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AIS Announces Partnership with Audax Group

AIS, Inc announced it has completed its partnership with Audax Group. The senior management team of AIS, including Arthur Maxwell, Chairman and Co-Founder, and Bruce Platzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, will continue to own a significant position and lead the company. Headquartered in Hudson, Massachusetts, AIS is a manufacturer of high quality, value-priced office systems furniture. Products include monolithic and segmented panel systems, tile-based stacking panel systems, floor-to-ceiling systems, panel and beltline raceway systems, and panel systems.

Arthur Maxwell, Chairman and Co-Founder of AIS, said “We are excited to have Audax Group as our partner. Their experience sourcing and integrating add-on acquisitions will be valuable as we continue to build our business.”

Bruce Platzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of AIS, said “The transaction positions AIS to build on our past success. Through our partnership with Audax, AIS will further expand product offerings, enhance marketing initiatives and invest behind manufacturing and sales support in the field.”

Geoffrey S. Rehnert, Co-CEO of Audax Group, said “AIS is a growing, niche, value-priced office furniture manufacturer with world-class operations and customer support. We look forward to working with Arthur and Bruce and the rest of the team to grow the company organically and through strategic add-on acquisitions.”

Ropes & Gray LLP advised Audax Group. Lane Berry & Co. International, LLC advised AIS. Sankaty Bank provided acquisition financing and Citizens provided a working capital facility.

AIS Furnishes Learning Center for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Season Premiere

AIS is pleased to announce the company is a proud participant of ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. In the 5th season premiere, AIS furnished over 20 office spaces in the rebuild of the Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Center located in Honolulu, Hawaii. This assignment represents the most traveled distance and largest build in the history of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The season premiere will air September 30, 2007 7/6c.

AIS was contacted directly from the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team. AIS took on the daunting task of manufacturing, delivering, and installing 16 AIS Matrix workstations, 4 private office suites, 2 conference room tables, 15 training room tables, 45 filing cabinets, and 46 Element Task Chairs in under 10 days. The challenge was made all the more difficult by the simple reality of product having to travel from Boston to Honolulu, which even under ideal conditions takes 10-14 days in transit.

“We were both thrilled and somewhat terrified about committing to EMHE when the call came. We had to literally begin production within a day of getting the call, and that includes designing and layout of product for 26 employees of the Learning Center. When we heard the story of the Akana Family, and just how remarkable Momi Akana had been to the community through the Keiki O Ka Aina learning center, we decided to attempt the impossible,” said Michael DuGally, President of AIS.

Traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii, the Extreme Team decided to not only build a complete home for the Akana Family, but also a youth learning and community center run by Momi Akana called the Keiki O Ka Aina learning center. The makeover represents the most challenging construction conditions in the show’s 4-year history.

Working with The Systemcenter of Honolulu, an AIS dealer and one of the top installations companies in the state, product arrived from AIS to Hawaii just 48 hours before the infamous “Move that bus” was scheduled to take place. With the new community center still only partially complete, the AIS Extreme Team was the last major group allowed to work as carpeting, painting, and even power was not yet wrapped up.

“I was very nervous having myself and 10 installers sitting on 16 skids of workstations and private offices, not to mention less than 30 hours before the family was due to arrive,” said David Wilhelm, Project Manager of AIS. David along with Michael DuGally traveled to Honolulu to oversee the final installation. After a grueling 26 hours of working non-stop, the finishing touches were made and the entire installation complete.

"Along with our home builder, Brookfield Homes, AIS by far had the most difficult challenge in the entire Hawaii build. We are proud that AIS stepped up to make a difference not only for the Akana family, but the thousands of families that will be helped by the Keiki O Ka Aina Family Learning Center," comments Diane Korman, Senior Producer for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The 2-hour season premiere of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will air September 30th 7/6c. This marks the 5th season for the Emmy Award winning show.

Bob McCartney Hired as Territory Manager - Midwest

Bob McCartney has joined AIS as Territory Manager for the Midwest. Bob will be covering territories in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Bob comes to AIS from a long, successful career, totaling 25 years in the furniture industry.

AIS Unveils DiVi at NeoCon 2007

AIS is excited to debut Matrix linear panel profile option at NeoCon 2007. This new Matrix option features flat panel trim, glass tile retainers, and horizontal tile retainers all in a linear design offering a newly enhanced appearance. This creates a sleek, simple look, providing a more subtle trim design to blend with working environments.

The matrix linear panel profile option allows AIS dealers to choose between a radius panel trim, or a lower profile linear design. See Matrix Linear Trim at NeoCon 2007, Suite 1082, floor 10.

AIS Introduces Matrix Linear Panel Profile Option at NeoCon 2007

AIS is excited to debut Matrix linear panel profile option at NeoCon 2007. This new Matrix option features flat panel trim, glass tile retainers, and horizontal tile retainers all in a linear design offering a newly enhanced appearance. This creates a sleek, simple look, providing a more subtle trim design to blend with working environments.

The matrix linear panel profile option allows AIS dealers to choose between a radius panel trim, or a lower profile linear design. See Matrix Linear Trim at NeoCon 2007, Suite 1082, floor 10.

AIS Brings on New Sales Representatives in Texas & Puerto Rico/Latin America

AIS announces the appointment of new sales representatives in Texas & Puerto Rico.

AIS has signed on Cronan & Associates (formerly Trendway) as the Independent Representatives for TX, OK, LA and AR. Cronan has 6 field representatives covering this territory.

“We consider Cronan to be one of the top independent rep firms in the US, with a keen understanding of the dealer and design community. We are confident they will help us develop strong dealer and designer relationships and grow our sales volume in the South Central market,” said Michelle Warren, AIS Senior Vice President of Sales.

Cronan & Associates will maintain two AIS showrooms, one in Dallas and one in Houston.

AIS has hired Roberto Rodriguez as a Direct Sales Representative to work in the Puerto Rico, Carribean and Latin America markets. Rodriguez will provide existing AIS dealers in the territory direct sales support and work to expand AIS’s presence in the overall Latin America territory by recruiting new dealers.

Rodriguez was most recently with Krone & Associates and boasts 15 years of experience in systems furniture.

AIS Awarded GREENGUARD Certification for DiVi, MWall & AO2

AIS announces today its DiVi, MWall and AO2 furniture system lines join AIS Matrix as GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified® by GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI). The systems were tested to the stringent standards of the GREENGUARD Certification Program and verified to have low chemical emissions, which means they do not contribute to indoor air pollution. With this achievement, all of AIS systems lines are now GREENGUARD Certified.

"AIS understands the importance of indoor air quality, and now carries the philosophy of designing new products as well as making improvements to existing products so they can meet these new standards. We are pleased all our products have achieved GREENGUARD Certification. We are even more excited to introduce a new product line that carries the GREENGUARD seal of approval at the onset," commented Michael DuGally, President.

AIS DiVi, the company’s most recent product release, was engineered and designed with environmental impacts in mind. The system uses formaldehyde free material for its insert panels and is comprised of 54 - 58% recycled materials by weight. GREENGUARD Certification for this product is a significant achievement for the company. Products certified by the GEI prevent interior spaces from being polluted by high levels of irritating chemicals. Chemicals emitting from common interior furnishings and construction materials have been linked to human health effects, such as allergies and asthma. GREENGUARD’s free online product guide lists more than 130,000 GREENGUARD tested and certified products to help the building/design industry and consumers locate low emitting products. The GREENGUARD website also provides printable certificates for each and every GREENGUARD Certified product to facilitate project submissions for green building rating systems, such as LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

David Morales Hired as Regional VP of GSA Sales

AIS has hired David Morales as Regional Vice President of GSA Sales, Mid-Atlantic Region. Morales will oversee GSA Sales for the Mid-Atlantic market, in addition to commercial sales for Eastern/Southern Virginia. Morales is the second sales hire in the last month in support of the ever increasing demand for AIS products.

With over 16 years of experience in the furniture industry, Morales has held managerial positions with Kimball International, Open Plan Systems and Corporate Express. David brings to AIS a valuable skill set that understands the needs of both our GSA and emerging commercial dealers and end-users.

“David Morales will continue the tradition of offering excellent sales coverage in the Mid-Atlantic Market,” said Michelle Warren, Senior Vice President of Sales for AIS. “As important, David’s GSA sales experience will help AIS continue our strong growth in that sector.”

Worcester Business Journal's Top Growth Report

AIS is awarded by the Worcester Business Journal, based on company growth over the past three years. Click here to see the report.

AIS Introduces DiVi at NeoCon East 2006

AIS is proud to unveil DiVi at NeoCon East 2006. DiVi answers the need for a cost-efficient monolithic system that offers stacking capabilities and can also bear a segmented look. DiVi is perhaps the single most competitively priced panel system on the market today and will be available for order entry the end of January 2007.

Designed to utilize minimal parts, yet offer unparalleled performance, DiVi offers one of the largest data capacity raceways for a 2” thick panel system. Easy to specify and assemble, the new system is the perfect combination of simple design and extensive capabilities. Monolithic panels and segmented panels can be combined in any application for maximum value and design flexibility.

Key System Features Include:

- Enhanced 6” tall raceway includes data/power separation standard on powered panels, and the ability to place 4 duplex outlets per panel side, or a combination of duplex outlets and various data jack solutions panel side.

- Unique hinge connection design means quick install, and easy reconfiguration with no tools and easy high to low panel applications.

- Segmented skin options allow for extensive design application, including ½ glass and ¼ glass segments. All segmented panels ship assembled from the factory.

DiVi panels will be featured at NeoCon East, in the AIS booth 433.