John Bassett III To Speak At Concord University Foundation’s Roanoke Dinner

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 11 2018

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,


After 4 p.m.

Office: 304-384-5211

Cell: 304-320-6405






ATHENS, W.Va. – John Bassett III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company and author of “Making It in America,” will be the featured speaker for the Concord University Foundation, Inc.’s Roanoke Dinner at The Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, VA on Thursday, April 26, 2018.


A “Meet & Greet” reception with Mr. Bassett will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The dinner and program will begin at 7:30 p.m.


Proceeds from this dinner will benefit the Pathways Scholarship supporting students at Concord University. The Pathways Scholarship was developed in partnership with the Maier Foundation in 2015 to improve retention by financially assisting sophomores, juniors and seniors. To date, 70 students have benefitted from the scholarship.


“We can’t thank Mr. Bassett enough for taking time out of his schedule to help Concord raise money for our Pathways Scholarship,” stated Alicia Besenyei, Vice President of Advancement. “Each scholarship puts another student closer to completing their degree.  Without his support, the Maier Foundation’s support and all of our other donors, several students would not be able to financially afford to stay in in school.”


“Concord is so fortunate to have Mr. Bassett speaking at this event.  His knowledge and expertise in the business world are nothing short of impressive.  We are very excited that Mr. Bassett will be taking questions from our guests and sharing his experience with us,” she said.


Mr. Bassett’s career in the furniture industry spans more than five decades. Beginning with Bassett Furniture Industries, he has been at Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company since 1983.  He is the third generation of his family to be in the furniture business. His grandfather, J.D. Bassett Sr., founded Bassett Furniture Industries and along with Bunyan Vaughan, established Vaughan-Bassett Furniture.


John began working in the furniture factory while he was still a teenager. He has also worked in sales, marketing and plant management and has served as president and CEO.


With 100 percent of Vaughan-Bassett’s products manufactured domestically, the company, under his leadership, has become the largest manufacturer of wooden bedroom furniture in the nation.


Mr. Bassett has held leadership roles and received numerous awards in the furniture industry. He is a former chairman of the International Woodworking Fair and a past president of the American Home Furnishings Association. In 2001, he was named Manufacturer of the Year by Furniture Today and received the AFMA’s Distinguished Service Award. InFurniture magazine named him Man of the Year in 2003.


He was recognized as Pillar of the Industry by the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association in 2012 and inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2013. The UNC Greensboro Bryan Business School named Mr. Bassett Entrepreneur Extraordinaire in 2014.


Mr. Bassett has appeared on radio talk shows and in television news broadcasts. His speaking engagements have taken him to locations in the U.S. and to Switzerland.



His successful story of battling to keep his company alive is chronicled in the New York Times bestseller “Factory Man” by Beth Macy. “Making It in America” is Mr. Bassett’s own account of his business philosophy and principles. Each guest at the Roanoke Dinner will receive a signed copy of “Making It in America.”


Along with individual seating, tables and sponsorships of the Roanoke Dinner are available. Advance reservations are required and seating is limited. Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 24.


For more information, to purchase tickets or to arrange a sponsorship, call 304-384-6266. Sponsorships and tickets may also be purchased online at





John Bassett III





Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086

if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.