Hassell H. Franklin, the founder, chairman and CEO of Franklin Corp., was among three industry leaders inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
Franklin was inducted along with John D. Bassett III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture; and Eugene Rosenberg, a founder of Bob’s Discount Furniture and Planned Furniture Promotion.
The trio joined 91 other Hall of Fame members during the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation’s 25th anniversary banquet Sunday in High Point, N.C.
“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,” said George Cartledge III, AFHFF president.
Franklin launched his Houston-based 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.
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, Journal Publishing Co., Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, the Community Development Foundation and Mississippi State University’s development and athletic foundations. He also established a $1 million endowment at MSU for the Franklin Furniture Institute, a research and training center benefitting the furniture industry.
Bassett 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.
Rosenberg in 1962 co-founded Gene Rosenberg Associates, now called Planned Furniture Promotions, the country’s largest furniture promotion firm. PFP has assisted more than 6,000 retailers. In 1991, he co-founded Bob’s Discount Furniture, growing the chain to the 15th largest furniture retailer in the U.S.