Kenneth Bassey

Chairman and Founder of Saphran Inc. in Franklin. Saphran Solutions develops management software systems that narrow the gap between business planning and performance for the automotive industry. The company recently introduced its Active Business Management dashboard that allows companies to develop forecasts based on overall market trends, seize market opportunities, and avoid operational disruptions. Under Bassey's leadership, the company has posted double-digit annual growth rates for the past two years and has recently announced new hires. Bassey is a veteran of the automotive industry with extensive experience working in the Japanese-based supplier sector. Prior to forming Saphran in 2004, Bassey worked as manager of strategic planning, sales, and marketing at Toyoda Gosei North America and its affiliates. At Toyoda Gosei, a $550 million Tier One supplier that incorporates the Toyota Production System as its key operating discipline, he developed business plans and long-term forecasting for all divisions. Bassey is fluent in Japanese and has also worked at German-based auto supplier ZF-Lemforder Corp. and Japan-based YSK Corp., serving in account management capacities, where he worked with all of the Big Three and every Japan-affiliated automotive manufacturer with operations in North America. Bassey received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.

WHERE BORN: “Detroit.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Four people: my father, my grandfather, a classmate named James Jr., and his father James Sr. They are the supreme examples of ethical conduct, risk taking, striving for perfection, doing what you love, and being very good at it.”

LAST BOOK READ: “I'm reading The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. It's about 4,000 pages long so I'm not done yet. It's fascinating – it covers the decline and the rise and fall of the emperors.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Focused, dedicated, passionate, and compassionate.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “We and our clients are focused forward. We take extreme amounts of historical data, align it with many projections of the future, and organize it in a way that our clients can see it, understand it, and relate to it, and actually use it to manage their businesses in an active way to achieve their goals.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My Primo insulated charcoal grill. It's made in the USA although it's inspired by Japanese technology of 1,000 years ago. It works better than any modern gas grill. I feel higher satisfaction on that purchase than anything else I've ever bought before.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Home with my family, although I love to travel, so 1,000 places are tied for second.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Grilling, roaming the neighborhood with my two-year-old son on my shoulders, and traveling with my family.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Maine lobster in a lobster bake or bouillabaisse.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I can talk backwards – Tom Skladany was a punter from the Lions years ago and I was intrigued by his ability to do that so I've been practicing for the last 20 years.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a passionate family man with a dedication to a business that improves the world.”