AHFA honors Wyatt Bassett with Distinguished Service Award
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Wyatt P.E. Bassett, CEO of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, received the American Home Furnishings Alliance Distinguished Service Award during the organization’s recent 2021 Annual Meeting and CEO Conference in Colorado Springs.
The honor is conferred annually since 1966 to an industry executive selected for his or her contributions to the home furnishings industry, to the AHFA and to their local community. Bassett is the 54th recipient of the honor.
In announcing the award, Farooq Kathwari, chairman, CEO and president of Ethan Allen, described Bassett as an “industry servant leader.”
“Always one to avoid the limelight, he is a detail-oriented executive with a penchant for innovative, bottom-line management,” Kathwari said. “A people person, he regularly walks through the factory to speak to employees and offer a sincere compliment or pat on the back for a job well done.”
As the son of John D. Bassett III, Bassett was “home-schooled” in the industry, Kathwari noted. He worked in the Vaughan-Bassett factory during high school summers and in the executive offices during college summers. Following graduation, he worked in retail before earning his MBA from Northwestern University. He joined the family company full time in 1995. He was named president in 2007 and CEO later the same year.
The company now employs about 700 and is the largest domestic producer of bedroom furniture.
Bassett is committed to producing American-made furniture and equally committed to producing it sustainably.
Since 2007, more than 1.5 million tree seedlings have been planted by the Virginia Department of Forestry through the Vaughan-Bassett “One for One” program. More than 99% of the company’s lumber comes from within 500 miles of its factories, and 80% is from within 200 miles, limiting the carbon footprint associated with raw material transport.
In addition, in 2009 Vaughan-Bassett installed $3 million in state-of-the-art, computerized rough end systems in its two factories in Galax, Va., and Elkin, N.C., enabling the company to increase lumber yield by more than 20%.
Bassett served as chair of AHFA’s Board of Directors in 2013. He also has served on the board of the International Woodworking Fair and has helped lead the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade since its 2003 inception.
He is the second in his family to receive the Distinguished Service Award, with his father having received the honor 20 years ago.