The furniture industry wasn’t necessarily the first, or even second, career choice for Dave Bashor, who early on aspired to be an architect, and later enrolled in the police academy. But for Bashor, it would prove to be the best choice.
The director of manufacturing at Dubuque, Iowa-based Flexsteel, Bashor’s love for woodworking grew out of time spent at his uncle’s reupholstery shop and high school classes. He got his career start by taking a “temporary” job at Flexsteel to earn money for college.
That was 37 years ago. Although family obligations prevented Bashor from completing his college/academy plans, “The journey I have taken over just these past 37 years here at Flexsteel has allowed me more life and professional experiences than I would have gained from any formal education.”
Bashor has held numerous jobs at the residential furniture giant. “I had the chance to learn every phase and function of building upholstered furniture from a ground level up,” he said, including: furniture packer, upholsterer, line supervisor, plant scheduler/engineer, quality control manger, production manager, plant manager, general manager. In his current role as director of manufacturing over three home furnishing sites in the United States and one in Mexico, Bashor’s goals for Flexsteel include reducing injuries at each manufacturing site, improving quality, and an “all-out drive” to improve on-time delivery and reduce lead times. Efforts are already underway.
“It is in our plans this fiscal year to diversify all our Home Furnishings manufacturing plants,” he said. “We have selected product lines manufactured at designated sites, which allows better efficiencies through greater runs. We often cross dock orders from one plant to another, combining all orders complete, then ship to the dealer. Our plan is to manufacture most or all of our HF product line at the closest site geographically located to our dealers.”
A sustainable manufacturer, Flexsteel has been lauded for its environmental stewardship as well as community service. Bashor also has earned recognition for his charitable efforts, including Breast Cancer Awareness and local charities.
In his free time, Bashor enjoys participating in all aspects of sports. He has coached his daughters and other young athletes for 16 years, and also has run a club travel organization. “I do believe having this great opportunity to manage and coach athletes has prepared me for what I am doing today,” he added.
Education: “University of Flexsteel” Learning from so many amazing mentors and leaders here has been my education.
Number of years at the company: 37
Number of years in the industry: 37
Word that best describes you: Overachiever
Business mantra: “To safely and consistently deliver the perfect order at the lowest possible cost.”
Who have you tried to emulate? Legendary UCLA Bruins basketball coach John Wooden. He has impacted my career with his “Pyramid of success” theory. Loyalty, Team Spirit, Patience and Integrity are just four of my most read, but my favorite is “Competitive Greatness,” which Coach Wooden describes as: “Be at your best when your best is needed and embrace a difficult challenge.” I think this is greatly related to our business today.
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