Local residents Jeb Bassett, John Korff join 14-member board
Martinsville, Va. — The Harvest Foundation welcomes two new members to its board of directors this year, Henry County resident John “Jeb” Bassett and Martinsville resident John Korff.
Bassett is a lifelong resident of Henry County and said being considered to serve on the board of directors is an honor.
“I have always admired the discipline of the operations of the Harvest Foundation,” he said. “I have had the utmost respect for the Harvest Foundation board members giving their time and talent so freely.”
Previously, Bassett worked with The Harvest Foundation as co-chair of the Smith River Small Towns Collaborative, creating Smith River’s 15 Magical Miles and revitalizing the Bassett and Fieldale communities. He championed the renovation of the Bassett Train Station Event Center and worked closely to renovate the space now home to the Railway Cafe in Bassett.
Two areas Bassett would like to explore while serving on the board include bolstering the diminishing numbers of local primary healthcare providers and supporting youth and education, including early childhood development, childcare, and education from birth to college.
Giving back to the community with his time, experience and vision is a major reason why Bassett said he accepted the nomination. Two of his sons and their wives relocated back to Martinsville-Henry County with three young grandsons living in the community.
“I would like for them all to enjoy the geographical area, the amenities, the sense of community,” Bassett said, “and create many pleasant memories as I have over the last 60-plus years.”
Korff said the Harvest Foundation has a positive reputation for giving back to the community and that he was flattered the board felt he had something to bring to the organization.
“There are many opportunities to improve our community through the work of The Harvest Foundation, and I think my experience leading a business, working with diverse groups of people, and building relationships will help support that work,” he said.
Korff joined Virginia Mirror Company and Virginia Glass Products as its chief operating officer in 2009 and now serves as president and CEO. He said Virginia Glass & Mirror Chairperson Chris Beeler, who served as chairman of The Harvest Foundation Board of Directors from 2015-2016, shared his experiences and more about the foundation’s work in Martinsville-Henry County.
“I was impressed with what Chris shared with me and with some of the foundation’s larger community contributions like the Dick and Willie Trail and the (Monogram Foods) Smith River Sports Complex,” Korff said. “I’m also encouraged to see the organization giving more to the community through (Project Hope’s) small grants.”
Korff said he would like to use his background to see local businesses and industries work more closely together and not as competitors.
“Recruiting and retaining talent from outside of Martinsville and Henry County for new and existing businesses will remain a challenge if we don’t continually improve our quality of life in areas like healthcare,” he said. “I have a vested interest in growing MHC so we do not have to travel outside the area for goods and services.”
Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller said she is excited to welcome Bassett and Korff to The Harvest Foundation family.
“We gained a wealth of knowledge and expertise at Harvest with the decades of business and industry leadership experience between Jeb and John,” Keller said. “They are true hope builders who are passionate about Martinsville-Henry County. They want to see our community reach its full potential.”
Bassett lives in Henry County with his wife, Diane. He serves as chair of the Board of Trustees for First United Methodist Church and has previously served as chairman for the American Home Furnishings Alliance Board of Directors. For 20 years, he was the fundraising chair of the Martinsville Speedway’s July 4th Celebration Event. In his spare time, he enjoys NCAA Football, boating, fishing, duck hunting, dogs, and weekend travels.
Korff lives in Martinsville with his wife, Lynn. He serves as a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge, as a member of the Kiwanis Club, and previously served on the board of the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph’s Church. In their spare time, he and Lynn enjoy traveling to the mountains and the beach, working in the yard, and all types of outdoor activities.
The Harvest Foundation works to build hope in order to create a community where all envision a positive future for themselves and for Martinsville-Henry County. To find out more, visit theharvestfoundation.org.
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