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November 24
2003 - Ruth Newhall, longtime co-owner/editor of The Signal, dies in Berkeley [story]
Ruth Newhall


Valencia-based AMS Fulfillment, a recognized leader in third-party fulfillment, announced Friday that it has sold a majority stake of the business to Fort Point Capital of Boston, a private equity firm that specializes in the logistics industry.

Fort Point Capital will step in as a resource to help AMS expand in the rapidly growing and competitive sector of e-commerce, warehousing and fulfillment.

AMS’ previous owners, CEO Ken Wiseman, President Jay Catlin and Chairman of the Board David Catlin will continue to have ownership in the business. Raymond James Investment Banking represented AMS as the sell-side advisor in this transaction.

AMS executives have been considering this change for several years, and all are excited to begin a new stage of growth. Ken Wiseman, who has been CEO for the past 15 years, will be stepping down from some of his responsibilities in order to follow his passion for community service and volunteerism.

At AMS Wiseman will continue his groundbreaking and nationally recognized work in employee engagement and workforce development, serving as AMS’ Chief Workforce Development Officer.

One of Fort Point Capital’s key focus areas is in the logistics industry, and their interest in AMS is timely, as e-commerce fulfillment and logistics is a rapidly growing sector of the global economy. Their intention in taking on majority ownership is to help fund and manage the growth of AMS as a platform for third-party fulfillment and expand the business to meet the needs and opportunities of the time.

Fort Point Capital also looks forward to continuing AMS’ achievement of B-Corp Certification and the company’s outstanding work as a Social Enterprise.

Fort Point Capital Principal Christina Pai will serve as Chairperson of the Board. Jay Catlin will be stepping into the CEO role, and Betty-Lou Wiseman, who has been with AMS for 15 years serving as the EVP of Client Services, will be promoted to president of AMS.

Speaking about the changes in his future, Ken Wiseman said: “As I step down from my CEO role, I look forward to having more time for the community ventures I’m involved in including the SCV Sheriff’s Foundation, Search & Rescue, SCVEDC, and the Mayor’ Committee for the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. My professional time will be more focused on myriad employment hiring and training programs we are doing with the county, state and various agencies to continue to provide employment opportunities to those struggling to enter, or re-enter the workforce.”

Moving into the CEO role, Jay Catlin offered his thoughts about AMS: “We’ve had nearly 17 years of amazing experience and growth at AMS, and together as a team we have evolved into a quality-driven top tier provider of complex fulfillment solutions. Now is the right time for us to partner with a great firm like Fort Point to provide us the leadership and additional resources we need to build AMS into a powerhouse global fulfillment provider. A large number of viable potential partners courted us as we went about the selling process, and Fort Point stood out as the best fit on many levels, especially the cultural fit which is so vital to our business and our employees.”

Betty-Lou Wiseman, who will be taking on the role of president, said: “I feel like my responsibility of overseeing the client service team, the set-ups and high-level oversight of their accounts, along with the daily interactions with clients, have well prepared me for the expanding responsibilities of the President role. I’m very excited to be a part of AMS’ growth and national expansion, and proud of what we’ve accomplished to date as a team.”

AMS’ new Chairperson of the Board, Christina Pai, joined Fort Point Capital in 2011 as a Vice President and was promoted to Partner in 2015.

In commenting about the acquisition of AMS, Christina noted: “We are very excited to partner with the AMS team. They have built a compelling platform in the consumer products fulfillment space and have done a remarkable job serving the company’s impressive customer base while developing a loyal, well-trained team of employees. We look forward to continuing to invest in support of management’s vision for growth through initiatives such as augmenting the team to support growth, introducing new technology to drive efficiencies and expanding AMS’ geographic footprint.”

AMS employees shared in the excitement of the decision as they look forward to future growth. AMS executives, in appreciation of the more than 300 employees, offered to all an unexpected financial bonus, which was received with delight and gratitude.

About AMS Fulfillment
AMS Fulfillment is a leading full-service order fulfillment company operating as a third-party resource for order management, fulfillment center management and complex fulfillment services. AMS provides a full suite of fulfillment and distribution services to consumer products companies focused on serving the B2B retail (brick-and-mortar), online retail, and direct-to-consumer channels. The company operates four fulfillment centers in the Valencia, California area with approximately 550,000 square feet of space in the full network. For more information about AMS, visit www.amsfulfillment.com.

About Fort Point Capital
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Fort Point Capital is a private equity firm that invests in lower middle market, business services companies in partnership with strong management teams. Fort Point Capital is currently investing from FPC Small Cap Fund II. Contact Fort Point at 617-303-2121 or visit www.fortpointcapital.com.

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