AMS Retail Solutions was founded in 1999 as a small vendor representation team dedicated to increasing sales for one client. Since that humble beginning, AMS has developed into a nationwide force of professionals who represent a variety of product lines in retailers from coast to coast.
Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Hot 500 List, AMS has grown to an impressive team of thousands of employees located throughout the United States and Canada with key operational offices in both countries. AMS’s tremendous expansion is due to our commitment to exceeding our clients’ sales and merchandising goals while offering extremely competitive prices.
AMS’s rapid growth can be directly attributed to the increases in sales volume we have driven, the world-class service we provide, and our proven ability to get projects done properly and on time. Today, AMS is a leader in our industry and continues to set the standard for excellence.
American Merchandising Specialists, Inc. was established in 1999 and continues to excel and thrive today. The company – now known simply as AMS Retail Solutions - was founded by Stephen Nozet as a Field Sales and Service organization for one large vendor, American Water Heater Company, in Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers nationwide. AMS has always had its roots as a sales organization, having originally represented American Water Heater Company as its exclusive Sales Representative in California.
AMS is now over 13 years old and has thousands of employees covering all 50 states and Canada. We continue to exist for one purpose -- to increase sales of our vendors’ products in nationwide retailers. AMS is highly recognized for excellence in our field, and almost all of our revenue growth to date can be attributed to referral and word of mouth.
In 2007, Entrepreneur Magazine named AMS to the publication’s list of “Hot 500” companies, which recognizes organizations that have the greatest verified growth. Today, AMS is a nationwide Field Sales and Marketing company providing representation to some of the nation’s largest manufacturers in America’s largest retail chains.
Some of the key business segments AMS services include Dedicated Vendor Teams, Field Technical Repair, Merchandising in Mass Retailers, Sales Representation and Product Demonstrations.
The dedicated vendor segment focuses on providing services to major vendors that sell their products through large retailers. Larger vendors that don’t staff their own nationwide Sales and Marketing groups due to expense, complexity – or simply because it is not their core competency - utilize AMS to staff and manage Dedicated Vendor Teams on their behalf. These representatives handle efforts for only one vendor, and retailers and consumers see them as representatives of the vendor rather than as employees of AMS.
Another factor fueling AMS’s growth is the emergence of more and more foreign companies in the U.S. market with their own brands. Some of these brands are the new image of quality for the American consumer, but they require nationwide sales and marketing representatives who can educate retailers and consumers about the products and also help them understand the U.S. retail marketplace. The trend is for these brands to hire third-party companies to staff and handle their ramp ups, rather than taking it on themselves.
Chris Nozet joined AMS Retail Solutions as President in February 2005. Since that time, Nozet has led AMS through some of the most challenging – and rewarding - times in company history. Under his leadership, AMS survived the service company consolidation during the “Great Recession” and emerged as an even stronger organization.
Through his business acumen and national networking, Nozet has been able to not only maintain business but greatly improve AMS’s revenues and profitability. As a result, revenues have more than doubled in the last three years. Through overcoming these challenges and maximizing opportunities, Nozet has proven himself as a top-notch operator as well as a leader of extremely successful sales and marketing efforts.
Prior to joining AMS, he spent 18 years primarily in the very competitive Enterprise Computer Software industry. While at Kronos Inc., Nozet led a $25 million Sales and Service Region in the Western United States to the highest sales and profit achievements in the company, and earned nine consecutive President’s Club Awards in his nine years there.
Nozet has a B.S. in Business Marketing from California State University – Chico.
Michael Lassiter was promoted to Senior Vice President of AMS in 2011 and has worked for the organization since 2004. He is responsible for all field operations, which includes all field representatives and regional managers.
Lassiter works closely with Chris Nozet on new business development for both current clients and potential customers. Promoting the value of AMS as a partner to help vendors obtain their sales goals is a major component of Lassiter’s daily activities.
He also works directly with key clients and Lowe’s corporate representatives on a daily basis and oversees AMS warehouse operations.
Before joining AMS, Lassiter spent 11 years with Valspar. The experience and contacts he gained during this time have proven to be extremely valuable to AMS and its clients. During his time with Valspar, Lassiter spent a large amount of time working with the store operations at Lowe’s which provided him the knowledge needed to lead a field team like AMS.
Gordon Wilson has been AMS’s Vice President of Finance and Accounting since 2004. Wilson came to AMS with more than 10 years of accounting finance experience at various technology companies in Silicon Valley.
Before joining AMS, Wilson served as Senior Accounting Analyst at Cable and Wireless America, a leading European telecommunications company providing data hosting and Internet services. At Cable & Wireless, Wilson spearheaded the consolidation of acquired companies and streamlined data processing and reporting for various accounting and support departments.
Prior to Cable and Wireless, Wilson was employed as Accounting Manager at Storageway, Inc., a network backup and storage service provider. At Storageway, Wilson provided pivotal support to the CFO and VP of Finance in all accounting and finance duties including funding, leasing and reporting for the Board of Directors. In addition, Wilson also served in various accounting roles at HMT Technology Corporation and Education Programs Associates.
Wilson holds a B.A. from San Jose State University and an MBA from Colorado State University.
Kevin West started his AMS career in August 1999 in an office of four employees. Hired to facilitate daily office tasks, West used his previous computer experience to improve all facets of AMS’s technology. West built the first AMS project tracking system, developed uniform project instruction, created the first AMS network, automated the company’s field representative reporting, and organized AMS’s customer reporting. The common goal -- improving the customer experience.
West’s experience is not limited to technology. His career with AMS includes in-store training, project instructions and plan-o-gram creation. This experience has played a critical role in customer-driven procedures and laid the groundwork for successful AMS customer experiences. West currently oversees the Information Technology, Product Knowledge Training, Scheduling and Planning, and Project Management Departments at AMS.
West has been instrumental in automating many previous manual processes at AMS, and has overseen all major software implementations. His role at AMS has been critical in the evolution of AMS as a technology leader in our industry.
Mike Miller began his career with AMS in March, 2001 as a Field Representative covering the State of Ohio. After several promotions, he has now serves as Vice President of Field Operations. In this capacity, Mike is responsible for all daily field operations which include overseeing all field management and a field staff of 400 reps. A true field manager, Mike travels extensively to monitor and maintain AMS/client standards.
In addition to Mike’s role as VP of Field Operations, he also serves as a key account manager for AMS’ largest vendor partner. In this role, he works as a liaison with the customer helping to provide the necessary training, support and knowledge of in-store operations. Mike also works closely with Michael Lassiter and the sales team, to insure all customer needs are met.
Prior to coming to AMS, Mike worked in grocery sales and management including owning his own cookie distribution business.
AMS is dedicated to being the premiere retail services organization in North America. We are intently focused on helping our customers reach their goals and continually increase sales. We will accomplish this by focusing on superb execution of all assigned services and projects, creatively solving problems, and providing instant feedback to our clients.
Great customer service is not just part of the vision; it is always expected. There is a partnership between AMS and the companies that we service. Their main objective is to sell more products -- AMS helps them do this through excellent, effective and efficient retail solutions.