Educomp was started by Pat and Dorothy Gregory on June 28, 1982 on Circuit Avenue in a small, 250 square foot store, next to Papa John's Pizza. Initially, the products
offered for sale were Atari Computers, Computer Books, computer peripherals and Atari Games. The first customer was Pat Schofield, also a friend of Pat and Dorothy Gregory.
The first summer Pat ran
the store and the first employee hired was a part time person. Many days there were no sales at all, there were times when closing seemed the wise thing to do.
The first year, Educomp closed on
December 31st, opening for Saturdays only.
The next summer, 1983, Educomp moved to Vineyard Haven in the small back room of the Java Emporium, at 94 Main St. Vineyard Haven. That summer sales
increased and the decision was made to stay open through the winter. While there were still days without any sales, things seemed more promising.
The following year, 1984, Pat started working at
Educomp full time, giving up his teaching position , taking a leave of absence. The decision to go into Office Products along with computer products was made. Betty Holt became the first Educomp full time
employee. In August of 1984, Educomp became a customer of United Stationers, a major distributor of Office Products. United insisted on a commitment of at least $1,000.00 per month, and while there were some early
months where this was difficult, we experienced considerable growth. It was at this time that Dorothy joined Educomp full time and gave up her Nursing career.
1985 was a landmark year with Educomp
continuing to grow and thoughts turned toward a larger store. During this time, Charlotte Ford joined Educomp as a new employee specializing in the computer area. In the fall of 1985 a group approached Pat and Dorothy
about becoming partners in the rebuilding of what was then the Community Services Building at 41 Main Street. The offer was made on the building and accepted by Community Services.
In August of
1986 renovation on the new building started and in January of 1987 Educomp moved into its new quarters. Dorothy oversaw the planning of the new Educomp store front and she brought in professional planners from Detroit,
John Greenburg and Associates. Their design, coupled with the new location which included parking was to be the foundation upon which the new Educomp would grow.
The year 1987 saw Office Products
come of age. While the computer sales were still the driving force, Office Products started to contribute greatly to volume and profits. In the summer of 1987 the decision to add Art Products to the store
1988 dawned as the first year of standard working conditions for Educomp. The location was stable and a new computer lab had been added as well as expanded space in the upstairs offices
was taken. The company has continued to grow.
1989 brought several changes, the greatest of which was the total reliance on a computerized Point of Sale System running under a network from
Alloy. This greatly cut down on the need for a separate bookkeeping position. Hence the bookkeeper became part of the sales force. 1989 was also the year of the great Vineyard business slow down.
Educomp's sales fell off by about 20% and there were several cut backs. Costs were cut significantly. Ironically 1989 has been Educomp's most profitable year.
1990 saw vast differences in the Educomp
structure. Sales recovered from the 1989 low, but did not come back to the 1988 level. Service contract and large accounts became more of a focus for the income side. In the spring of 1990 when the
economy looked the worst the full time staff of Ginny Carbone, Charlotte Turgeon , Pat and Dorothy all took pay cuts of 25%. This led to Ginny taking a new position at the Edgartown National Bank, leaving Educomp
without a full time bookkeeper. Given the economy of the year, the position was not refilled. Then in October of 1990, Charlotte Turgeon left, to leave the Island as well as leaving Educomp. Charlotte
was really the first long term Educomp staff person. She joined Educomp when the company was in a small back office at 94 Main Street, just after we started handling office products. She started at a pay
rate of $6.00 per hour and in 1988 was earning around $30,000.00. She became an experienced computer trouble shooter, becoming a certified repair person from Kaypro and Leading Edge as well as a certified Novell
installater and Alloy NTNX installer. Her presence was sorely missed as Pat picked up the repair and support end. Jill Huminski joined the Educomp staff during 1990 and has been a welcome addition.
Sara Magnuson, a former student of Pat's from West Tisbury joined the staff in late 1990 and took on more time in April of 1991. Sara brought energy and life to the front of the store while learning a
great deal about the office products industry. The year ended on a down note and the Island Economy seemed to hold little hope of improvement in 1991. John Minnehan joined the Educomp staff as an outside sales person
concentrating on the Edgartown area.
1991 started with a busy January and with lower costs of operation Educomp showed a small profit for the first quarter. However, April once again caused us to
go to the bank and borrow $20,000 to tide us over.
In the summer of 1991 Chris Brown worked one day a week and Tim Gregory worked 2 or 3 days each week depending on the demand. The month of
July set a record for the number of transactions, averaging over 90 per day. Much of this has been fueled by the increased art department which tends to draw people to the store for more casual purchases.
Educomp also won a bid to supply the town of Chilmark with four computers in August. Educomp upgraded its in house computer system from an Alloy 286 based multi user system to a Novell server based network. The in
house system moved up to using a 386 level computer as the server and in general created more opportunity for efficient software implementation. The year 1991 ended with sales a tiny bit above 1990. This was
realized with an extraordinary December 31st. This may have been caused by some businesses wishing to get certain purchases into the 1991 tax year.
A constant goal of the company has been to
deliver high quality products quickly and efficiently to its customers. A loyal base of over 800 customers has come into being and there are reasons for optimism in the future.
Mendenhall joined the staff at Educomp Tuesday October 8,1991. He joined in the Thursday night basketball league shortly after that.
Lauri McNamara joined the staff at Educomp on Monday
April 6, 1992, Pat's 47th!! birthday.
The year 1992 ended on a strong sales note, with sales climbing back to almost $600,000 and consulting/repair income from computers going over $100,000.00. The
year's largest sale was to the Town of Chilmark and it seemed to mark the coming of age of Educomp in terms of local government purchasing computer hardware. It could be a good sign for the future. The
computer and Art Departments led the sales increase column, with office supplies falling, probably due to the continuing recession, but also off Island super stores. Ironically, when item to item comparisons are
made, it is probably less than a 10% overall cost differential between a super store and ourselves.
Brad is taking classes to become a CNE and Sara has started some art classes. Lauri McNamara
finished up at the end of 1992 and is currently expecting a baby in 1993. Brad's contribution to Educomp this year has enabled much of the consulting and computer sales to fluorish. He has been very active
in setting up the School District's Wide Area Network. Sara was promoted to assistant manager working closely with Dorothy in the front of the store.
1992 seemed to mark a turning point in the
Island's coming to terms with its premier computer supplier. 1992 saw increased sales again for the third consecutive year, the computer repair department picked up considerably and the arts supply division
showed improvement. Office supply sales slipped a little, showing the slow economy and the increased presence of large super stores on the Cape.
1993 started with a flurry as the first of the year is a busy
period of Educomp. Lauri McNamara resigned and is expecting a baby later this year. In March of 1993, Laurie Wray joined the staff of Educomp. Laurie is working the front of the store as well as recieving
freight and doing all the things we do here. Laurie also brings a computer user background which has proven helpful at Educomp. Sara Magnuson took the first Edu-cation of the year to California, and Pat and
Dorothy are planning the next Edu-cation . On July 6, 1993, Rachel York joined Educomp in anticipation of Sara's leaving on July 23rd. Sara is leaving to become married and move off Island. Rachel
started during the hottest days of the year when temperatures were ranging in the 100s. She is primarily working in the store front as well as helping to receive freight and deliveries. Shannon Gregory joined
staff in June of '93 after workin in Los Angeles for a couple years.
The first Edu-baby was born 12/20/93 Ashleigh Mary Dexter (Sara Magnuson is the mom ).
1994 started with the entry of
two new staff people, April Governo and Philomena Ferro. April is working the front of the store primarily while Ena is doing bookkeeping work as well as front of store. They join an Edu Staff which had Shannon
Gregory, Brad Mendenhall, and Laurie Wray as well as Pat and Dorothy.
The summer of 1994 introduced Edu Copy, a new enterprise which started as a copy center in the basement of Educomp. Edu Copy
was started with the able assistance of Jon Mone and Tim Gregory. It's success or failure largely rests with their ambition.
The year of 1994 was the busiest and most profitable in the history of
the company. The year ended with Brad Mendenhall, Laurie (Wray) Turney, April Governo, Pat and Dorothy, and Ena Ferro as staff. Sara Magnuson stopped by to fill in during the early days of 1995 as she spent time
on the Island prior to joining her husband in the navy.
The spring of 1995 started off with a boom. Sales increased, and the Educomp staff grew by three new people, Rich Hammond , Mary Follas and
Richie Yuen. Rich is a longtime acquaintance of the Gregory=s, having been introduced by Sally
Foltz, a 1992 staff person at Educomp. Mary joined Educomp from the Martha=s Vineyard National
Bank, as it was assimilated into the Compass Bank. Mary, a former soccer referee, brings much knowledge of the banking world to Educomp. Rich was a manager of many bus drivers in another position.
Richie Yuen comes with off Island experience having worked at Staple=s previously. Educomp
also employed its first consultant, Nedra Wilson, to help set up the Business Center.
During the last week of April, Hollywood came to Educomp in the form of the movie Sabrina with Harrison Ford and
Julia Ormond admiring the esterior of Educomp, which had been made to look abandoned.
On 11/11/95 Laurie Turney had a baby boy, Joseph, to be called JT. Laurie took a maternity leave starting one
week before she delivered the baby.
The year 1996 proved to be the greatest year in volume of charges, again above $ 1,000,000, proving that John Nelson, a friend of Pat and Dorothy=s was correct when he predicted that same thing. The increase in sales and consulting was accompanied by increases
in expenses however, and this resulted in lower than needed profits. As the year drew to a close Rich Hammond had left Educomp to manage the Red Cat Restaurant and computer staff fell to just Brad and Pat.
This caused some stress in the computer division when deadlines were difficult to meet. The year drew to a close with several systems awaiting delivery and Brad taking some deserved time off.
Sara Magnuson Dexter provided Educomp with another Edu Baby, Michael Dexter who arrived in December of 1996. Sara currently is the record holder for number of children born while at Educomp. Sara Hopp joined
the summer and vacation Educomp staff, providing the first family working relationship at Educomp. Sara is Mary Follas= daughter and is a student at college as well as a part time Educomp staffer. The Educomp staff was increased by one with the arrival of Caroline O=Callahan as an upstairs person, Caroline, who grew up in England became the second staff person to come from Europe, Ena
Ferro being the first. Ena=s family also visited from Ireland, and the whole Island was
treated to her Mother Meg. Tim Gregory took the first Educomp leave of absence when he took a year off to travel in Europe. Dorothy, in an unusual move decided to rearrange the store.
Year 1997 started with
a bang as the computer end of the business boomed following several generally solid years for Vineyard businesses. Several of Educomp=s larger customers were forced into upgrades to Windows 95 or Novell version 3 or 4. In March of 1997 Brian Athearn joined the staff of Educomp, becoming the second of
Pat=s West Tisbury students to work at Educomp. In May of 1997 Dean Moon, formerly with the
Bunch of Gapes bookstore joined Educomp to oversee the color copy and internet/design parts of Educomp=s business. Educomp also increased its own internet presence with the addition of a high speed radio line connected to Vineyard.net. The year 1997 was a record breaking
year for Educomp. Once again we broke the $ 1,000,000 mark in total revenues and seem poised to continue the growth cycle.
The New Year of 1998 was marked by the death of a former Educomp
staff member=s brother. Ryan Mone, the brother of Jonathon Mone died in an automobile
accident. Everyone at Educomp was saddened as was the whole Island.
As the year ended, Sara Magnuson Dexter and Laurie Wray Turney rejoined Educomp for part time work, Sara was
visiting from California and Laurie worked part time through February of 1998 when she took off to have another baby.
Year 1998 started with the usual very busy January. A new staff member, Trish
Ing joined Educomp in February as we started some more changes in staff placement. Ena moved downstairs as an experiment in organization, Brad developed the beta version of the Edubilling package. Dean is
also scheduled to move downstairs. In March of 1998, Brandy Lewis joined the staff at Educomp, and Brian Athearn became engaged. Brandy and Trish worked with Mary Follas upstairs to create the strongest front of
the store staff Educomp has had to date. Liz Andersen and Erika Coynes joined Educomp as part time staff.
Year 1998 ended as the busiest year of Educomp history and also signaled a change in the
direction of the company. For the first time gross profits from the service end of the business outstripped the sales profits (though sales profits were at a historic high). Product sales also passed the $
1,000,000.00 mark for the first time in history. This move is probably a positive one, as the internet has made products more widely available at lower prices, as well as the success of the Super Stores, Staples,
CompUsa etc. None of these sources offer services such as consulting, setup, repair and so on. 1998 also marked the inaugural of Educomp taking a presence on internet with a sales site of MV specific
items. While it was a modest venture, one CD did sell significantly. We also have created a number of new web sites and are setting up customers with high speed access to the internet. Educomp has
worked closely with Vineyard.Net as a partner in the internet technology. Brad Mendenhall continued to head up the network setup and support of Educomp customers. Many upgrades were started in late 1998 as a
result of worries concerning y2k problems.
Year 1999 started with new staff and the creation of a full time position in the downstairs. Initially this was filled by Abbe Burt. In early April
Hillary Seaton joined Educomp, working the front of the store and generally learning the operation. Abbe Burt left in early April and Brandy filled in working partly up and partly downstairs. Brain Athearn
eloped and married in March. Leslie Robinson joined Educomp, taking the position of phone coordinator and tech support person downstairs. Alex Blakesley, a student, joined Educomp parttime in the spring of
1999, working full time in the summer of 1999. The first half of 1999 proved to be the busiest ever in terms of sales and services. The staff was hard pressed to meet customers demands. For the first
time ever, new customers were told there would be a week or more delay in servicing their products.
came to a close as a record year for both services and profits at Educomp. Staff had grown to 11 and David Merna joined the technical staff bringing a high level of Macintosh experience to the tech staff.
Total revenues for the year approached $ 2,000,000.00. As the year drew to a close, Y2k preparations engulfed the staff and we patched, tested and generally saw to it that the new millenium got off to a good
Year 2000 came in with a fast start, following the Y2k preparations, there were a number of upgrades. For the first time Educomp faced a staffing shortage when two technicians left to try
their hands as independent entrepreneurs. Brian Athearn and Dean Moon left to work with their own enterprises. They continue to work with Educomp in some endeavors and Benoit Baldwin joined the Educomp staff in March of
2000. Brad Mendenhall continued to be the senior technology coordinator and led the Educomp team through a major installation at the Edgartown National Bank during the winter and spring of the year. Tim Gregory stepped
in and handled web design. Educomp again set sales records and staff increased to eleven during the summer. Todd Biller joined Educomp in a sales position during the year. Staffing remained steady and Brandie Lewis
became the new downstairs technical coordinator and telephone manager. Vineyard.net, the ISP for whom Educomp is a support facility was bought out by Broadband 2 Wireless, a Boston based dot com startup. Unfortunately
BB2W went bankrupt , Vineyard.net was bought back in 2001 by the original owners, Simson Grafinkle, Eric Bates and Kathy Retmeier.
The year 2001 started with Educomp poised to deliver superior service due to a stable
and knowledgeable staff.
We are also sad to report that Betty Holt, a staff person at Educomp (the third employee ever) and long time personal friend passed away, losing a long battle with cancer.
In June Corey
Turner joined the staff as a summer technical support person. He fell into place immediately as he had done on site technical work on the Vineyard previously. We did more work for individuals than previously as Adelphia
started installing cable modems and customers needed routers from Educomp to share across the network.