Posted by Ben Lowry

At last Friday’s meeting, we were all asked to find one of the “post-it” notes on our tables and write down what we knew about the company “IDEXX.” I wrote “pet pharmaceuticals”….my father, sitting next to me wrote, “I have no idea.” Tara Jenkins then spent the next 30 minutes providing some much-needed clarity to me, my father and the rest of the Portland Rotary Club. 

Founded in 1983, this now 2 billion-dollar business employs over 8000 people in several countries, with over 3200 of them in Westbrook, Maine.  Despite my own son being hired as an intern this past summer, I was surprised to learn that they do not make pet medications, but rather focus on the development of tests and testing equipment that are used by veterinarians and other providers throughout our pet-loving world. With 98% of homes treating pets like family, the race to keep these “fur babies” living longer lives is on. 221 patents show the extent of the efforts by the amazing folks at IDEXX to keep on the leading edge of this ever-burgeoning industry.  And, of course, to attract the talented research and development scientists, the IDEXX “lifestyle” is made to be very attractive, with a gorgeous new facility, which is set to expand with 800 new employees in Westbrook by 2020, offering dining, a gym and various clubs, as well as providing employees paid time off for community service opportunities.

IDEXX, despite 87% of their work going toward pets, also works on testing for clean water, as well as diagnostic equipment to keep our livestock healthy. With 39% of product sales to foreign nations, their ever-expanding efforts are truly becoming global.

As STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students continue to matriculate world-wide, there seems to be some amazing possibilities right here in our own back yard for not only well-paying employment but to join IDEXX in their efforts to become “a place of purpose, innovation and opportunity.” 


(Photo L-R: Pete DeWitt, Tara Jenkins and President John Curran.)