Co-Founder and Vice Chair Bruce Platzman Announces Retirement from AIS

Bruce Platzman at the company’s Employee Appreciation Day surrounded by members of AIS’ manufacturing and office teams.

Innovator of Dealer Focused, Fastest Growing Company in the Industry to Take on Next Challenge

Bruce Platzman

Today, AIS announced that, after 34 years with the company, co-founder and vice chair Bruce Platzman has fully retired from the company. This final phase was completed after successfully transitioning the role of president and CEO to Nick Haritos more than a year ago.

Platzman began AIS in 1989 as a two-person furniture refurbishing operation with partner Arthur Maxwell. The innovation of these two entrepreneurs solved two problems. It provided cost-effective office furnishings to new and small businesses and was an environmentally friendly solution that prevented used office furniture from entering landfills.

Now one of the largest office furniture manufacturers in the country with more than $250 million in annual sales, AIS is a mid-market leader with 900+ employees, more than one million square feet of office and manufacturing space, and a strong nationwide dealer network. AIS has always differentiated itself through its dealers-first culture that is rooted in the legacy of hard work, lean operations, and extraordinary service that Platzman seeded and nurtured over the decades.

From the beginning, Platzman has made it a priority to run a lean, sustainable company that gives back to the community. Fueled by Platzman’s generous spirit, philanthropy has been an important part of AIS’ DNA and is now woven into the fabric of the entire organization. According to Platzman, “I am so pleased that Nick and our team share my passion for giving back and will continue to donate their time, talent, and resources to communities across the country.”

In addition to his philanthropic endeavors, Platzman plans to give back to the business sector through mentorship and consulting. By sharing his vast amount of expertise and experiences, he is uniquely qualified to help emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders start and grow successful companies – while assisting established organizations with liquidity events and succession planning strategies.

“As with any journey, there are triumphs and challenges, easy choices, and difficult decisions. The key is to learn from all of it and never stop pushing forward with a team of trusted colleagues.”

There have been plenty of wins in the history of AIS. In just three years, the company evolved from a refurbisher to a manufacturer. And, just over a decade after AIS was founded, the company was selected as the furniture manufacturer to refurnish the Pentagon after the 9/11 terror attack. Under Bruce’s leadership, and against many odds, AIS did just that—with streamlined processes and fast delivery. All it took was a handshake between Platzman and the commander of the US Navy with a verbal request to, “Keep it coming until I say stop.”  Proudly, AIS helped the Pentagon get back to business with furniture installed in under 30 days.

In 2003, AIS was awarded the coveted Shingo Prize for excellence in lean manufacturing, an honor so impressive that the award is on display at AIS’ headquarters and one of the stops for visitors on a tour of the Leominster, Mass. based facility. The year also saw AIS named as one of Industry Week’s top 25 manufacturing plants in North America. Rapid growth continued as the company’s trajectory led it to adding product lines, winning multiple awards for design, processes, and philanthropy.

AIS, with its agility and unstoppable spirit, navigated the pandemic with strategic precision. AIS was able to remain open as an essential business, providing furniture to hospitals, medical facilities and the government throughout that turbulent period. AIS quickly stepped up to create Sew the Masks, a grassroots program that had AIS producing and donating over 600,000 high quality face coverings to 31 states during the pandemic. Out of this effort, with an urgent focus to help the nation and our local community, AIS established a new program named AIS Radiance that employs dozens of young adults with disabilities and significant life challenges. Working with AIS mentors and their work coaches, these unique individuals are taught many life skills to help them live valued and meaningful lives.

Platzman’s ambitious vision took decades of determination. AIS now employs hundreds, has earned dozens of local honors and awards, achieved national recognition, continues to operate an environmentally conscious, lean manufacturing company, and now posts revenues of more than $250M.

“We thank Bruce for his ingenuity and steadfast commitment to building this extraordinary company. He nurtured an idea and created a powerhouse of dedicated, driven, service-focused professionals. From the beginning, the growth of AIS has outpaced competitors and led the industry by serving its dealer customers better than any other manufacturer. AIS will continue to focus on new product introductions, speed, and ease of doing business. It is an honor to be part of this successful company and to continue the momentum with passion and focus,” stated Nick Haritos, president and CEO of AIS.

Nick Haritos and Bruce Platzman at the AIS welcome center showroom during NeoCon 2021.
Bruce Platzman and Nick Haritos present a check to the director of a local shelter to support their efforts to house homeless families.
Barney Platzman, a dedicated employee at AIS, with son, Bruce at an event.
Bruce Platzman speaks at a chamber event hosted by AIS.


AIS, headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, is a leading North American manufacturer of commercial office furniture and boasts one of the most impressive stories of growth and success in the furniture industry. Founded in 1989, the company whose sales exceed $250 million annually 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’s BIFMA-compliant products meet or exceed industry standards for safety and durability. Products also are SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold certified.

The company’s Leominster headquarters and manufacturing facility boasts a rooftop of more than 10,000 solar panels, returning 50 percent or more of energy used to the power grid. AIS has permanent showrooms at its Leominster headquarters and in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. With these and other locations across the U.S., the company has over 1 million square feet of office, showroom and factory space. AIS’ more than 900 employees represent over 32 countries around the world and make AIS one of the largest and most diverse employers in central Massachusetts. Over the past five years, AIS has created more jobs in the region than any other company. AIS and its employees also lead in giving back to their communities; the Boston Business Journal has recognized AIS with its Corporate Citizenship Award annually since 2019. For more information, visit