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News

Read All About It! AMS News and Local Updates

Culture - AMS FulfillmentWe were surprised and pleased to see a focus on ‘Listening’ when we looked into July commemorative days! July 18th is World Listening Day! We get to think about what it means for one person to listen to another!

First let’s look into what the organizers of this commemoration had in mind when establishing it. From Twinkl [LINK] we find the following:

“World Listening Day is a celebration of the power of listening, both to people and to our surroundings. The day also celebrates Acoustic Ecology which is the study of how human beings relate to the world through sound. Listening is an essential part of communication and something that we do not do often enough. World Listening Day proclaims that it is time to listen intently to the people in our lives and the worthy causes that are seeking attention. This requires engaging with listening as an active process, one that encourages listening with as much effort as speaking.”

That’s something worth noting – time to listen to the people in our lives, and that includes all people… family and ‘work family’ – our co-workers. Time to listen without thinking about a response – just listening and hearing. The article goes on to explain.

“World Listening Day began in 2010 as a celebration of listening and as an encouragement to listen actively and eagerly. The day has been celebrated every year since and shows no signs of slowing down. The date was selected because this is the birthday of R. Murray Schafer. He was a Canadian composer and a founding member of the movement of Acoustic Ecology. In addition to its academic goals, this field of study also seeks to end rampant noise pollution and bring about harmony between humans and the environment. World Listening Day draws attention to these causes and calls us to do what we can to reduce our noise pollution.”

Human Communication

Noise pollution – that certainly is a reality in our lives. And there are tons of voices asking for our attention – the phone, the email, the news, the social media… we are inundated with marketing and demands for our attention. Listen to me… no listen to me… no listen to me. Who or what should we be listening to? Let’s return to the article:

“Celebrating World Listening Day 2024 can be done in plenty of different ways but they all revolve around active listening. This requires us to be engaged when hearing others and putting in effort to really understand what they are saying.”

We can give that statement a big thumb’s up. We should be listening to ‘others’. That means other human beings, not our phones or social media. Whether it is a child, an elder, a family member or a co-worker – listening is one of the most human and humane things we can do.

Listening in the Workplace

At AMS, our “Mental Health in the Workplace” class started this week and that seems appropriate to mention. It is vital to think, and to speak, but how much more vital it is to listen to each other. We’re all human beings and we all have challenges in our lives.

In the workplace we may listen to instructions on how to do something, or maybe we listen to new ideas on accomplishing the job. Or it could be a “see something – say something” safety situation where we ask our supervisor to listen! Hopefully we don’t have to listen to too much noise pollution. Obviously there is a lot involved in listening in the workplace.

But, we all know the most human and humane listening is when we’re listening to ‘what’s going on’ with the other person and hearing and responding to the message with love and respect.

Let’s enjoy world listening day and see what messages we hear!!

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to People and Planet before Profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

Disability - AMS FulfillmentWe are familiar with Pride Month and we have enjoyed the celebration throughout the month of June. But, did you know that July is Disability Pride Month? Since 1990 this month has been one in which disabled persons are encouraged to have pride in themselves and who they are.

From the American Bar Association [LINK] we read the following: “Disability Pride Month celebrates disabled persons embracing their disabilities as integral parts of who they are, reclaiming visibility in public and interacting fully with their disabilities out in the open, and rejecting shame and internalized ableism. It is a time for the disability community to come together, uplift, and amplify one another’s voices and be heard. Disability pride has been described as ‘accepting and honoring each person’s uniqueness and seeing it as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity.’”

Of course individuals with disabilities must be honored as unique persons and a beautiful part of human diversity. AMS Fulfillment has worked with community organizations to hire individuals with disabilities for many years and we plan to continue, as we know how beneficial it is to us, to welcome a diverse workforce.

A Diverse Workforce

Samantha Hicks, AMS’ ESG Program Manager, works with Desert Haven and Pleasantview Industries, which are organizations that help individuals with disabilities in their efforts to train and get hired for jobs that they want to do.

Regarding hiring individuals with disabilities, Samantha said, “Every day, Americans with disabilities bring their skills and talents to our nation’s workplaces. Yet, people with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities, have lower rates of employment than the general population. Fortunately, recruiting and hiring qualified people with disabilities doesn’t have to be challenging, thanks to the many organizations such as AMS.

“At AMS, we are committed to fostering a workplace culture that upholds the principles of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We believe that creating an environment where all employees feel valued, respected, and empowered is not only essential for our business success but also integral to building a more just and equitable society. 

“People with disabilities have been solving problems their whole lives and tend to contribute to higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and increased customer loyalty. Employees with disabilities can also offer creativity, innovation, and varied perspectives on how to confront challenges and get a job done. For example, research shows that many adults with autism possess higher-than-average abilities in pattern recognition, memory, and mathematics.

“Additionally, hiring people with disabilities encourages empathy in the workplace (a trait that is important to have when working with customers and clients) and can improve the perception of the company from our stakeholder’s point of view. Inclusion can also have a big impact on how employees feel about our workplace.

“We’ve made some long-time memories with our AMS Family, and we thank them for being ‘just as they are’.”

History of the Celebration

Once again from the Bar Association we read, “Disability Pride initially started as a day of celebration in 1990—the year that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. That same year, Boston held the first Disability Pride Day. The first official celebration of Disability Pride Month occurred in July 2015, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Since then, cities across the country have celebrated disability pride month with parades and other festivities.” 

There is a story behind the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act that some might remember. Here is the overview from Wikipedia [LINK].

“On March 12, 1990, over 1,000 people marched from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upon arrival, about 60 activists, including eight-year-old Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, physically demonstrated the inaccessibility of public spaces by getting out of their wheelchairs or setting aside their mobility aids and crawling up the Capitol steps in an act of civil disobedience that later became known as the Capitol Crawl. Police then arrested 104 activists for unlawful demonstration, many of whom were in their wheelchairs.”

Wow – that was a demonstration that spoke volumes! People with disabilities come from all socio-economic backgrounds, all ages, races, ethnicities, genders and religions. All are now protected by the ADA, and we are grateful to the more than 1000 activists who created the demonstration in 1990 that changed the world for all of us.

Disability Pride

“Disability Pride” seeks to remove the stigma of disability, allowing us to see that disabilities are a natural part of human diversity. It also offers the opportunity to see, understand and appreciate the challenges that individuals with disabilities face daily, and step forward to make sure they are treated equally. At AMS we want our employees who are living with disabilities to celebrate and take pride in themselves and their incredible achievements.

More on the subject from Wikipedia: “Disability Pride is a movement intended to celebrate the history of the Disability Rights movement and people with disabilities as positive contributors to society. It marks a break from traditional concepts of disabilities as shameful conditions, which were often hidden from public spaces and mainstream awareness. Disability Pride is built upon the social model of disability and is described as moving away from the medical model of disability.”

With that said, we wish AMS employees, clients and friends a Happy Disability Pride Month! As Samantha said, take pride and Be Just as You Are!

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to People and Planet before Profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

4th - AMS FulfillmentIt’s the Fourth!! This seems like almost the biggest holiday of the year, outside of Christmas. What makes it such a big deal? Well, it has to do with freedom from tyrants and kings, and that appeals to just about everybody. What do we human beings yearn for – #1 Peace, #2 Freedom.

#1 What Happened: Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 established the United States of America.

#2 How Long Ago: July 4, 1776 – July 4, 2024 (248 years ago)

#3 How Was it Done: That day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

#4 How to Celebrate: Fireworks, family reunions, concerts, barbecues, picnics, parades, baseball games, naps, sleeping in, hiking, camping, hanging out at home, going to the beach, dinner with friends, working and getting paid time and a half. Lots of choices for this holiday!

What Did the Congress Declare?

Rather than trod through the history, let’s look at the Declaration itself. Most people are familiar with the first paragraph – it contains some inspiring language. Remember, the people are declaring to a tyrant/king that they will no longer submit to being ruled.

“The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Okay – they are going to declare the causes – they want to give the reason they are going to dissolve political bands. This should be interesting. Let’s look at the next paragraph.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

They make their argument – we have rights and one of those rights is to govern ourselves. The paragraph goes on to point out that there has been a long train of abuses and usurpations, they call the king a despot, and say it is their duty to throw off such a government. The paragraph concludes with an accusation of absolute tyranny.

“The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

The writers go on to list 13 facts followed by a long and thorough list of things that the King is accused of having done. We didn’t count the accusations, but suffice it to say there are quite a few. They then conclude with the following statement:

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

There we have it – the reason for this holiday! They put their lives, their money and their honor on the table. OK – that’s sincere. If readers would like to read the full declaration, it is available at this [LINK].

A Little History

Of course there was a lot going on at the time. A war had broken out in 1775 and colonists who had previously opposed independence were beginning to move to the revolutionary side. A writer named Thomas Paine was publishing very provocative writings called “Common Sense”, and his arguments also fed the revolutionary spirit.

The Continental Congress met in June, in Philadelphia, and a delegate named Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for independence. Apparently they debated and did not vote on the resolution, instead appointing a group of five men to the task of writing a document to justify independence. And there we have it. The writers of the Declaration are Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin and Robert Livingston.

Needless to say, they met again in July. The meeting was on the 2nd, and they voted in favor of the resolution for independence. So, the vote happened on the 2nd. It was formally adopted, referred to as the Declaration of Independence, on July 4th.

And that’s the story! Have a Great time on the 4th, and whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself!!

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to People and Planet before Profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

B Corp - AMS FulfillmentIn our last B Corporation Series, published in April, we covered four B Corporations that were examples of B Corp environmentalism. In this report, we will be covering five B Corps in the fashion industry created by women entrepreneurs.

Women of Color in the Fashion Industry

From B the Change [LINK] we read the following: “Through the Level program, businesses led by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color who also identify as women work alongside consulting organizations to measure and improve their impact, tell their story, adopt legal stakeholder governance, and pursue B Corp Certification. The program builds on the three pillars in B Lab U.S. & Canada’s Theory of Change: climate justice, racial equity, and a stakeholder-driven economy.

“This year of Level includes 15 companies from a range of industries and locations in the U.S. and Canada. In the first of a three-part series, we introduce five of the Level 4.0 companies bringing positive change to the fashion industry — each in their own way. They include a localized clothing rental marketplace; a baby gear library; a gender and size-inclusive apparel line; a sustainability fashion/home consultancy; and a modest activewear collection.”

The featured women entrepreneurs are Milagros de Souza, who created a company called “The Clothing Library”; Bo Zhao who created the “Baby Gear Group”; Alexa Reyes, who created “Friend + Folk”; Lauren Hill, Co-Founder of a company called “Population”; and Muna Mohamed, founder of a company called “Kalsoni”. We will look into these companies, and provide links to their businesses.

The Clothing Library

The Clothing Library, founded by Milagros de Souza, is completely based on the local community. Each city operates as its own hub, with the goal of the business someday operating nationally. As a renter on The Clothing Library platform, customers only have access to items 10 to 15 miles away. Check out The Clothing Library at this [LINK].

Baby Gear Group

The Baby Gear Group is based on the founder, Bo Zhao’s own frustrating experience with baby gear as a new mom. She loved getting things secondhand, but it was often difficult to find, so she ended up spending money on a lot of stuff she didn’t really need. She found herself wishing there was a way she could try out gear, use what worked for her baby and when she was done, it would magically disappear. In a true lightbulb moment, she realized she could just create this service as a baby gear library. Check out the Baby Gear Group at this [LINK].

Friend + Folk

Alexa Reyes craved a space where shopping for essentials was simple for everybody. The goal of friend + folk is to offer equally priced, non-gendered styles in a broad range of stigma-free sizes (12 to be exact), with financing partners that make shopping more accessible. Reyes said investment in the local community is in the brand’s DNA. That includes hiring local workers and responsible manufacturing in Los Angeles (with vendors within a 20-mile radius); utilizing and sourcing domestic, organic resources; and investing back into the community. Visit Friend + Folk at this [LINK].

Population

Lauren Hill and Population Co-Founder Catherine Tedrow have been collaborating for almost a decade. They see opportunity in an industry with a history of poor working conditions and wages and negative environmental impacts. Going forward, Population wants to partner with legacy and luxury clients that have the mandate and financial capacity to invest in their supply chain and product; and work with and uplift businesses owned and led by Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color. Visit Population at this [LINK].

Kalsoni

Kalsoni, founded by Muna Mohamed, is a social mission and for-purpose brand that offers activewear products and services designed to empower women and girls to engage in physical activity with maximum comfort, functionality, and confidence. Kalsoni creates inclusive activewear that caters to Muslim women and girls. As a brand created by women for women, Kalsoni wants to ensure that women and girls who prefer a modest-fit style can enjoy and engage in the outdoors, gym, sports, and any other activities with maximum comfort, functionality, and confidence. Activewear products include wide-legged joggers, mid- and full-length tunics, hijabs, shawls, and long-sleeve shirts. Visit Kalsoni at this [LINK].

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to People and Planet before Profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

EOM - AMS FulfillmentThank you for your exemplary performance during the month of May: Meggan S., Laqwin S., Jocelyn G., Sandra M., Jaime P., Odalys R., Kyle D., Ana C., and Consuelo L.

In the fulfillment industry, employees directly serve the company’s clients, making their efforts vital to the growth and success of the business. At AMS Fulfillment we appreciate and value our employees, and we respect and invest in them. Every month we see our employees working hard with such outstanding dedication and we are continually impressed by the results they produce!

Congratulations to this month’s winners! All Winners will receive an Employee of the Month Certificate, T-Shirt, and Quarterly Celebration Lunch!

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Meggan S., Operations Supervisor ll (06/01/2008) Boulden

I NOMINATE MEGGAN SPITZER!!! Meggan has consistently demonstrated exceptional performance in her role as a leader. Her hard work, dedication, and attitude have made a significant impact on the team and have contributed to our company’s achievement. She takes initiative, is a mentor, and loves sharing her knowledge with anyone. Keep shining bright, Meggan! – Steven Z.

Laqwin S., Inventory Receiving Specialist I (05/01/2023) Churchman’s

‘Qwin’ just celebrated one year with us here at AMS and has been a part of the receiving dept for the duration of his time. He is soft-spoken and flies under the radar, but the moment you engage with him, the biggest smile comes out!!! He is super reliable and a very constant asset to the team. He recently stood out to me as he expressed interest in learning more about receiving and has been a huge help in taking new hires under his wing, who really gravitate towards Qwin. We are all grateful he has embraced that leadership quality. Churchman’s is lucky to have him on our team! – Sarah M.

Jocelyn G., Assistant Account Manager (09/07/2016) Client Services

Jocelyn has consistently demonstrated exceptional diligence, attention to detail, and a stellar work ethic towards the team. Her dedication and meticulous approach to her responsibilities have been instrumental in our team’s success. Jocelyn consistently goes above and beyond, often putting in extra hours to ensure deadlines are met and deliverables exceed expectations. Her upbeat demeanor and willingness to support team members create a positive work environment that boosts morale and fosters collaboration. This is well deserved! – Sandy V.

Sandra M., Operations Associate II (11/19/2021) Headquarters WH

Sandra has been a key asset to our team. Recently, she has stepped up to the role of helping us manage “the wall” area and is doing an amazing job. She is always a team player, helps everyone, and has a positive attitude. Her laughter can be heard across the warehouse! We have all experienced days at work when something (or everything) goes wrong, or projects don’t go as planned. Her positivity plays a significant role in our Team’s productivity and success, with her ‘can do’ attitude, driving teamwork and collaboration. Thank you, Sandra, for your dedication! – Tanya C.

Jaime P., Operations Associate III (06/02/2021) Livingston

Jaime is an outstanding Operations Associate III here at Livingston who jumps in where needed. Jaime picks for all our B2C clients and does it with accuracy, efficiency, and shows great urgency. Jaime will take on any task that is handed to him and demonstrates great teamwork in everything he does. Jaime gives 100% effort in helping our team to complete our daily task and goals!! We could always count on Jaime due to the dedication and commitment that he displays daily, and he always volunteers to work overtime when asked. Thank you, Jaime, for all your hard work, commitment, and amazing teamwork! We appreciate you being a top Picker here at Livingston. – Saul M.

Odalys R., Operations Supervisor I (10/02/2023) Newark

Odalys has been with our team for a little over eight months, and the growth she has shown in that time has been amazing. She is a Supervisor here at the Newark facility and has completely owned her role. Recently, she has gotten some responsibility changes and has been mentoring a newly hired Supervisor on our team. Odalys is one of those people who totally takes pride in her work and pushes for the best. She wants to have all her orders done and accurate, all her emails responded to, all the B2Bs completed, and “spec pallets” are sent. She just goes above and beyond to make sure her responsibilities are all taken care of and done correctly. She has a great energy and positive attitude that rubs off on the team, and she is a joy to be around. I am so grateful for her and the things she has done for our team. She is constantly trying to learn more and is continuing to grow. Odalys, I look forward to seeing what your future holds and where your hard work and dedication will take you. Soak it all in and keep pushing. We are all so glad you’re a part of the team!!! – Amber S.

Kyle D., Operations Associate III (11/15/2020) New Holland

This guy goes above and beyond what is asked of him! He is always there to help out if we are needing something in Sand Cloud.  If there are any doubts, he knows exactly where to go to find the answers.  He is an awesome and exceptional worker who deserves the ‘Spotlight’. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra, and Kyle is it. – Linda L.

Ana C., Inventory Receiving Supervisor I (01/27/2015) Williams

Ana goes above and beyond to get the workload completed. She always puts 100% commitment to her work, and she is always willing to help others in different departments. She is very reliable in volunteering to come in early, staying late, or even picking up a weekend shift to get the job done, especially with the heavy workload that we have been having with new clients. She is great at multitasking, jumping from one project to another, and making sure we share a little here and there just to make sure we don’t stress out. She cares about our well-being. It’s great to have Ana as part of our team and we are looking forward to seeing all she will overcome. – Cristy G.

Consuelo L., Operations Associate II (11/02/2021) Witherspoon

Consuelo started working at AMS in 2021 helping during the fourth quarter. She later was transferred to returns and still helps in shipping when it’s needed. She has had a positive impact on our team in the returns dept. She never complains about the tasks she is asked to do, whether it’s helping in assembly or doing data entry in returns. She is kind to her peers and makes good companionship easily.  She always shares her great ideas with me for process improvement and is very resourceful. Although she had no prior data entry experience, she learned the system quickly and made her data entry goals daily. In the last month, she has helped us a lot with the high volumes in our returns dept. She has put in the effort to help keep returns processing up to date for one of our biggest clients while keeping her work accurate. We are really looking forward to seeing her continue to grow in her role here at AMS. – Vanessa H.

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To all of our Honorees, please know that whatever role you play, you are the reason for our success. Congratulations and Thank You!

safety - AMS FulfillmentWe often talk about safety, as AMS puts a very high priority on keeping our warehouses and workplaces safe. June is National Safety Month, and the logistics industry is one in which safety practices really matter, so we will cover safety at AMS and safety in general, within the industry.

At AMS we do extensive OSHA-based safety training for new employees, we do monthly safety walks in English and Spanish, we have a very welcoming “see something, say something” policy, asking our employees to tell or show any of their safety concerns to their supervisor. We do everything we can and then some, as #1 we truly do value our employees as persons, and #2 we don’t want anyone getting hurt on our premises – period.

How could people get hurt? There is moving equipment in warehouses, there are moving vehicles, there are heavy items to be lifted and moved and much more.

Types of Injuries

There are many potential hazards that can be encountered in the handling and transportation of goods, and workers can be injured or even killed if safety standards are not followed. Health and safety in logistics is vitally important in that it protects workers from accidents and injuries and it reduces the risk of damage to goods. Here below is internal safety information provided to us by Samantha Hicks, AMS’ ESG Program Manager.

#1 – Slips, trips, and falls: Work areas should be well-lit and free of tripping hazards. Floors should be kept clean and dry. Workers should wear appropriate footwear.

#2 – Manual handling injuries: Workers should be properly trained on safe lifting techniques. Loads should not be too heavy or awkward for one person to handle. Mechanical lifting equipment should be used when appropriate.

#3 – Vehicle accidents: Vehicles should be properly maintained and inspected on a regular basis. Drivers should be properly trained and licensed. Drivers should be given adequate breaks and should not be allowed to drive if they are tired.

#4 – Exposure to hazardous materials: Workers should be properly trained on the safe handling of hazardous materials. Workers should be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

#5 – Working in extreme environments: Workers should be properly trained on how to work safely in extreme environments, such as hot or cold weather. Workers should be provided with appropriate PPE.

Lost Time Injuries

A company’s success or failure in protecting the health and safety of employees is measured through “Lost Time Injury” statistics. Before we offer the following quote, allow us to proudly mention that our AMS lost time injury rate is 23% lower than the industry average.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the warehousing and storage industry’s injury rate of 4.8 per 100 workers in 2020 was higher than the U.S. average of 2.7 per 100 rate among all private industries. In 2021, the rate was 5.5 per 100 employees, more than double the rate across all industries. According to Fast Company, the injury rate for non-Amazon warehouses in 2023 was 3.8 cases per 100 workers, while Amazon’s warehouse injury rate was 6.5 cases per 100 workers.” 

As we mentioned, AMS does OSHA-based safety walks with employees monthly. The goal of these walks/inspections is to listen, and look, and develop a comprehensive list of hazards, prioritizing them for control. We know that no single person is capable of identifying all hazards or determining appropriate controls, and we need the participation and the “eyes” of our employees. When you develop relationships and build trust with employees, the chances of success in preventing injuries, illnesses, and fatalities will increase.

National Safety Month

The CDC offers helpful information with regard to safety month as follows: “Each June, we bring a little extra attention to safety issues by highlighting National Safety Month. For each week of the month, the National Safety Council (NSC) identifies a theme to focus on. This blog highlights select research and prevention efforts from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and NSC in this year’s focus areas of safety engagement; roadway safety; risk reduction; and slips, trips and falls.”

Their blog is very informative and we encourage readers interested in safety and health to visit the CDC [LINK] and read some of their linked documents.

As we know at AMS, both employers and employees must be engaged in safety. Together we develop policies and procedures to identify, monitor, mitigate, and eliminate work-related hazards. There are tried and true injury prevention approaches that we utilize, like hazard recognition, job safety analysis and risk assessment. These are crucial to curbing workplace injuries and deaths.

One more thing the CDC mentions that AMS is attentive to is addressing psychological safety. Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), covers several initiatives shaping modern safety excellence, including diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Samantha had this to say about the importance of psychological safety:

“When employees feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to raise safety concerns, report incidents, and actively engage in safety-related discussions. Building a safety culture is instrumental in fostering a comprehensive well-being environment within AMS.”

AMS celebrates National Safety Month, and as we cover it in this blog, we offer sincere appreciation to our employees. We look forward to and work toward an environment where there is no lost time injury, just healthy, safe and satisfied employees, dedicated to serving our clients as only they can.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

commemoration - AMS FulfillmentOf all the commemorations and celebrations we cover in this blog, Black Music Month has to be one of the most enjoyable to ponder. How did Black music affect the American culture? The answer has to be – profoundly and beautifully!!

We think back to the impact of the blues, and jazz, and rock & roll, R&B, reggae, hip hop and rap – it’s quite a story. Every one of us can name a favorite artist or favorite song or music style, and while we did our listening, we also learned. In the sixties and seventies, Black music was consciousness raising, spiritual and revolutionary. This was the first time Black music went mainstream and it woke up many Americans to join in the movement for civil rights.

Some highlights of the time were Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song”, Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” The revolutionary music of that era led to hip hop and its consciousness-raising message. The American people began to look at the experience that African Americans had gone through and were going through and understand the changes that had to take place. Black music awakened us to the Black experience.

The History of Black Music Month

From National Today [LINK] we read about the commemoration’s history: “The United States has been celebrating Black Music Month in June since 1979. The month of June is set aside to appreciate the contributions of African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters in American culture. The month honors the history and rich African traditions that gave birth to different styles of music such as rap, hip-hop, jazz, rhythm and blues, barbershop, and swing. It is also the month to celebrate creative inspiration and appreciate the impact that African-American music has had on generations of performers and music lovers! From tales of slavery and racism and fighting for their basic human rights to finding their heritage and values in their lyrics, Black music covers a vast range of topics that have great significance for this community.

“Over the years, we have seen Black musicians reach great heights, not only on official music record charts but also at entertainment award ceremonies. While President Jimmy Carter designated June as Black Music Month in 1979, it wasn’t until 2000 when the presidential proclamation for the month was signed. President Barack Obama, in 2009, went on to rename the month from Black Music Month to its current name, African-American Music Appreciation Month.”

Checking out what Whitehouse.gov [LINK] has to say about the commemoration, we see President Biden once again referring to Black Music Month. The proclamation displays some insight:

“Our Nation has only recognized Black Music Month for 45 years, but its legacy stretches back to our country’s earliest days.  Black music began when enslaved people, who were cruelly prohibited from communicating in their native languages, found ways to express themselves through music.  Set to the sound of African rhythms, they captured the inhumanity, tragedy, and toll that America’s original sin took on their lives while also telling the stories of their hopes and dreams, faith and spirituality, and love and purpose.  

“Ever since, Black performers have carried on that tradition of using art to break down barriers, create sacred spaces for expression, and give voice to the promise of America for all Americans.  They have created and shaped some of our most beloved genres of music — like folk, blues, jazz, hip-hop, country, rock and roll, gospel, spirituals, and R&B.  Black music has set the beat of the Civil Rights Movement; expressed the inherent dignity and captured the pride and power of Black communities; and held a mirror to the good, the bad, and the truth of our Nation.”

Some Favorites

Just for the fun of it we’ll mention some names… Ray Charles “Unchain My Heart”, Stevie Wonder “Isn’t She Lovely”, Prince “Purple Rain”,  Whitney Houston “The Greatest Love of All”, Aretha Franklin “Respect”, Diana Ross “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and on and on and on.

We hope you enjoy Black Music Month and truly appreciate what America has learned from Black Music.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

Juneteenth - AMS FulfillmentLet’s make an effort to understand what the fairly recent federal holiday, Juneteenth, is all about. On one hand, Almanac tells us that Juneteenth is the oldest-known celebration marking the end of slavery in the United States. The following quote explains it, somewhat [LINK]:

“On January 1, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. It granted freedom to “all persons held as slaves” in 10 Confederate-controlled states. However, for the most part, the order was not enforced until Union soldiers were able to advance into these areas after the end of the war, the beginning of which came in April 1865 with the surrender of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee after the Battle of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.”

So the message is, the slaves were freed except for the places where slavery continued, and the enslaved were not informed that the government had emancipated them. It was two years later that the Union army made it to those states where people were still enslaved, and they informed the enslaved – you are free. Quoting from the article:

“On June 19, 1865, U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger delivered to the people of Galveston, Texas, General Order No. 3, which read, in part: ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.'”

Slavery in the United States was formally abolished on December 6th, 1865, with the ratification of the 13th Amendment.

The Recognition of Juneteenth

The State of Texas was the first to recognize Juneteenth – Emancipation Day – and they did so in 1980. It was 2021 when President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Act. The Act established June 19th as a federal holiday.

When Texas made its decision to create a holiday, it was nothing new to the African Americans in Texas. Quoting from the article:

“Early celebrations of Juneteenth included gatherings of former slaves and their descendants in Galveston and throughout Texas. As African Americans were often barred from using public facilities, some groups and individuals pooled their money to purchase land in order to hold these events. One of the most significant and lasting was 10 acres acquired by a group of African-American ministers and businessmen in Houston. This land would become Emancipation Park, which today is the oldest park in Houston, Texas.”

From an article by writer Kris Manjapra, published in Daily Camera [LINK], we gain a little more information:

“The actual day was June 19, 1865, and it was the Black dockworkers in Galveston, Texas, who first heard the word that freedom for the enslaved had come. There were speeches, sermons and shared meals, mostly held at Black churches, the safest places to have such celebrations. The perils of unjust laws and racist social customs were still great in Texas for the 250,000 enslaved Black people there, but the celebrations known as Juneteenth were said to have gone on for seven straight days. The spontaneous jubilation was partly over Gen. Gordon Granger’s General Order No. 3. It read in part, ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.’”

The enslavement of African Peoples is a legacy that all Americans inherit. It is sad and painful to even think about. But, we can turn with gratitude to the work of the Abolitionists and the Civil Rights warriors, and think about them as well. America has been working to correct the wrongs done in its foundation for many years, and we are committed to continue that work with DE&I guiding our hiring, training and promotion of our valued employees. Happy Juneteenth!

“Now I’ve been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.” –Harriet Tubman (1820–1913), American abolitionist and political activist.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

Father's Day - AMS FulfillmentSunday is Father’s Day! We want to offer an overflowing plate of respect and appreciation and gratitude to all of the fathers among the AMS employees and clients and friends. We thank you for your strength, your guidance, your sacrifice, your time, your influence and your love. We hope your Day is perfect, whether there are gifts or a big meal or a fun outing – we want it to be perfect.

The History of Your Holiday

Wikipedia tells us that the celebration of fatherhood is very old – in Catholic Europe it dates back to 1508. They celebrated on March 19th and focused on St. Joseph, father of Jesus. The Eastern Orthodox church focused on Adam and emphasized Abraham whose children were to bless the earth.

In the US Father’s Day has its own history. We went to the Farmer’s Almanac [LINK] for that information. Quoting from the website:

“The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, after the worst mining accident in U.S. history. This horrific accident killed more than 360 men and boys and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton wanted to honor the many fathers who had died with a Sunday service in Fairmont. Mrs. Clayton was the daughter of a dedicated reverend who had died in 1896, so she knew what it was like to lose a father.”

Father’s Day did not become an annual event at this time. It took a woman named Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd to make it into an annual holiday across the nation. According to the Almanac, in 1909 she heard a Mother’s Day sermon and thought – there needs to be a Father’s Day. From the article comes more of the story:

“Mrs. Dodd’s father, William Smart, had raised his SIX children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.” She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday. The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June) and became an annual event there. Soon, other towns had their own celebrations.”

After that, Father’s Day in June had widespread support across the nation, but it didn’t get named a national holiday until 1972. In that year President Richard Nixon made it official. He signed a law declaring that Father’s Day will be celebrated across the nation on the third Sunday in June. That’s the US history – a woman who was raised by her father is the one who made it happen.

A Poem for the Fathers

We searched for a poem to give to our readers about fathers and we found “Only a Dad” by Edgar Albert Guest. Hope you enjoy it [LINK].

Only a Dad

By Edgar Albert Guest

Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.

Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

Health - AMS FulfillmentInternational Men’s Health Week is a global initiative intended to raise awareness of health issues that affect men, created to lead up to Father’s Day. This commemorative week encourages men and boys to take care of their health, and it encourages institutions to develop health policies and services that meet the needs of men and boys.

In 2002 Men’s Health Week became international when representatives from six leading men’s health organizations around the world met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Vienna and resolved to work together to increase awareness of male health issues on a global level and to encourage health policies and services that meet the needs of men, boys, and their families.

The History

From gamh.org (Global Action on Men’s Health) we read the following: “Men’s Health Week is 30 years old this year! It began in the U.S. in 1994 following a Senate Joint Resolution to establish the Week by Senator Bob Dole. The Week was linked to Father’s Day in the U.S. (the Week always ends on that Day, the third Sunday in June) and it became an international event in 2002 when it was first marked in the UK. It has since been adopted in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and beyond. The Week provides an opportunity for a wide range of organizations and individuals to draw attention to the poor state of men’s health, organize activities that engage men, and advocate changes to health policy and practice. In short, it puts men’s health on the map both nationally and globally.”

Major Health Issues for Men

We went to the Mayo Clinic website to find out about the major issues that affect men and boys. Unsurprisingly, heart disease and cancer top the list. Other health issues include injury, stroke, diabetes and lung disease. The website encourages healthy lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet and exercise.

The article states: “To protect your health, avoid risky actions, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol and having casual sex. And take steps to keep yourself safe. Use a seat belt when in a car. Wear a helmet when on a bike or motorcycle. Use a safety ladder to reach high areas. Manage illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Practice safer sex. Get all the suggested health screenings and vaccinations for your age.”

The Mayo Clinic also reminds men that extra weight in the form of belly fat can be an issue as men age. And they mention other topics such as male menopause – it is a myth or real? Testosterone levels do start going down after age 40 and it could have a negative effect on health. They offer answers to the testosterone question and other basic men’s health questions at this [LINK].

The International View

The different themes of various countries are listed at GAMH. Ireland asks men to picture their health, and ask themselves to create a goal, and go for it. Great Britain looks at the impact of the internet on men’s health. Quoting from the website: “The iPhone was born in 2007. Those born in the same year will turn 16 this year. They’ve grown up with a high-performance computer in their pocket. What are the implications for men’s health? That’s the question the Forum was looking at with a focus on ‘internet-fueled’ addictions including pornography and gambling.”

Australia focused on healthy habits, and asked men and boys to build healthy habits by identifying small changes they can make that benefit their health and wellbeing. They created a toolkit called Know Your Man Facts. In Canada, the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation extended the Week into Men’s Health Month, where they emphasized the benefits of physical activity. One of their suggestions was to intentionally choose a parking space that requires a nice long walk to the destination. Finally, in Germany the focus was on social isolation in older men.

Leading up to Father’s Day

We encourage the men we care for to think about it this week, leading up to Father’s Day – our sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, partners, friends, co-workers – please think about your health and make the changes you know you need to make. The international guidance is to… 1) create a goal, 2) examine your Internet use to make sure it’s healthy, 3) develop healthy habits, 4) engage in physical activity and 5) please make sure your elders are not socially isolated.

At AMS we encourage full use of our healthcare benefits for new health concerns, checkups and follow-ups and also use of our EAP (Employee Assistance Program) benefits for mental health and other types of counseling and assistance free of charge. Please take care of You.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

We’re seeiPride - AMS Fulfillmentng Rainbows!! Everyone knows that June is Pride Month. Unlike some commemorations, Pride is celebrated all month long with events, stories and the rainbow flag flying.

In June we celebrate the many contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community to history, society and cultures worldwide. The reason June is chosen in the US is that the Stonewall Riots took place June 1969. In other countries pride events occur at other times of the year.

History of Pride Month

According to the History website [LINK], the gay rights movement goes back to the early 1900s, when a small number of individuals in the US and Europe created gay and lesbian organizations. One such organization is the Society for Human Rights. It was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago in the 1920s.

After WWII, there were gay and lesbian-positive publications and the demands for the end of discrimination became stronger. From the website we read: “In 1966, for example, members of the Mattachine Society held a “sip-in” protest at Julius, a bar in New York City, where they demanded drinks after announcing that they were gay, in violation of local laws against serving alcohol to gays and lesbians.”

The article goes on, “Despite some progress in the postwar era, basic civil rights were largely denied to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—until one night in June, 1969, when the gay rights movement took a furious step forward with a series of violent riots in New York City.”

Stonewall Riots & the first Parade

Imagine it being against the law to serve alcohol to gays and lesbians. Such a law seems unthinkable today, and we’re grateful for that. Of course the law set the stage for police raids, and a raid occurred on June 28, 1969 that changed the world – the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

The employees and patrons were dragged out of the bar by the police, and some of them fought back. A crowd grew and people gathered in the street where clashes with the police took place. From the article we quote: “The confrontations quickly escalated and sparked six days of protests and violent clashes with the NYPD outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street and throughout the neighborhood. By the time the Stonewall Riots ended on July 2, 1969, the gay rights movement went from being a fringe issue largely ignored by politicians and the media to front-page news worldwide.”

The first Gay Pride parade took place one year later, on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Why pride? The answer is very easy, as LGBTQ+ people were made to feel shame about themselves and their lifestyle. “According to activist Craig Schoonmaker, ‘I authored the word ‘pride’ for gay pride … [my] first thought was ‘Gay Power.’ I didn’t like that, so proposed gay pride. There’s very little chance for people in the world to have power. People did not have power then; even now, we only have some. But anyone can have pride in themselves, and that would make them happier as people, and produce the movement likely to produce change.”

The article goes on to say, “In June 2000, President Bill Clinton officially designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, in recognition of the Stonewall Riots and gay activism throughout the years. A more-inclusive name was chosen in 2009 by President Barack Obama: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.”

What Does LGBTQ+ Stand For?

Before we leave the subject of this important commemorative month, let’s understand the acronym LGBTQ+. The letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, which means ‘questioning’. The plus sign recognizes the additional sexual orientations and gender identities. We hope our readers will enjoy the Pride events during this month.

Finally, we see that this battle for equality and respect is not yet over: “Gay Pride events are nonetheless seen as vital protests against repression and isolation in places such as Serbia, Turkey and Russia, where Pride parades have been met with antigay violence. Even in the United States, a rise in bloodshed, killings and threats at Pride and other gay events and gatherings highlights the oppression the LGBTQ+ community still faces.”

As with so many of the instances of prejudice, discrimination and injustice that we have seen and done battle with, this one still continues on in areas of the world. We look forward to the day when our battles for human freedom and justice are won, and we live in a world where DE&I is no longer needed.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.

AMS FulfillmentBefore we leave the month of May, we need to acknowledge and celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month! JAHM is celebrated across many institutions due to the contributions of Jewish Americans to the arts, sciences, culture and government. This month was first recognized in 2006. It serves as a time to celebrate the many and profound contributions of Jewish Americans in our nation’s history.

The story dates back to when the first known Jewish immigrant, Jacob Barsimson, arrived in New York City in 1654. Around the turn of the 20th century a large wave of immigrants arrived, and the population went from about 80,000 Jewish Americans in 1880 to 1.5 million in 1920.

Today Jewish Americans make up roughly 2.4% of the population and many have settled in New York City. In fact, New York has the second largest Jewish population of any city in the world, behind only Tel Aviv, Israel.

The Profound Contributions

From ajc.org we read the following: “Over the past 370 years, Jewish Americans have given to their communities and this nation as loyal and patriotic citizens, always grateful for the safe harbor that America provided for them. Jewish Americans have served in government and the military, have won Nobel prizes, headed universities and corporations, advanced medicine, created and performed in enduring works of performing and visual art, written great American novels, and become emblems of justice as members of the Supreme Court, and so much more. Perhaps most importantly, American Jews have always pushed America to live up to its promise as a nation that upholds freedom and justice for all.”

Let’s mention a few familiar names: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; composer Irving Berlin; baseball star Hank Greenberg; author Judie Blume; the people’s attorney Louis Brandeis; feminist writer Betty Friedan; educator and human rights advocate Elie Wiesel; poet Emma Lazarus; nurse and humanitarian Lillian Wald; theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel; Ambassador and educator Deborah Lipstadt; Physicist Albert Einstein; inventor Levi Strauss; author Hannah Arendt; comic book creator Stan Lee; artist Barbra Streisand; NASA scientist Judith Resnik; film director Steven Spielberg; pharmacologist Gertrude Elion; manufacturer Julius Rosenwald (Sears & Roebuck); labor union activist Rose Schneiderman; scientist/physician Jonas Salk; Olympian gymnast Aly Raisman; comic book writer Will Eisner; baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax… and we could go on and on. We thank these artists and scientists, scholars and athletes and the many millions more who have brought their minds and talents to America.

The History

It was President George W. Bush who first proclaimed the month on April 20, 2006. He did so in cooperation with Sen. Arlen Specter as well as the South Florida Jewish Community and the Jewish Museum of Florida. Since then, annual proclamations have been made by Presidents Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden.

From Wikipedia we read the following: “The Jewish American Heritage Month Coalition states that, JAHM also enables the exploration of the meaning of religious pluralism, cultural diversity, and participation in American civic culture. May was chosen as the month of Jewish American Heritage Month because of the successful 350th Anniversary Celebration of Jews in America marking the Jewish arrival in New Amsterdam.

“In 2020, the National Museum of American Jewish History successfully pivoted Jewish American Heritage Month to online programming and launched a website with the support of more than 50 organizations around the country, forging ahead even in the era of COVID-19.” Here is a link to that excellent website, and we encourage a visit [LINK].

Appreciation from AMS

Jewish Americans have faced unspeakable discrimination and adversity and yet the people have always persevered. We thank Jewish Americans for the incredible contributions to America and to our lives. We thank the ones who came before, and the future generations who will continue to contribute to America and the world.

Thank You for making America your home and giving so much talent and wisdom to the arts, sciences, government and culture of this country.

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AMS Fulfillment is a Certified B Corporation, dedicated to putting People and Planet before profit. We work to B the Change we wish to see in the world.