Our History

A Story 80+ Years in the Making

On August 2, 1934, three innovative gentlemen joined together to file a Certificate of Incorporation on behalf of an organization that would later become the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service.

E&I's History

Together, George Frank, Charles Wilmot, and E.E. Thompson created what would one day become the premier purchasing organization for education.

The legacy of these three leaders remains at the core of everything we do. Our member-driven approach has always been the core of our success – and we’ve come a long way since 1934.
This is thanks in part to the visionary leaders who have advanced E&I’s mission throughout the decades.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds!

1934 – 1939

George Frank, Charles Wilmot, and E.E. Thompson file a Certification of Incorporation for an organization that will later become E&I Cooperative Services. The cooperative purchasing concept is first tested within the Educational Buyers Association (EBA). The first members of E&I pay $5 each for a share of stock, and E&I’s headquarters is established in New York City.

1944 – 1947

Our contracts include office and filing supplies, food, typewriter ribbons, lab supplies, floor wax, and other commodities. At the end of WWII, member purchases total $1 million and membership reaches 600. EBA opens its membership to the entire country and is renamed the National Association of Educational Buyers (NAEB).

1952 – 1969

The E&I staff grows to 58 people, including our first Contract Representatives, our Board of Directors increases to 9 members, and our first Annual Report is released. E&I’s Member Service department is established in our national office, and member purchases reach $19.6 million by 1969.

1976 – 1989

E&I and NAEB reach an agreement on a common, broader criteria for membership eligibility. Member purchases quickly climb to $50 million, and our offices relocate to Hauppauge, NY.

1991 – 2005

The E&I staff grows to more than 200 employees and a new mission statement is formed. Purchases reach $366 million, with $866k returned to members as patronage and over $1 million as COE. Our offices move to Jericho, NY in 2005.

2007 – 2019

E&I enters a new age, revamping our website to include more thorough supplier information and E&I news, and we launch our Competitive Bid program. We expand into the K-12 industry and expand our contract category offerings. As of 2019, more than 5,000 members save $200 million annually by using E&I contracts.


E&I responds to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic by retooling its portfolio to include quick-to-market contracts for PPE supplies, contract tracing solutions, and more. Eric Frank is named CEO and E&I enters its Next Chapter.

2021 – Present

With a growing contract portfolio, services such as Strategic Spend Assessments, and the launch of a customizable selection of eProcurement solutions, E&I expands its value to our membership as a complete procurement partner to help institutions optimize their education dollars. Member purchases reach $2.6 billion, and membership surpasses 5,800.


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