The Full History of Edu Comp

Edu Comp's Humble Beginnings

Edu Comp was started on June 28, 1982 in a 250-square-foot store next to Papa John's Pizza on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. Initially, the products offered for sale were Atari computers, computer books, computer peripherals and Atari games. The first customer was Pat Schofield, 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, Edu Comp closed on Dec. 31, and through the winter and spring was open Saturdays only.

The Move to Vineyard Haven

In the summer of 1983, Edu Comp moved into the small back room of what is now the Java Emporium at 94 Main Street, 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.

 

In 1984, Pat started working at Edu Comp full-time, taking a leave of absence from his teaching post at the West Tisbury School. The decision to go into office products along with computer products was made, and Betty Holt became the first full-time Edu Comp employee.

Another Move Brings New Products

In August of 1984, Edu Comp became a customer of United Stationers, a major distributor of office products. United insisted on a commitment of at least $1,000 per month, and while there were some early months when this was difficult, the store 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 Edu Comp continuing to grow, and thoughts turned toward a larger store. During this time, Charlotte Ford joined Edu Comp 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. An offer was made on the building and accepted by Community Services.

 

In August of 1986, renovation on the new building started, and Edu Comp moved into its new quarters in January 1987. Dorothy oversaw the planning of the new Edu Comp storefront, bringing in professional planners from Detroit, John Greenburg and Associates. Their design, coupled with the new location which included parking, was the foundation upon which the new Edu Comp would grow.

 

While the computer sales were still the driving force in 1987, office products started to contribute greatly to volume and profits. In the summer of 1987 the decision to add art products to the store was made.

The Turn to Digital and Struggles with Economy

1988 dawned as the first year of standard working conditions for Edu Comp. The location was stable, a new computer lab had been added and 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. Edu Comp's sales fell off by about 20% and there were several cutbacks. Costs were cut significantly. Ironically, 1989 was Edu Comp's most profitable year to date.

 

1990 saw vast differences in the Edu Comp structure. Sales recovered from the 1989 low, but did not come back to the 1988 level. Service contracts 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 Edu Comp without a full-time bookkeeper. Given the economy of the year, the position was not refilled. Then in October of 1990, Charlotte Turgeon left the Island and ended her career with Edu Comp. Charlotte was really the first long-term Edu Comp staff person. She started at a pay rate of $6 per hour and in 1988 was earning around $30,000. She became an experienced computer trouble shooter, becoming a certified repair person for Kaypro and Leading Edge systems as well as a certified Novell installer and Alloy NTNX installer. Her presence was sorely missed as Pat picked up the repair and support end. Jill Huminski joined the Edu Comp staff during 1990 and proved 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 Edu Comp staff as an outside sales person concentrating on the Edgartown area.

Moving Forward

 1991 started with a busy January, and with lower costs of operation Edu Comp showed a small profit for the first quarter. However, April once again sent the owners to the bank to borrow $20,000 to tide the business over.

 

In the summer of 1991, Chris Brown worked one day a week and Tim Gregory worked two or three 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 was fueled by the expanded art department, which tended to draw people to the store for more casual purchases. Edu Comp also won a bid to supply the town of Chilmark with four computers that August. Edu Comp 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 sales day on Dec. 31. This may have been caused by some businesses wishing to get certain purchases into the 1991 tax year.

 

Brad Mendenhall joined the staff at Edu Comp Tuesday Oct. 8,1991. He joined in the Thursday night basketball league shortly after that.

 

Noted Pat at the close of 1991: “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.”

Martha's Vineyard Community Ties

 Lauri McNamara joined the staff at Edu Comp 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 Edu Comp in terms of local governments purchasing computer hardware. 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 took classes to become a CNE and Sara started some art classes. Lauri McNamara left Edu Comp at the end of 1992, expecting a baby in 1993. Noted Pat: “Brad's contribution to Edu Comp this year has enabled much of the consulting and computer sales to flourish. 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 Edu Comp as its premier computer supplier. 1992 saw increased sales 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 effects of a slow economy and the increased presence of large super stores on the Cape.

Edu Comp's Yearly Transitions

1993 started with a flurry. In March of 1993, Laurie Wray joined the staff of Edu Comp, working the front of the store as well as receiving freight and putting her computer background to good use. 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 Edu Comp in anticipation of Sara's leaving on July 23. Sara left to become married and move off-Island. Rachel started during the hottest days of the year when temperatures were ranging in the 100s, working in the store front as well as helping to receive freight and deliveries. Shannon Gregory joined staff in June of 1993 after working in Los Angeles for a couple of years.

 

The first Edu-baby, Ashleigh Mary Dexter, daughter of Sara Magnuson, was born Dec. 20, 1993.

 

1994 started with the entry of two new staff people, April Governo and Philomena Ferro. April was working the front of the store primarily while Ena did 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.

Welcome to Edu Copy: Edu Comp's New Business Center

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.

 

The year 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 Gregory 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 Edu Comp staff grew by three new people, Rich Hammond, Mary Follas and Richie Yuen. Rich was a longtime acquaintance of the Gregorys, having been introduced by Sally Foltz, a 1992 staff person at Educomp. Mary joined Edu Comp from the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank, as it was assimilated into the Compass Bank. Mary, a former soccer referee, brought her knowledge of the banking world to Edu Comp. Rich was a manager of many bus drivers in another position. Richie Yuen brought his off-Island experience, having worked at Staple’s previously. Edu Comp also employed its first consultant, Nedra Wilson, to help set up the new Business Center.

Breaking the Million Mark

During the last week of April, Hollywood came to Edu Comp in the form of the movie Sabrina, with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond admiring the exterior of Edu Comp, which had been made to look abandoned.

 

On Nov. 11, 1995, 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, just as John Nelson, a friend of Pat and Dorothy’s, had predicted. 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 Edu Comp to manage the Red Cat Restaurant and the 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 Edu Comp with another Edu-baby, Michael Dexter, who arrived in December of 1996. Sara Hopp joined the summer and vacation Edu Comp staff, providing the first family working relationship at Edu Comp. Sara is Mary Follas’s daughter and a student at college as well as a part-time Edu Comp staffer. The Edu Comp staff 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 Edu Comp leave of absence when he took a year off to travel in Europe. Dorothy, in an unusual move, decided to rearrange the store.

Sales Continue to Rise

The year 1997 started with a bang as the computer end of the business boomed following several generally solid years for Vineyard businesses. Several of Edu Comp’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 Edu Comp, becoming the second of Pat’s West Tisbury students to work at Edu Comp. In May of 1997 Dean Moon, formerly with the Bunch of Grapes bookstore, joined Edu Comp to oversee the color copy and internet/design aspects of Edu Comp’s business. Edu Comp also increased its own internet presence with the addition of a high-speed radio line connected to Vineyard.net. 1997 was a record-breaking year for Edu Comp. Once again the business broke the $ 1,000,000 mark in total revenues and seem poised to continue the growth cycle.

 

1998 was marked by the death of a former Edu Comp staff member’s brother when Ryan Mone, the brother of Jonathon Mone, died in an automobile accident. Everyone at Edu Comp was saddened, as was the whole Island.

 

As the year ended, Sara Magnuson Dexter and Laurie Wray Turney rejoined Edu Comp 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.

Edu Comp's Staffing Shuffle and Internet Presence

1998 started with the usual busy January. A new staff member, Trish Ing, joined Edu Comp in February as a part of several changes in staff placement. Ena moved downstairs as an experiment in organization, and Brad developed the beta version of the Edubilling package. Dean was also scheduled to move downstairs. In March of 1998, Brandy Lewis joined the staff at Edu Comp, and Brian Athearn became engaged. Brandy and Trish worked with Mary Follas upstairs to create the strongest front of the store staff yet for Edu Comp. Liz Andersen and Erika Coynes joined Edu Comp as part-time staff.

 

1998 ended as the busiest year in Edu Comp 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, even though sales profits were at a historic high. Product sales also passed the $1,000,000 mark for the first time in history. 1998 also marked the inaugural of Edu Comp taking a presence on the internet with a sales site of Vineyard-specific items. While it was a modest venture, one CD did sell significantly. Edu Comp also created a number of new web sites and set up customers with high-speed access to the internet, working closely with Vineyard.Net as a partner in the internet technology. Brad Mendenhall continued to head up the network setup and support of Edu Comp customers. Many upgrades were started in late 1998 as a result of worries concerning y2k problems.

The Great Y2K Scare

1999 started with new staff and the creation of a full-time position downstairs. Initially this was filled by Abbe Burt. In early April, Hillary Seaton joined Edu Comp, 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. Brian Athearn eloped and married in March. Leslie Robinson joined Edu Comp, taking the position of phone coordinator and tech support person downstairs. Alex Blakesley, a student, joined Edu Comp part-time in the spring of 1999, working full-time that summer. The first half of 1999 proved to be the busiest ever in terms of sales and service, and the staff was hard pressed to meet customer demands. For the first time ever, new customers were told there would be a week or more delay in servicing their products.

 

1999 came to a close as a record year for both services and profits at Edu Comp. Staff had grown to 11 and David Merna joined the technical staff, bringing a high level of Macintosh experience. As the year drew to a close, y2k preparations engulfed the staff and Edu Comp patched, tested and generally saw to it that the new millenium got off to a good start.

More Transitions for Edu Comp

Year 2000 came in with a fast start, and following the y2k preparations, there were a number of upgrades. For the first time Edu Comp faced a staffing shortage when two technicians, Brian Athearn and Dean Moon, left to try their hands as independent entrepreneurs. Benoit Baldwin joined the Edu Comp staff in March of 2000. Brad Mendenhall continued to be the senior technology coordinator and led the Edu Comp 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. Edu Comp again set sales records and staff increased to 11 during the summer. Todd Biller joined Edu Comp 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 Edu Comp is a support facility, was bought out by Broadband 2 Wireless, a Boston-based dot-com startup. Unfortunately, BB2W went bankrupt, and Vineyard.net was bought back in 2001 by the original owners, Simson Garfinkle, Eric Bates and Kathy Retmeier.

 

2001 started with Edu Comp poised to deliver superior service due to a stable and knowledgeable staff. Benoit Baldwin, a longtime Vineyard resident, joined the technical staff to expand Edu Comp’s ranks to three full-time techs. Tim Gregory left to complete his engineering degree at Tufts.

 

The Educomp family was saddened when Betty Holt, a staff person at Educomp (the third employee ever) and longtime 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. Edu Comp did more work for individuals than previously as Adelphia started installing cable modems and customers needed routers from Edu Comp to share service across their networks.

Edu Comp's Local Business Support Continues

The huge story of 2001 was the destruction of Edu Comp’s neighbor, the Tisbury Inn, in a huge fire on the night of Dec. 14. The Inn was completely destroyed, thankfully with no injuries or loss of life. Sherman and Susan Goldstein, owners of the Inn, moved their offices into the lower level of Edu Comp and joined the Edu Comp technicians for coffee every day (actually, the Goldsteins provided the coffee!).

 

2001 closed out as the most profitable year in the history of Edu Comp. Income continued to be generated from expanded on-site services; customers tended to be the larger Vineyard businesses, including the Edgartown National Bank, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the towns of Chilmark and West Tisbury as well as Dukes County.

 

In early 2002, Edu Comp received the largest single order for computers in its history, agreeing to supply the Edgartown National Bank with upwards of 60 new systems and servers. Edu Comp continued its partnership with Vineyard.net, signing the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the Edgartown National Bank up for T1 service. Brad Mendenhall, chief technical person at Edu Comp, saw his staff continue to grow. The walk-in traffic in the front of the store likewise continued to increase. Tim Gregory rejoined Edu Comp as a full-time tech, bringing the tech staff to four full-time outgoing techs.

Edu Comp Helps Rebuild the Mansion House

As 2002 played out, Sara Magnuson rejoined Edu Comp in June and Jack Mayhew joined the staff when the Computer Lab decided to drop back from on-site computer repairs. Jack brought several years of Vineyard Computer experience as well as a wonderful attitude formed over several years in the field. This expanded the full-time outgoing tech staff to five, an all-time high.

 

2003 brought yet another level of business to Edu Comp. Owners of the Mansion House, Susan and Sherman Goldstein, with the support of the Small Business Agency via Congressman Delahunt's office, borrowed a significant amount of money and rebuilt a magnificent hotel. It is now the centerpiece of Vineyard Haven and home of an integrated computer systems combining programs to manage Zephrus restaurant, the reservation and billing of the hotel, and programs to run the spa and health club. The wiring, installation and cabling of this took much of Edu Comp's tech time and effort. Edu Comp also took on the management of the computer systems of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, the Wampanoag Tribe and the towns of West Tisbury and Chilmark. Edu Comp also became an authorized dealer for POSIM, a point of sale inventory program for small businesses as well as for Edu Comp itself.

 

In short, 2003 continued as a growth time for the enterprise. Allen Rongone became part of the Edu Comp staff as a technician. In late 2003, Heidi Feldman joined Edu Comp to work as a downstairs coordinator as well as a software consulting person and trainer. Hillary Seaton left Edu Comp to move off-Island. Trish Ing and Mary Follas continued to oversee much of the retail activity with Dorothy. The front of the store continued to grow and inventory management was tightened with the continued understanding and use of POSIM. Sara Magnuson continues to work closesly with Dorothy adding to the growing Art Department.

Breaking 2 Million

2004 found Edu Comp in the position of opening with a stable staff. In the late spring, Brandie Lewis left to pursue other work. After the summer she moved to Arizona to try her hand in the wider world. Brandie worked at Edu Comp for over five years and grew to be an important and knowledgeable staff person. She will be missed. There was some concern that sales would appear to have fallen because of the comparison with the large Mansion House installation of the previous year, however, that did not appear to be the case, as many companies needed to upgrade systems and the excellent work of the staff seemed to bring in more business.

 

In April of 2004 former staff person Shannon Gregory married Dan Carbon, son of former staff person Ginny Carbon in a delightful ceremony at the Old Parsonage in West Tisbury. They moved to Porto, Portugal where Shannon taught and Dan worked with the Graham Family of Port wines as a marketing executive.

 

In October of 2004, after approximately 12 years away from Edu Comp, Jill Huminsky rejoined the staff. In the manner of Sara Magnuson Dexter, she becomes a returning staff person and we are delighted to have her back again. In December of 2004 Len Bernstein joined the Edu Comp staff.

 

The final numbers for year 2004 found Edu Comp breaking through a new barrier, the $ 2,000,000 figure in gross revenues represented a new high. In April of 2005 Heidi Feldman left Edu Comp and Sarah Lynne Codding joined in the downstairs staff. Tim Gregory, former Edu Comp staff person joined the Indy Mac bank technical staff outside of Los Angeles.

More Growth in Staff and Sales

The final sales figures for 2005 found a slight drop in the computer end of the business. Consulting fell and sales dropped a little. This was unusual and cause for some concern in the computer end of the business. Allen Rongone left, while Andy Braillard and Kevin Nagle joined Edu Comp. Kevin moved from a consulting basis to more regular time and ran the Edu Comp phone division. Also joining Edu Comp this year in the computer coordinating department are Klara Moseman and Sarah Codding. Sarah came form the corporate off island world, leaving Houghton Mifflin to move to the Island. (Historical note, Sarah’s mother Patty Codding once worked with Dorothy in the medical world of MV Hospital when Dorothy worked for Stuart Kendall and Patty worked for Susan McCoy). Klara joins Edu Comp as our primary contact person, she was working with a local podiatrist, Michelle Segal. (Historical note: Pat met Klara’s husband before she did, as George was a soccer coach several years earlier).

 

The upstairs retail section of Edu Comp showed growth, with Office Products and Craft Supplies showing solid growth, and Art Products at a slower rate. These numbers could not have been attained without the solid contributions of Trish Ing and Sara Dexter, each of whom took on more ordering responsibilities in those areas. Total sales of service, consulting, repair and sales came in at $1,992,246.25, a still considerable number and the second best in the history of Edu Comp. There is also sad news to report, during this past year Charlotte Ford Turgeon passed away. Charlotte was the first Edu Comp technical person outside of Pat, and really instrumental in shaping Edu Comp to be the type of service organization it has since become. When Charlotte joined Edu Comp she really took a career chance, as she had a secure position with the Edgartown National Bank. It would not be an exaggeration to say that without Charlotte Edu Comp would not have grown in such a successful manner.

Edu Comp Continues to Grow

Year end 2005 brought Edu Comp to another successful, though not record breaking year. Sales were the second highest in history and profits were acceptable. Staffing changes saw Allen Rongone leave, while Kevin Nagle joined on a more full time basis bringing Edu Comp phone systems more into the main stream of our work. Another notable occasion was the supplying of the Point of Sale software POSIM, Macintosh version, for the Beadniks franchise. We set up the local franchise as well as the Sarasota Beadniks.

 

Goals for the year 2006 included looking at system wide management software, continuing to grow our cartridge program, remaining in close touch with our customers and responding in ever more efficient ways to our service customers. In our retail operation we aimed to continue to work our inventory program and look at new programs for walk in customers.

 

In March of 2006 Ali Peterson joined Edu Comp and will be working in the upstairs retail environment.

 

Year 2006 closed as a record year, meeting several of our goals and in particular developing relationships with many larger customers, notably the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital which has in excess of 150 workstations and users. Edu Comp also became the provider for the POS system POSIM for Beadniks on a national level. We have currently installed seven systems, two in Florida, one in Pennsylvania, Chicago, Denver, Santa Monica and one in Vineyard Haven.

Edu Comp Becomes an Apple Certified Repair Center

In March of 2007 Carol Clark joined Edu Comp and will be working both up and downstairs in retail and tech coordination. In November of 2007 Edu Comp was approved by Apple as a certified repair location to do warranty repairs.

 

The year 2007 ended once again as a record year for Edu Comp.  Gross income was over $ 2.2 million.  Additionally in early 2008 three new staff members joined Edu Comp: Art Nelson, Maury de Geofroy and Daphne Hickman.  In early 2008 Edu Comp held some planning summits and drew up a list of goals for the year.  Daphne worked the retail store while Art and Maury joined on as technicians, Maury also brought some art experience to Edu Comp and he has worked both ends of the business.

The National Recession

The year 2008 started out with a bang and Edu Comp once again showed growth in Gross income, getting to a new record level of  $2.36 million.  However, in the last half of the year, the storm clouds of recession started to appear and product sales dropped from the previous year.  In 2008 Edu Comp installed an outdoor web camera to track the progress of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.  At the end of 2008 the Hospital's roof was being installed and the outline of the building was apparent, with the hopeful move-in-date in spring of 2010. Nationally the country slipped into recession and the nation elected its first African American President, Barak Hussein Obama. 

 

The year 2009 started very slowly.  Nationally a recession was declared to have started in 2008, and Edu Comp reflected this in our first quarter.  In the second quarter a stimulus bill passed in Congress and we received some orders from municipalities and government agencies out of that money to help us start to climb out of our declining revenues.  Also, in the summer of 2009 Taylor Stone and Ashleigh Dexter joined the Edu Comp staff.  Ashleigh is mentioned above in the history as the first Edu-Baby.  In April of 2009 Eric Bates left Vineyard.net and joined the Edu Comp staff bringing the downstairs staff to a total of ten people.   As the year moved forward the national recession was confirmed and Edu Comp was not spared.  For the first time cost of living raises were pushed back until after summer.  The summer was reasonably good and Cost of Living raises were issued in September.  The year closed with Edu Comp sales and profits mildly lower, but compared to many others in the economy we did fairly well.  As 2010 approaches we are moderately optimistic the recession may be ending.

Edu Comp Fights through the Recession

2010 brought relief from the recession.  Indeed, Edu Comp, did a great deal of work for some of our local government entities, which was funded by federal stimulus funds.  We were happy to be stimulated.  2010 also saw Art Nelson and Maury de Geofroy leave Edu Comp and we both miss them and are thankful for their contributions to us.  Jay Phillips joined us from a hardware and circuit board background.  He quickly took courses and became Apple certified for warranty repairs from Apple, boosting our Apple certified staff by 100%.  We also saw Apple grow in relation to our overall computer hardware sales.  The year 2010 will go down as a record year for Edu Comp revenues.  

 

The big staff news of the year was the return to the Vineyard of Shannon Gregory Carbon and Dan Carbon.  Dan joined Edu Comp in April and is taking on many of the day to day tasks of Pat.  They also (of course), brought the Edu Comp Grandchildren, Jack and Bess Carbon back to the Vineyard.  This brought great joy to Pat & Dorothy and a fresher management style to Edu Comp. 

 

Joining Edu Comp in late 2010 is Jordan Peterson, brother to earlier Edu Comp staffer Allie Peterson.  Jordan was immediately greeted with a snow shovel on the day of the first snow and has become an important cog in our upstairs sales floor. 

 

As 2010 draws to a close we are once again reminded of how fortunate Educomp has been to receive the support of so many local customers over these 28 years.  Thank you one and all.

Continuing Onward and Upward

It also brought sudden and great sadness with the illness and subsequent passing away of Mary Follas, our long time accounting and all around organization person at Edu Comp.  Mary was Edu Comp employee number five, joining Edu Comp after heading up accounting operations at the Martha’s Vineyard National Bank.  She brought a professional approach to Edu Comp’s accounting operation as well as a gentle, soft demeanor that helped all of us grow as a company and people.  During Mary’s time at Edu Comp, her daughter Sara Hopp worked with us and we came to know them as a family as well as staff people.  Mary would have retired in one year and we miss her greatly.

 

In spite of the sadness we continue to experience growth, especially in our Macintosh computer sales.  The state of Massachusetts has a sales tax holiday in mid August.  Our one day sales record was shattered as we sold over $30,000.00 of product in one day, the majority of that being Apple related product.  Edu Comp customers saved in the range of $1,500.00 with the sales tax holiday.  Our previous year, the sales on that day were less than $15,000.00.

iPad Struggles and Signs for the Future

The year 2012 showed a slowdown in sales, particularly PC sales as the industry shifted to tablets, led by Apple’s iPad.  Edu Comp suffered, as Apple did not allow the iPads to go through the Authorized reseller channel.  That would change in 2013, but negatively impacted 2012.  While the slowdown was distressing we continued to add new customers.

 

Edu Comp also welcomed Ali Peterson back again to take charge of the accounting desk.  She joined a very talented team running the front of the store, including Sara Dexter, Trish Ing, Jordan Peterson, Taylor Stone and Richie Yuen.  These are all familiar names to Edu Comp customers.  Meanwhile the downstairs at Edu Comp continued to deliver services and maintain a strong presence with customers and local area networks. 

 

The year ended with a very strong December, computer sales jumped 50% from December of 2011.  This would prove to be a good sign, giving a jump-start to 2013.

Another Apple Boost

2013 roared in and continued to see Edu Comp sales and revenues increase at a faster rate than we had seen in many years.  Much of this was fueled by Apple (finally) allowing us to sell iPads, and a long time competitor closing its doors.  The year would show record sales, for the first time surpassing $2.5 million with revenue sales increasing by 16% and a final total exceeding $2.6 million.  At the end of 2013 Molly Conole joined Edu Comp, travelling from Florida back to Martha’s Vineyard.

 

We also sadly bid adieu to Andy Braillard, Sara Dexter, and Taylor Stone.  Andy moved over to join former Edu Comp staffer Lennie Bernstein at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, while Sara became the office manager for Morning Glory Farms and Taylor moved to Burlington, VT.

 

The Macintosh part of our business flourished, Jordan Peterson and Mark Esparini became certified Macintosh technicians and Brad Anastasia worked with Jordan in the front of the store to provide more computer expertise in our storefront.

 

Brad Mendenhall continued to head up our technical staff, welcoming Mike Conroy to the team.  Ali Peterson moved downstairs taking over the technical coordinator desk as well as the accounting functions.  Dan Carbon continued to take on more managerial tasks with Pat working fewer hours.