2014 Winner: Best Entree
Employing the “We Answer to You®” philosophy, Bill Bassett has established Bassett Mechanical as a market leader in designing, building, installing and servicing refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, dust collection, process piping, and plumbing systems for commercial, industrial and marine applications.
Bassett joined the company in July of 1974, becoming president of Bassett Inc., a newly formed company that purchased the assets of Bassett Refrigeration and renamed itself to reflect the additional services offered. Under Bill’s leadership, Bassett Mechanical has expanded its scope of operations to meet and exceed the needs and wants of its clients, resulting in a 3,000 percent increase in sales under his direction and team of managers.
Bassett earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1966. He then joined Union Carbide Corporation in Tonawanda, N.Y., as a design engineer. Later, he was promoted to engineering management and moved to Charleston, W.Va. He stayed with Union Carbide until 1974, when he left the company to return to his hometown in Appleton and take the helm of Bassett Inc.
Bill proudly passed the leadership torch to his daughter Kim Bassett-Heitzmann in 2007, successfully transitioning the company to a third generation of family ownership. He became the Chairman of the Board in 2009.
He has volunteered his time and expertise to a variety of causes and organizations over the years, including as past-President of the Mechanical Contractors Association of North Central Wisconsin, as past-Vice Chairman of Government Issues for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, past Chairman of the board for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, and as a long standing committee member of the Winnegamie Wetlands chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Bill was inducted into the Fox Cities Chamber Business Hall of Fame in 2012. Bill enjoys many hobbies, several of them out of doors, but his favorite is duck hunting.
Bill is known both within his company and throughout the community as a man of strong integrity, compassion, and humility. The “We Answer to You” philosophy encompasses 4 key areas of dedication to customers, to employees, to business partners, and to the community. Bill has used this promise to guide the company through the last 3 decades of growth, and has created a culture that will sustain that philosophy into the future.