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John Bassett Vaughan Receives Distinguished Service Award

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John Basset Vaughan, former chairman, CEO and president of Vaughan Furniture Company, received the American Home Furnishings Alliance’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award during the group’s 2010 Annual Meeting at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz., Nov. 12.

Vaughan, who also served as chairman and CEO of Webb Furniture Enterprises, was lauded as a “civic-minded industrialist.” He is the son of Senator Taylor G. Vaughan Sr., who founded Vaughan Furniture Company, and the grandson of J.D. Bassett Sr., founder of Bassett Furniture.

“He is considered one of the industry’s most esteemed advisors and is known for his exceptional leadership in running one of the most respected wood furniture operations,” said Farooq Kathwari, chairman, CEO and president of Ethan Allen, in presenting the award.

While attending Fork Union Military Academy and North Carolina State University, Vaughan earned a bachelor’s of science degree in furniture manufacturing and management. He joined Vaughan Furniture in 1954 and by 1964, the company’s orders had doubled, and so had the manufacturing space. In the years that followed, he and his brother, George, guided the company through the construction of three factories and the acquisition of three additional facilities, making it one of the top 30 residential manufacturers in the United States at that time. 
His motto, “If it’s not right, it’s wrong,” still reigns at Vaughan Furniture. “A man of honesty, strong compassion and incomparable values, he placed weighty importance on building strong partnerships with the company’s dealers,” Kathwari noted.

His furniture industry contributions include serving on the board of the former Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association and as president and chairman of the board of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association. He was a strong supporter of the International Home Furnishings Marketing Association and has served on the advisory board of the N.C. State School of Engineering, the American Furniture Hall of Fame and The Furniture Foundation. In 2000, he was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame.

In the community, Vaughan served one term as mayor of Galax and many years on the Galax City Council. He served on the boards of Twin City Memorial Hospital, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Oak Hill Academy and Galax Horse Shows. He also chaired the Galax Foundation for Excellence in Education, which provided more than $1 million college scholarships for local high school graduates.
The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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