History & Family Ownership
Current Corporate Leadership:
In 1936, the company – known as Bassett Refrigeration Company – was led by E.W. (Al) Bassett. During WWII, the core of the business became installing refrigeration systems on ships, spurring a long-term relationship with the ship-building industry.
Al’s brother, C.W. (Charlie) Bassett, came on board in 1945. Products included ice cubers, store coolers and room air conditioners. The ammonia refrigeration business started in the late ‘40s.
In 1956, engineers were added to provide design/build capabilities, and a sheet metal department was added in the ‘60s to support HVAC engineering and serve the industrial ventilation needs of the growing customer base.
The ‘70s and ‘80s marked steady growth, and the addition of a Service Division in Appleton led to the opening of Madison and Milwaukee offices. As a rising star in the design/build business, the company became known as Bassett Mechanical.
New business stemming from the Clean Air Act of the early ‘90s enabled Bassett to acquire specialized fabrication equipment to meet the demands of local industries required to filter particulates, fibers, and fumes.
By the mid-‘90s, the company had outgrown its Appleton location. So in 1997, Bassett acquired a 268,000 -square-foot building in Kaukauna which made way for more state-of-the-art equipment and jobs. The move to the new facility also allowed more growth for Bassett’s Thermatech product line, with a focus on pressure vessel fabrication and power piping.
Bassett is ISO 9001 certified which speaks to the company’s passion for serving customers and providing quality, on-time work. Bassett was the first mechanical contractor in Wisconsin to become ISO certified for the shop and field and one of only a handful of mechanical contractors in the United States to be certified. In 2006, Bassett began the implementation of a company-wide Lean initiative as another important step in delivering value to its customers.
Bassett has remained a family-owned business since its inception in 1936. At that time the company was started by Al Bassett and grew under his leadership. He was joined by his brother C. W. (Charlie) Bassett in 1945. Bill Bassett (Charlie’s son) took over the business in 1974 and served as president until 2007.
Today, Bill serves as chairman of the board, while his daughter, Kim Bassett, serves as president and chief executive officer. Family ownership is a vital part of the culture and business philosophy of Bassett Mechanical. At the core of the company is an atmosphere of dedication to serving the customer. Being family-owned has a strong connection to Bassett’s philosophy of We Answer to You®. The Bassett name is more than a company name. It’s also the name of a respected family that lives in the community.