On March 8, we celebrated the completion of our new global headquarters at 1 Hancock Street in Portland, Maine, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by more than 150 people, including Maine luminaries such as U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Governor Janet Mills. The majority of our executive leadership team, our board members, and local and state business executives were present as we inaugurated our new space. We also hosted an afternoon event celebrating the contractors and subcontractors who worked on the building, alongside some WEX employees.
The 100,000-square-foot, four-story building, which we broke ground on back in October 2017, will now provide accommodations for our corporate office and will also serve as an innovation hub for our global fleet, corporate payments and technology teams. Located across from Portland’s eastern waterfront at the corner of Hancock and Thames streets, the new building represents a homecoming for WEX, as we were founded in the city in 1983 as Wright Express Corp. and had our original offices in Portland. “Every time we’ve moved into a new headquarters, it gives you a visual representation of where we are in our life cycle, and this building today is so true to that,” WEX president and CEO Melissa Smith told the crowd in the foyer of our new building.
The day was as much a celebration of Maine’s economic growth as of WEX’s, as we are now Maine’s second-largest publicly traded company.
“You send a very powerful message around the world about what the people of the great state of Maine can accomplish,” said Sen. Susan Collins at the ceremony, which was followed by tours of the WEX offices.
Our new HQ will bring 400 new jobs to Portland. “While I am sure much will be said about this beautiful new building we are in, which is now WEX’s global headquarters…I also want to focus on how proud I am of WEX’s initiatives to educate and hire young Mainers,” said Gov. Janet Mills at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Maine is proud that, in your growth, you have not forgotten the importance of your employees, the importance of training, the importance of bringing people up with the company, the importance of our communities and our state as a whole.”
It was particularly incredible to have Sen. Collins, Gov. Mills and Melissa Smith all at the event on International Women’s Day.
Inside our new HQ
The building project was led by Jonathan S. Cohen, a Portland native and commercial real estate developer. WEX’s new HQ is an open-office environment designed to encourage employee collaboration, and it is peppered with organic meeting spaces—both enclosed and open—including breakout rooms, huddle areas and adjustable furniture. There are also individual focus rooms for times of deep thinking.
On each floor, our employees can find at least one kitchen/break room stocked with free coffee and healthy snacks as well as small, private wellness rooms dedicated to whatever wellness looks like to our employees, whether they be for meditating, nursing mothers or just grabbing a few minutes of quiet.
Employees will also enjoy amenities including a rooftop deck (once the snow melts, it will be fully furnished and wifi-enabled); 20 conference rooms, all equipped with Google Meet; and an innovation lab that will feature technologies and interactive demos highlighting blockchain, connected cars, real-time payments and electric vehicles.
Finally, we included an indoor bike storage room, individual shower rooms and a locker area conveniently located near the rear employee entrance on the first floor, in an effort to encourage employees to embrace alternative means of transportation, including walking, bicycling, the WEX shuttle and public transportation.
Part of WEX’s unique culture comes from our roots in Maine, and we look forward to celebrating our new space with our employees and the greater community.