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Wright Express to Celebrate Twentieth Anniversary

SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE (October 30, 2003) — Wright Express, a Maine company that has risen from humble origins to stand as the nation's industry leader in the fleet card business, marked its twentieth anniversary on Thursday.

Since its founding in Portland in 1983, the company has fused traditional customer service with technological innovation and a focus on partnership to establish a culture of success and emerge as one of the largest employers in Maine. The company develops and services fleet commercial card programs under its own name, for private label programs, and for co-branded programs, and provides extensive fleet management services. The company also issues corporate MasterCard programs.

“To survive and thrive for two decades is something we can all be very proud of,” said Michael Dubyak, president and chief executive of Wright Express. “We have worked hard to create a culture of success, hire great employees and give them the tools and support to succeed. Our culture and our employees are key strategic advantages for the company. Equally important, we have been able to establish the trust of partners and build strong relationships with them. We have grown a lot in the past 20 years, but we are not done yet.”

Indeed, it has been quite a ride for the company that now employs more than 640 people, including 560 in Maine. The company also operates a bank in Salt Lake City.
Wright Express traces its roots to the nineteenth century when Augustus R. Wright operated A.R. Wright, a Portland-based coal delivery company. Wright's great grandson, Parker Poole III, and Poole's uncle, William Richardson, founded Wright Express. The fledgling business shared office space with A.R. Wright, by this time a home heating fuel business, located near railroad tracks on Park Avenue.

Wright Express began with a handful of employees and offered a fleet fueling card accepted at three locations in Portland. In 1986, the company signed its first major account, Getty Petroleum, helping push the Wright Express card into 2,200 stations in the Northeast. Company growth ramped up in 1990 following a deal with Texaco and exploded in 1999 when Wright Express struck card deals with both ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil of Canada (Esso). Wright Express now services more than four million fleet and corporate charge cards either directly or for partners.

The company's growth has also required a series of physical moves. Wright Express moved from the original Portland location to an office on Darling Avenue in South Portland. The company expanded into additional buildings on Darling Avenue and other locations as the number of employees mushroomed from 80 in 1992 to more than 500 by 1999. The most symbolic move came in May of 2002 when it signed a 10-year lease and moved its headquarters to Long Creek in South Portland, cementing its commitment to Maine.
Another example of that commitment is the millions of dollars Wright Express has spent over the past few years to build a new technological infrastructure in the state and remain at the cutting-edge of technology.

“Marking the past is an important event and certainly the past 20 years have been exciting,” Dubyak said. “But the future is even brighter as we continue to innovate, develop new products, emphasize putting the customer first and aggressively seek new markets as we strive for growth.”

South Portland-based Wright Express is the leading provider of fleet charge cards to the fleet maintenance and fueling industry with cards accepted at more than 160,000 locations. Wright Express also provides information management, payment processing, and financial services to fleets through card partnerships with oil companies and fleet management companies. Through its own universal card program, its partners' card programs and its MasterCard program, Wright Express has over four million commercial cards in its markets. Wright Express LLC, a subsidiary of Cendant Corp., employs more than 640 people at its headquarters in South Portland, Maine and its subsidiary in Salt Lake City.

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©2003 Wright Express, LLC. All rights reserved.