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robert h. spilman, sr.

Robert H. "Bob" Spilman, Sr. (b. 1927 d. 2009) was chairman and CEO of Bassett Furniture Industries.

Mr. Spilman served in the military during World War II and again during the Korean conflict as an officer in the 82nd Airborne, then as an instructor at West Point. He graduated from Augusta Military Academy, attended Davidson College, and later received a bachelor's of science degree from North Carolina State University.

He began his home furnishings career at fabric source Cannon Mills before joining Bassett in 1957 as sales manager for the company's table division. He was named president in 1966, CEO in 1979, and was elected chairman in 1982. He retired in May 1997.

Mr. Spilman led one of the industry's largest and most powerful case goods producers for decades in a period of dramatic change, including the growth of warehouse showrooms, captive distribution, imports and other issues. Under his guidance, Bassett became a full line manufacturer by adding recliners and motion, home office, bedding, and a highly regarded line of youth and infant furniture.

In 1970, Mr. Spilman served as president of the Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association, a predecessor to the American Home Furnishings Alliance. He received numerous awards for his business, civic and humanitarian activities including the "Man of the Year Award" presented by the Home Furnishings Association of Delaware Valley, and the James T. Ryan Award Statesman of Commerce in 1983.

Mr. Spilman was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2005.