Northeast Laboratory Services (NEL)
Due to changes in Maine’s poultry business during the laboratory’s first decade, emphasis shifted to environmental chemistry and microbiology testing and to the production of microbiological culture media, and the name became Northeast Laboratory Services (NEL). During this period the laboratory saw incredible growth in terms of its staff and in the breadth of analytical and consulting capabilities within environmental chemistry and microbiology. In 2001, Northeast Laboratory Services once again began operation as an independent laboratory, with Mr. Rodney `Beau` Mears as President & CEO. Today the laboratory stands at the forefront of the environmental services industry, with expertise in general and radiochemistry, and in food, environmental, occupational and public health microbiology.
Northeast Laboratory Services is a full-service, accredited laboratory providing a wide range of environmental analytical chemistry and microbiology testing services, and manufactured microbiological prepared media products.
NEL employs over 65 full and part time laboratory technicians, support service personnel and administrators and has two facilities. The Chemistry Laboratory, Microbiology Laboratory and Media Manufacturing Laboratory are located at 227 China Road in Winslow, Maine. Administrative offices are also located in Winslow, Maine.
The Food Microbiology Laboratory is located at 999 Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine. The Portland facility also serves as a satellite location for all departments and is utilized for courier and field services.
The business was founded in 1972 as Maine Poultry Consultants and later became Maine Poultry Consultants/Northeast Laboratory Services.
After a decline in the poultry business in Maine, causing the closure of Maine Poultry Consultants, the business served its environmental and microbiological products clients under the name of Northeast Laboratory Services (NEL) for the next several years.
In 1997, NEL merged with Binax, Inc. a Portland-based research and development firm. Binax/NEL operated as a separate entity to the Portland facility, complete with it’s own management team and accounting functions.
In April of 2001, the Laboratory was purchased back by it’s original founder, Dr. Kenneth Eskelund and Mr. Rodney “Beau” Mears, NEL CEO and President after it was decided that the two businesses did not compliment one another and the merger was dissolved.