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February 04, 2024 | Tom Ballard

Celebrating a worldwide headquarters opening in Knoxville

The company's investment in the expanded space and advanced technology will accelerate its rapid-results DNA analysis capabilities.

A late Friday morning event celebrating the opening of BioPet Laboratories’ worldwide headquarters in Knoxville clearly had a family feel to it.

Tom Boyd

That reality was on display as soon as J. Retinger, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, introduced Founder and Board Chair Tom Boyd, the Knoxville serial entrepreneur credited earlier in the program with founding 17 ventures. Among them are Fi-Shock, one of the first electric fences for dogs and cattle and now owned by Zareba Systems; Mark Electrics, a major electronics supplier; EDP Biotech, an early detection test for colon cancer that rebranded last year as New Day Diagnostics LLC; BioPet, an animal genomics testing lab; and PooPrints – BioPet’s dog waste management service.

Boyd was clearly happy with the celebration at BioPet’s new home and the progress that the company has made since its founding in 2008. While it is not far from the company’s former location in the Bearden area, that was about all that seemed familiar with the older location. The new, 21,000-square-foot facility features the latest, state-of-the-art DNA testing and identification instruments. It is three times the size of its previous home which also included warehousing.

“Of the 17 businesses I’ve created, BioPet Laboratories and its PooPrints dog waste management service is the one that is most exciting and offers the greatest growth potential,” Boyd said. “I’m extremely proud of the BioPet team and what they’ve achieved. Our new facilities position BioPet among the many industry-leading companies that have been cultivated by Knoxville’s entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem. I don’t think anybody is laughing anymore.”

BioPet team gives tours of the new lab space.

BioPet’s investment in the expanded space and advanced technology will accelerate its rapid-results DNA analysis capabilities and will make it possible for BioPet to develop a series of additional DNA and animal genomics testing services.

“Our family (there’s that word again) has been in the dog business for over 60 years,” Boyd told attendees. For those not familiar with what he meant, Randy Boyd, current University of Tennessee System President, was the founder of Radio Systems Corporation, described as the world’s leading dog and cat products supplier. He sold that business to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in mid-2020.

J. Retinger (L) congratulates Ernie Jones (R).

“You can’t have a company without people,” the senior Boyd said, taking the occasion to celebrate about a half-dozen individuals who Boyd said brought several hundred years of experience to BioPet. They included the company’s Chief Operating Officer Meg Retinger who has worked with or for Boyd for 47 years.

And, continuing the family theme, she is also J. Retinger’s mother, a fact that Boyd noted with comments about him crawling around on the floor at several of Boyd’s businesses in his early years.

Boyd also recognized his wife, Sandi, whom he praised for standing by during the ups and downs of his entrepreneurial journey.

Retinger returned to the stage to announce that the BioPet Boardroom would be named for Tom Boyd, and the Sales Office would be named for Ernie Jones, a longtime Regional Sales Manager who joined the company when it was founded.

BioPet has created a new industry and established itself as the global leader in animal genomics. The company provides its PooPrints waste management service to more than 8,000 multifamily customers throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and the United Kingdom. The new world headquarters and laboratory will enable BioPet to quadruple its operations.

As readers might imagine, much of the growth is driven by pet ownership.

“The continuing, rapid increase in pet ownership is driving BioPet’s growth,” J. Retinger said. “Today, 70 percent of U.S. households have a pet. Over the past two years, our company’s operations and revenues have more than doubled. That’s why we’re investing to meet the rapidly expanding demand for BioPet’s animal genomics services. We project that we’ll need to recruit 30 to 40 additional employees over the next two years.”






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