Jonathan Ayers, CEO of Idexx, outside the company's Westbrook headquarters in a 2010 file photo

Jonathan Ayers, CEO of Idexx, outside the company’s Westbrook headquarters in 2010

On Tues., Dec. 16, at 4 p.m., one of the granddaddies of innovation in Maine will take part in an honored tradition in the business world: Ringing the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange.

When Jonathan Ayers, CEO of Westbrook-based biotech firm Idexx, rings NASDAQ’s closing bell this afternoon at its site in Times Square, it will mark the first time a Maine-based company has drawn trading on the stock exchange to a close. NASDAQ, which was the world’s first electronic exchange when it started in 1971 and is known for hosting tech companies, selected Idexx’s Ayers to close the market in honor of the company’s 30th anniversary.

“Ringing the NASDAQ Closing Bell is the culmination of 30 years of innovation at Idexx,” Ayers said in a statement.

I’m sure its stock performance didn’t hurt. The company’s stock has increased 40 percent in the past year. On Tuesday morning, it’s trading for around $145 a share. Driving that performance is the fact the company is having one of its best years on record, with revenue of more than $1.1 billion for the first nine months of 2014, an 11 percent increase over the same period during 2013.

The event deserves note on The Startup Line because of Idexx’s role in the Maine’s innovation ecosystem. Its origin story is well known. David Shaw founded the company in 1984, hiring a few former employees of a biotech firm that had moved out of state. The biotech startup began developing diagnostic products for veterinarians and for other uses, such as testing for contaminants in drinking water. Today, the startup has grown into a global company with 6,300 employees worldwide, including more than 2,000 based at its Google-esque Westbrook headquarters. It has attracted world-class talent to Maine, and is sure to have a lasting impact on the state’s biotech industry and startup culture in general.

In keeping with the newsworthy event, Maine’s politicians chimed in with their congratulations. Gov. Paul LePage called Idexx a “Maine success story” and thanked the company for its commitment to Maine.

Sen. Angus King said Idexx has proven that “innovation and collaboration” are a winning formula and that Ayers’ ringing of NASDAQ’s closing bell will be “an historic and proud moment for Idexx and Maine.”

But I’ll leave the last word for Ayers: “When we’re ringing the bell at NASDAQ, I’ll be thinking of all the veterinarians whose faith in Idexx solutions has enabled us to get where we are today, as well as my 2,100 co-workers in Maine who’ve made our success story possible.”