Tec-Com Inc. was founded in 1986 in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Lorraine Swift Abbott, newly retired after working 38 years as a technical editor and writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Her intent was to continue producing print publications, primarily for the nuclear and oil and gas industries and for risk analysis communities that focused on energy, health, and the environment.
In 1988, with the financial backing of her husband and Tec-Com co-owner Paul Abbott, Lorraine added her first staff members—her son Richard Abbott, also a co-owner, and Katie Ingersoll. Staffers Mary Bryant and Amy Reed joined the group in 1989 and 1992, respectively. In addition, computer and network consultant Ward Engle began supporting Tec-Com operations soon after the company was founded.
Initially, Tec-Com’s work consisted of writing, designing, and publishing annual reports, topical reports, and newsletters, plus working on corporate documents. As communication technologies exploded, Tec-Com’s projects expanded to include web sites, with its first web site launched in 1995, only two years after the first mainstream web browser was invented. Visual presentations, media pitching, and the occasional video were also included.
In the last decade, the company’s work has grown to include in-depth white papers on energy and the economy. Depending on the project, the staff typically conducts interviews, performs research, writes text, proposes designs, and produces the final project with assistance from graphics and computer programming consultants.
Tec-Com observed its 28th anniversary in July 2014.