatly honored and appreciated,” says George Cartledge III, president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. “We applaud the Foundation’s Industry Fellow Selection Committee 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.”

John D. Bassett III (b. 1938), chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company 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, making Vaughan-Bassett one of the largest American wood bedroom manufacturers, importing less than 2 percent of total sales. In 2012, he oversaw an $8 million expansion and reopening of a factory. A recipient of the American Home Furnishings Alliance Distinguished Service Award, the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assoc. Pillar of the Industry Award, and InFurniture Magazine’s Man of the Year award, Mr. Bassett willingly shares his best practices about American manufacturing throughout the country. He supports many community organizations and created the Vaughan-Bassett Free Clinic, which provides free medical care for all employees and their families.

Hassell H. Franklin (b. 1935), chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation, 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. Among the largest privately owned U.S. furniture manufacturers with more than 1,300 employees, its 75-acre campus includes a metal stamping facility, foam fabrication plant, dimension mill, recliner plant, motion sofa plant, logistics company and fully equipped research and development operation. Mr. 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 as lead director of BancorpSouth and on boards including the Mississippi Economic Council, North Mississippi Health Services, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Publishing Co., Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, the Community Development Foundation, and Mississippi State’s Development and Athletic foundations. He established a $1 million endowment at Mississippi State University for the Franklin Furniture Institute, a research and training center benefitting the furniture industry.

Eugene Rosenberg (b. 1935), a founder of Bob’s Discount Furniture and Planned Furniture Promotions, and a partner in the revival of Boyles furniture, has combined hard work and perseverance with his love for the furniture industry. In 1962, he co-founded Gene Rosenberg Associates (GRA), now called Planned Furniture Promotions, the country’s largest furniture promotion firm, 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, growing the chain to the 15th largest furniture retailer in the U.S. today. 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 as well as the Connecticut Children's Hospital, American Red Cross, The Jimmy Fund, The Chabad House, The Bess and Paul Siegal Hebrew Academy, Hartford Hospital, Solomon Schecter, Jewish Federation, and The Gene and Anja Rosenberg Rehabilitation Center at Hebrew Health Care and the City of Hope.

Under the new selection system, the inductees were determined by the combination of a vote of the membership and a points-based rating system of each nominee by the Foundation’s Industry Fellow Selection Committee. The voting period began July 15 and ended August 16.

Platinum level sponsors are headlined by AICO/Amini Innovations; Ashley Furniture Industries; La-Z-Boy, Inc., and Zenith Global Logistics.

Gold sponsors: Art Van Furniture, Inc.; Berkshire Hathaway Furniture Companies; Casana Furniture; FEI Marketing; HSM; Leggett & Platt, Inc.; Palliser Furniture Ltd.; Sealy, Inc.; United Furniture Industries/Simmons Upholstery; and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, Inc.

Silver sponsors: American Leather; A.R.T. Furniture, Inc.; Bob’s Discount Furniture; Castro Convertibles; Culp, Inc.; El Dorado Furniture, Inc.; Flexsteel Industries, Inc.; Homelegance, Inc.; Klaussner Furniture Industries Inc.; Planned Furniture Promotions; Raymour & Flanigan Furniture; Simmons Bedding Company; Haverty Furniture Companies; and Stein World.

Copper sponsors: Carpenter Company; CR Laine Furniture Company, Inc.; Furniture World; Grand Home Furnishings; International Market Centers; Kittle’s Home Furnishings Center; Rooms To Go; L. & J.G. Stickley, Inc.; Rooms to Go; Samson Holding; Schnadig International Corp.; Steinreich Communications; Therapedic International; Watkins and Shepard Trucking, Inc.; and Wolf Furniture/Allegheny Furniture Consignment.

The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is an international, industry-wide organization founded to honor those individuals whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the continued growth and development of the U.S. furniture industry, as well as to research, collect and preserve our cultural, economic and artistic history. Membership includes eligibility to vote for inductees into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, and the opportunity to help preserve the history and heritage of the industry. The organization is based in High Point, North Carolina at 202 Neal Place, and can be reached at 336.882.5900.

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