President & Chief Executive Officer
Synergy Flavors, Inc.is a leading supplier of flavors, extracts and essences for the global food and beverage industry. Its Synergy Pure coffee, tea and vanilla extracts and essences capture authentic flavor and aroma from nature. Synergy offers high-quality taste solutions to inspire innovation that allows its customers to retain their competitive edge in a global market. Synergy Flavors is committed to sustainability and is taking active steps to reduce its carbon footprint throughout every stage of its business activities.
Rod Sowders has been the president and chief executive officer at Synergy Flavors for more than 14 years. Prior to his time at Synergy Flavors, Sowders was vice president of North America at Sensient Flavors and sales director at Monsanto Company. Sowders’ experience in selling and marketing flavors has contributed to Synergy’s tremendous growth across North America and the globe. He is a member of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association Board of Governors and is active in the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Sowders earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and holds a MBA from Emory University.
Here is the continuation of his interview featured in the magazine:
NIE: The company was certified by Great Place to Work in 2017. What is the workplace environment like for employees at Synergy Flavors?
Sowders: Synergy Flavors is a customer-centric organization, and as such, we have cultivated a culture where all employees understand the value and needs of our customers, and our customer-first philosophy is incorporated into everything we do. Our environment is open and collaborative, and all ideas for improvement are welcome. Synergy and our employees also understand that we have an obligation to give back to local communities where we operate, including key areas essential to our global supply chain, such as Madagascar.
NIE: Is there anything else Synergy would like to add?
Sowders: The demand for all-natural flavors has become increasingly prominent in the food and beverage industry. Synergy Flavors has stayed ahead of this trend and has been proactively developing and testing natural flavors for food and beverage applications to meet its clients’ expectations. While consumers are looking for clean label and natural products, they often come at a premium. Synergy understands that its clients—and the consumers they serve—are price sensitive, so we work to include natural ingredients that meet cost requirements while still delivering great taste.