About Merrimac Plus

The company started in 1987, when the publisher of the weekly newspaper in the Brooklyn, NY neighborhood where Tom and Kate Vachon lived at the time asked Tom to help them rescue their mailing list from a dying computer. Personal computers were becoming affordable for small businesses, but there was little software available to help owners automate their operations in a way that was specific to their needs. After he successfully rescued the circulation data, the newspaper owners asked Tom to develop a comprehensive management system for their operation. Drawing on his program development experience as well as on accounting programs he had written for other clients, he developed the beginnings of the system that became the Merrimac Publishing Manager (MPM).

It soon became obvious that the time and investment required to develop a comprehensive, integrated management system could not be justified by a single custom installation. With the original clients’ help and encouragement, Tom presented a prototype of the current Merrimac Publishing Manager at the New York Press Association’s fifth annual convention in the spring of 1989. The reception by other publishers was enthusiastic. They were impressed by its scope, its focus on the needs of weekly newspapers, its ease of operation, and its reasonable projected cost.

Our first complete system was installed during the summer of 1989. Since then, the system has been fleshed out, modified and expanded to meet the needs of its users. The circulation system is updated regularly to conform to the latest postal regulations. In 1996, Merrimac Software Associates was incorporated.  Merrimac Software Associates Inc. has over 70 customers in 16 states.

Merrimac was purchased in 2017 by Carol Toomey, Owner and Publisher of Action Unlimited and the Smart Shopper.  She not only owns the company, but also uses Merrimac every day to manage the publishing of her nine Massachusetts weekly publications.  Carol is supported by the MerrimacPlus team, consisting of service manager Sabrina Fobes, and Jim Loughner, computer software engineer.