News Center

AIS Strengthens Nationwide Presence with New Sales Team Members

Leominster, MA – Aug. 16, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, has expanded and strengthened its presence coast to coast with the recent hiring of new sales team members serving California, Michigan and the Carolinas. The hirings are part of AIS’s ambitious growth plans, according to Nick Haritos, AIS executive vice president of sales and distribution.

Brian Castellanos

Brian Castellanos joins the AIS sales team as the company’s new territory manager for Southern California. Based in Los Angeles, he comes to AIS with more than 11 years of contract interior sales experience in the L.A. market.

In his new role, he will be responsible for supporting the AIS dealer network and growing market share as the company continues in growth mode in Southern California. He is responsible for all aspects of AIS’s marketing, sales and strategic relationships in the L.A. region.

Before joining AIS, Castellanos was strategic business development manager for Workrite Ergonomics and, prior to this role, a sales executive for Tangram Interiors in Southern California. He was educated at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) and holds certifications in ergonomics from The Back School of Atlanta.

“Bringing the latest workplace strategies to clients, and exceeding their expectations, is my goal. With the broad product mix that AIS offers, I’m looking forward to helping my clients achieve their desired design within their workspaces and creative environments,” Castellanos said.

Jason Lauro

Jason Lauro joins AIS as the new regional sales director for AIS in Northern California. Lauro has more than 12 years of sales and management experience in the Northern California and West Coast markets.

Before joining AIS, he worked as a national sales manager for Fríant & Associates, as channel sales manager (national accounts) for AMQ, and as business development and government (GSA) territory manager for Knoll. He holds a degree in psychology from Menlo College.

In his new role with AIS, Lauro will chart a new course for AIS in Northern California, which will include developing sales and distribution strategies for growth.

“Leveraging client relationships to gain insight into unmet needs, I serve as a partner to offer viable, relevant product solutions to enhance businesses,” Lauro said.

Lisa Hulbert

Lisa Hulbert has joined AIS as a direct-sales representative and territory manager covering Michigan. Based in Midland, she will be responsible for educating dealers and growing market share in the state.

Before joining AIS, Hulbert worked as an independent furniture representative for Workplace Resource Inc. where she represented AIS. Hulbert also worked as the North America workplace strategy manager for CBRE on the Dow Chemical account. Before that, she co-owned SPACE, Inc., a Haworth dealership, for 15 years. She holds a degree in interior design from Central Michigan University.

“I have a passion for furniture, and I’m excited to be with AIS and helping designers and account managers to find solutions for their projects,” Hulbert said.

Anthony Heim

AIS also welcomes Anthony Heim, a new territory manager for North Carolina and South Carolina. Based in North Carolina, Heim especially will focus on the Raleigh region to strengthen dealer relationships and grow the AIS business in the area.

Heim has been in the office products/commercial furniture industry for over a decade. Most recently with Storr Office Environments, he served as director of sales for the pre-owned furniture division. Other past positions include sales manager for Commercial Works, Inc., and sales roles at W.B. Mason Company in upstate New York.

“Customer service and satisfaction are my highest priorities,” Heim said. “I love being a part of creating inspiring workspaces and developing long-term relationships.”

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from the State University of New York (SUNY). He is a member of IFMA.

Business of Furniture - AIS NY Showroom Cover Story

AIS's New York Showroom is featured in the Business of Furniture.

AIS Forges Relationship with BeyonDesign

Leominster, MA – Aug. 2, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, has forged a relationship with BeyonDesign Resource Group, a leading dealer-rep group based in Minnesota and serving the upper Midwest. The company offers sales, consulting and marketing services for contract furniture manufacturers and is a valued resource for dealers as well as A&D and end users of commercial furniture products.

The new relationship with BeyonDesign is part of AIS’s ambitious growth plans across the country, according to Nick Haritos, AIS executive vice president of sales and distribution.

“When you embark on researching various organizations to partner with in a given market – and when you get a resoundingly unanimous vote of confidence, like we did with BeyonDesign – the decision is easy. We’re delighted to partner with Tiffany Theis of BeyonDesign and her team,” Haritos said.

BeyonDesign began representing AIS products and solutions in July.

“We are so excited to represent such a creative and passionate company as AIS. Our firm prides itself on providing a fresh perspective to manufacturer representation, and it was clear when we had the opportunity to partner with an organization with so many similar values, that we were all in!” BeyonDesign Managing Principal Tiffany Theis said.

AIS Receives Three 2018 OFDA Dealers’ Choice Awards

Leominster, MA – July 25, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, recently received three 2018 Office Furniture Dealer Alliance (OFDA) Dealers’ Choice Awards, taking top honors in the categories of Casegoods, Seating and Workstations/Systems.

The awards mark the company’s 10th year of being recognized by OFDA for product excellence.

OFDA President and CEO Mike Tucker presented the Dealers’ Choice Awards to members of the AIS leadership team in June during NeoCon at AIS’s showroom located at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

“We’re honored to receive these prestigious awards,” AIS President and CEO Bruce Platzman said. “The OFDA Dealers’ Choice Survey is very important to AIS because it’s the voice of our dealer community. The feedback we receive keeps us focused on providing our dealers with what matters the most to them: superior customer service, high-quality products with fast lead-times, and competitive pricing. The award for casegoods was especially important to us as it recognized our exceptional in-house capabilities when it comes to laminate.” .

Such AIS product lines as Calibrate and Devens exemplify the solutions that earned AIS awards in multiple categories.

More than 700 dealers responded to this year’s OFDA Dealers’ Choice Survey, which was conducted from January 2018 through April 5, 2018. The survey, according to OFDA, is a carefully structured, anonymous dealer poll that measures six functional areas of manufacturer performance that are of greatest importance to a diverse cross-section of dealers throughout North America. The survey provides product category-level feedback from dealers of all sizes on the full range of support they receive from their primary non-aligned suppliers. Dealers are asked to rate these top-volume, non-aligned suppliers in each of six product categories recognized by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) based on their 2017 interaction. The six product categories are: Casegoods, Storage, Filing, Tables, Seating and Workstations/Systems. The purpose of the survey is to promote an open discussion of business issues between dealers and manufacturers and improve the office furniture industry overall.

Business of Furniture - AIS NeoCon Coverage

AIS's Featured Products at NeoCon in the Business of Furniture

AIS Launches new Sulli™ and Rutland™ seating products

Leominster, MA – June 22, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, introduces Sulli™ and Rutland™ – two unique collections of height-adjustable stools and perches that promote the comfort and health benefits of changing postures throughout the day.

Sulli™

Sulli™ perch seating is a fun, flexible “pop of inspiration” for a variety of spaces, especially educational settings and casual work environments. Designed by ITO Design’s Mugi Yamamoto, Sulli recently received the prestigious iF Design Award 2018 and will be honored with the esteemed Red Dot “best of the best” award on July 9.

A colorful, friendly façade masks Sulli's “inner intelligence” – the ability to seamlessly height adjust simply by pulling on a side strap. The same strap makes the extremely lightweight Sulli™ – just 16 pounds – easy to pick up and move to any location where it’s needed.

“Adjust the height to take a load off. Grab the strap and go. Swivel and tilt as you move naturally. Sulli makes ready-for anything seating easy,” said Kees Breeuwsma, AIS vice president of seating.

Watch a fun video of people using Sulli™ on Vimeo at https://bit.ly/2t6I24m.

Sulli™ stools are 16 inches wide and tilt up to 5 degrees in any direction. The stools offer 6-inch pneumatic seat-height adjustment, with a maximum height of 25.5 inches.

Upholstered in waterproof, oil-resistant, anti-staining polyamide/spandex and sporting a black base, Sulli™ is available in six colors: Smooth Black, Blue Ocean, Cool Grey, Yellow Green, Action Orange and Hot Red. The stool is rated up to 300 pounds, is BIFMA-level® certified and CAL 117 fire code compliant.

AIS unveiled Sulli™ at NeoCon 2018 and the product will be available for order starting July 1. Sulli™ is processed and shipped from AIS’s Massachusetts-based manufacturing facility and headquarters. All Sulli perches are Express models and ship with three days from order entry.

Rutland™

Rutland™ low stools are ideal for quick conferencing in classrooms, offices and patient exam rooms. Taller stool options fit perfectly into today's sit-stand work environments and for short-term counter-height seating. Rutland™ seating’s compact, lightweight design and handle allow easy movement and storage.

“We’re continually reviewing our seating offering and continue to add market-relevant options and products. Stools and perches are taking on an increasingly more prominent role in the office environment, and Rutland particularly addresses the trend toward smaller office footprints and the need for worksurface height adjustability,” Breeuwsma said.

The stools offer 4.25-inch seat-height adjustment, with a maximum height of 21 inches, and are available with hard or soft wheel casters. Rutland™ perch seats tilt up to 7 degrees in any direction and offer 7-inch pneumatic seat-height adjustment, with a maximum height of 30 inches.

Upholstered in seat fabric grades A-E, COM (Customer’s Own Materials) or antimicrobial self-skin urethane, and rated up to 300 pounds, the seats are BIFMA-level® certified and CAL 117 fire code compliant.

AIS unveiled Rutland™ at NeoCon 2018 and the product will be available for order starting July 1. Rutland™ is processed and shipped from AIS’s Massachusetts-based manufacturing facility and headquarters, with a standard lead-time of three weeks. All Sulli perches are Express models and ship within three days of order entry.

AIS Heads to NeoCon 2018 with Bold New Products, Ready to Unveil a Renovated Showroom and Refreshed Brand

Leominster, MA – May 24, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, heads to NeoCon this June 11-13 ready to share its latest products and a refreshed brand identity that includes a totally renovated permanent showroom at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

“It’s the 50th anniversary of NeoCon, and it’s also a big year for AIS – we’re launching a lot of new products, and we’ll be exhibiting them in a gorgeous, redesigned showroom space,” CEO Bruce Platzman said. “We’re ready for visitors to experience the bold, fun, ‘we’re on it’ energy that’s 100 percent AIS!”

We’re On It™ is AIS’s new tagline, and it’s rooted in the company’s culture and how they do business.

“Our core value is ‘treat the dealer right’ and that means listening to our customers and delivering relevant designs and quality products – fast. We make it happen, and people will see that passion at NeoCon,” said Nick Haritos, executive vice president of sales and distribution.

AIS showroom greeters will be sporting fun We’re On It™ aprons at NeoCon; the slogan also will be on tote bags that AIS will give out during the show.

Inspiring new furnishings, fabrics and finishes will be showcased in AIS’s renovated space, which will feature a marketplace theme. The company will exhibit a broad line of products with meaningful applications and always-affordable character – including tables and desks, workstations, conferencing solutions, seating, storage options and private-office products. Known for furniture that says, “Let’s get to work,” AIS also will feature several new pieces that cross over into “resimmercial” and emit a relaxed vibe.

Visitors are invited to explore the space and products while enjoying fresh coffee-bar service plus healthy snacks and tasty treats. Local artists will create complimentary AIS-themed caricatures for guests. A not-to-be-missed showroom party with live-music entertainment, cocktails and appetizers kicks off 4 p.m. Monday at the show.

“During this special NeoCon anniversary, we’re ‘rolling out the red carpet’ to celebrate great design and our growth as a company,” said Platzman. “We’ve created a destination experience that will engage visitors in spirited conversation about how we can help with all of their space-planning needs.”

Vibrant, redesigned permanent showroom – part of new brand identity

AIS unveils a redesigned permanent showroom on the 10th floor in Suite 1086 at The Merchandise Mart during NeoCon 2018 where products will be displayed in colorful vignettes inspired by some of the world’s most vibrant outdoor marketplaces. Taking design cues from the bright signage, vast selections and edgy-but-friendly atmosphere exuded by such markets as Seattle’s Pike Place and London’s Camden Market, AIS’s showroom will encourage exploration and offer a bit of adventure, with distinct stops throughout the space.

“The energy and deep-rooted authenticity found in these storied marketplaces are the same qualities that AIS brings to customers – and at NeoCon 2018, our visitors will be welcomed by a team that’s ready to listen and share our diverse product collections in a lively, festive atmosphere,” Vice President of Marketing Tracy Reed said.

The AIS showroom experience begins with a sleek glass wall guiding guests to the entrance and reception area where the new LB Lounge and custom planters have been designed for casual seating, and soon-to-launch Day-to-Day™ Tables are showcased in sculptural displays. Immediately to the right is a cozy café section with tables and seating. Just beyond, an elegant private room features AIS’s brand-new Calibrate® conference table and Upton seating.

Turning left into the showroom, the space opens up to offer expansive city views of Chicago. Here, visitors will experience Calibrate® Series casegoods as well as Volker™ cubes and nesting tables. Also in this area are the Divi® and Matrix panel systems, which create flexible workspaces for a range of environments.

Continuing on the showroom tour, AIS will display a large selection of seating products, including the new Devens™ task chair as well as the Upton™, Natick™ and Bolton™ task chairs – along with the Triad™ stack chair, the Pierce™ side chair and the new Sulli™ perch.

Turning the corner, visitors will experience AIS’s just-launched Rutland™ and new Sulli™ stools and the popular Aloft and Oxygen desking/benching products. Throughout the space, pops of fresh colors, greenery accents and natural materials – such as wood-slatted walls, charming wayfinding signs, and structural elements to divide experiences and separate product stories – keep on trend with the market theme.

The 7,400-square-foot showroom was designed in partnership with Boston-based NELSON Architects and Full Circle Marketing, an integrated marketing agency in Michigan that’s been spearheading AIS’s brand-identity refresh.

Visitors to the AIS showroom also will get a sneak peek at expanded upholstery fabric collections offered by alta™. Four new patterns and more than 50 new colorways will be available on select AIS products starting this summer. alta’s revolutionary fabric-protection solution uses nanotechnology to safeguard and sustain textile products.

A quick glance at some of the products that will be displayed in AIS’s showroom during NeoCon 2018:

Tables

Calibrate® Conferencing

Launching at NeoCon and available starting in July, AIS’s Calibrate® Conferencing tables and solutions expand on and coordinate with the current Calibrate® Series of laminate products, providing affordable, contemporary options for today’s conferencing spaces.

Day-To-Day™ Tables

Launching at NeoCon and available starting in August, Day-To-Day™ delivers conferencing, meeting, training, nesting, occasional and height-adjustable table solutions for any work environment. The collection offers many top shapes, more than 10 base options, 18 laminate selections and a variety of edge details.

Systems

Matrix

Matrix, a full frame-and-tile system, creates sophisticated, flexible workspaces with robust electrical capabilities. Matrix can be configured for open plans, private offices, reception areas, conference rooms and more.

Divi®

Divi® is an affordable panel system that can create or complement virtually any design aesthetic. Its universal hinge connection system makes it one of the simplest and fastest systems to install on the market.

Desking/benching

Oxygen

A Best of NeoCon winner, Oxygen is a benching solution that unites form and function in a package that is as high-tech and multi-functional as it is stylish. From open, collaborative spaces to focused, more private environments, Oxygen is designed to meet the needs of a diverse and ever-changing work environment.

Aloft

Another Best of NeoCon winner, Aloft is a sleek height-adjustable benching solution designed for modern open-space environments. Calibrate Community™

Making its debut at NeoCon as part of the Calibrate® Series is a new open-plan desking system by AIS. Calibrate Community™ is a thoughtful solution reflecting simplicity and flexibility as it accommodates the personal needs of individuals and the collaborative needs of teams. Calibrate Community™ will be available later this fall.

Seating

Devens™ Task Chair

Launched in April, the Devens™ task chair embodies intuitive design, robust ergonomics, quality and value for open spaces and private offices.

LB Lounge™ Seating

Launched in April, LB Lounge™ creates naturally sociable seating for a variety of settings, including corporate, healthcare and educational environments. Available in two- and three-seat configurations with multiple widths and back heights, LB Lounge™ offers generous dimensions and clutter-controlling open storage.

Volker™

Launched in April, Volker™ cubes and nesting tables are suited for impromptu gatherings in the office, as guest seating in workstations, in schools and other learning environments, and in casual waiting areas. The fully upholstered cubes on casters roll where users need them to go. The accompanying square-shaped stationary table doubles as a work surface for collaboration and as an “anchor spot” to discreetly stow the cubes when not in use.

Rutland™

Launching in June, Rutland™ low stools are ideal for quick conferencing in classrooms, offices and patient exam rooms. Taller stool options fit perfectly into today’s sit-stand work environments and for short-term counter-height seating. Rutland™ seating’s compact, lightweight design and handle allow easy movement and storage.

Sulli™

Launching in June, Sulli™ perch seating is a fun, flexible “pop of inspiration” for a variety of spaces, especially educational settings and casual work environments. A colorful, friendly façade masks Sulli’s “inner intelligence” – the ability to seamlessly height adjust simply by pulling on a side strap. (Please see separate product press releases and brochures for more details.)

Visit AIS in Suite 1086 (10th floor) at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago and learn more at www.ais-inc.com/NeoCon.

AIS Unveils New Calibrate® Series Products at NeoCon 2018

Leominster, MA – May 24, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, unveils additions to its contemporary Calibrate® Series at NeoCon 2018 with new conferencing products and an open-plan desking system.

Calibrate® Conferencing

As an extension of AIS’s popular laminate desking and storage solutions, Calibrate® Conferencing tables and solutions offer a holistic design aesthetic – integrating conferencing spaces into any work environment at an affordable price.

“Calibrate Conferencing is created for today’s teams with meeting room designs that are simple, relevant and ready to help people engage with one another,” Executive Vice President of Product Development Bill Stewich said.

From the conference room to the private office to the open floorplan, seamless levels of integration are easily achieved within and across the workplace with the popular Calibrate® laminate solutions of AIS.

Because the new tables and conferencing products coordinate with the existing Calibrate® Series, it’s easy to specify, order and afford a look that’s sophisticated and coordinated. The collection also includes buffets, bookcases and receptacle bins. Continuity is created through shared materiality, dimensions, hardware and other design elements, while technology is supported with ample options for power/data access.

Calibrate® Conferencing’s functional and design choices include a variety of sizes, shapes, edge details, bases and power/data options. Conference tabletops can be specified as rectangular, “boat”-shaped or tapered. The tapered shape supports views for all table participants. Table-base options range from two to four in quantity, offering greater size capabilities and choices. Four hardware pull styles and 18 Grade A laminate top choices provide unlimited custom looks. Power and data options optimize convenience for individuals and teams. Kitted (pre-specified) tables also are available – one product code delivers the base, top and required power/data.

Unveiling at NeoCon 2018, Calibrate® Conferencing will be available starting in July.

Calibrate Community™

Also making its debut at NeoCon as part of the Calibrate® Series is a new open-plan desking system by AIS. Calibrate Community™ is a thoughtful solution reflecting simplicity and flexibility as it accommodates the personal needs of individuals and the collaborative needs of teams. Offering a variety of planning applications and off-modular capabilities, Calibrate Community™ provides ample storage options, plus power and data that’s easily accessible, discretely managed and intentionally incorporated as part of the system.

“Inherently designed as an alternative to panel systems, Calibrate Community provides the right balance of individual space and team areas. Providing functional reconfiguration adjustments throughout the workday and technology support, users can appreciate more choices and easily remain focused on the task at hand,” Stewich said.

Unveiling at Neocon 2018, Calibrate Community™ will be available later this fall.

Made in Massachusetts, Showing in Chicago

Calibrate® Series products are made at AIS’s manufacturing facility in Massachusetts and can be shipped within three weeks of ordering. AIS unveils the new additions to the Calibrate® Series at NeoCon 2018 in the company’s permanent showroom, Suite 1086 (10th floor) at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

AIS Unveils New Day-to-Day™ Tables at NeoCon 2018

Leominster, MA – May 24, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, unveils the brand-new Day-to-Day™ Tables collection at NeoCon 2018. The expansive product line delivers conferencing, meeting, training, nesting, occasional, and height-adjustable tables for all kinds of work and learning environments.

“Day-to-Day Tables are practical and approachable, bringing comfort and choice to support the dynamic needs of workers and students throughout the day,” Executive Vice President of Product Development Bill Stewich said.

The tables can be specified for a range of environments, from casual meeting rooms to private offices to open floor plans. Day-to-Day’s clean design and plentiful options allow easy configuration and specification. Many top shapes, more than 10 base options, 18 Grade A laminate selections and a variety of edge details make it easy to create a unified design for any space.

The product line pairs with AIS systems and casegoods to create seamless integration in interior environments.

Made at AIS’s manufacturing facility in Massachusetts, Day-to-Day™ Tables will be available starting in August 2018. The tables will ship within two to three weeks of ordering.

AIS unveils the new Day-to-Day™ Tables collection at NeoCon 2018 in the company’s permanent showroom, Suite 1086 (10th floor) at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

AIS Welcomes New Vice Presidents, Territory Manager

Leominster, MA – May 18, 2018 – AIS, a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and seating, continues to strengthen its field sales team in pursuit of market leadership with the recent hiring of Todd Hartman, Jay Nix and Brian Sheehan.

“I’m charged with growing sales significantly at AIS, and it all begins with people,” said Nick Haritos, executive vice president of sales and distribution. “We’re excited for the energy and leadership that Todd, Jay and Brian will bring to the team and to our customers.”

Todd Hartman

Todd Hartman is AIS’s new vice president for the U.S. Midwest region. Based in Columbus, Ohio, and with manufacturer and dealer experience, Hartman is responsible for growing AIS’s business and strengthening relationships with dealers in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Canada.

Educated at The Ohio State University, he previously held vice president and territory sales manager positions with Commercial Office, Xfurn and Functional Office Furnishings.

“I’m excited to bring 20 years of territory and sales management experience to each opportunity that I will approach. I look forward to sharing my passion for product training and education with all our dealer partners,” Hartman said.

Jay Nix

AIS also welcomes Jay Nix to the team. Based in Kentucky, Nix will serve as AIS’s vice president for the U.S. central region that includes an area from Minnesota down through Texas. He joins the company with two decades’ experience leading high-performance sales teams in the office furniture industry.

“I’m really looking forward to educating both the dealers and end users on all the new opportunities with AIS as we continue to introduce more exciting new products,” Nix said.

“Most recently a regional vice president for Global, Nix has also worked for Jasper Group, Office Furniture USA and Munson Business Interiors where he’s held roles in project management, dealer sales and regional sales. He holds a degree in construction technology from Eastern Kentucky University.

Brian Sheehan

Brian Sheehan is AIS’s new territory manager for the company’s State of Massachusetts contracts and the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) contract business. With more than 25 years of broad sales, project and marketing management experience, Sheehan comes to AIS from Staples Business Advantage where he was a senior account manager. Previously, he was a furniture account executive for Staples, was the president/founder of Partitions Plus (a business focused on the sales/remanufacturing of systems furniture) and worked at Boston Office Furniture. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business from Salem State College.

“Having known, sold and competed with AIS for over 25 years, I’m well aware of what a dynamic organization it has become. Now having the opportunity to join the AIS team, to use the word ‘excited’ would be an extreme understatement,” said Sheehan.

###

ABOUT AIS

AIS is a leading manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1990, the company is known for offering market-relevant, feature-rich product lines that entice designers and support the diverse needs of end-users while offering exceptional value. AIS is an innovator that leads the industry in sustainable, lean manufacturing, lead-time performance and manufacturing flexibility. AIS has over 600,000 square feet of manufacturing space and operates in Leominster, MA. For more information, visit the website at www.ais-inc.com.

LEARN ABOUT AIS

MANUFACTURING MARVELS