Our Team Hero

Customer Relationship Team

We don’t just make products, we deliver on partnership. We know that the ingredients we provide ultimately represent you, not just us. Our core team has been together for decades because we truly care about our partners’ success.

When you choose to partner with Silva, you get the benefit of our team’s collective expertise—cultivated through years of experience—focused on making you look good. That’s the good-for-you promise.

Corporate Team

The consistency and continuity that flows throughout Silva International starts at the top. Our leadership has built a team with a wealth of knowledge that takes pride in our reputation as a leader in the marketplace.

Kent DeVries

President

Kent started in sales in 1991 and is now the president of Silva. He oversees all aspects of the business and continues to drive development in supply chain, operations, sales, and general business functions. Kent has served on the board of the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) and for several non-for-profit boards. His hobbies include golfing, fishing, and skiing.

Peter Schmidt Head R

Peter Schmidt

Senior Business Relations Advisor

Peter Schmidt is the founder of Silva International, Inc. During his many years as President and in ownership of the company, he has worked in all areas of business management and development. Today he continues to lend his expertise to the business as a senior advisor for the company.

Sales Team

When our partners come to us with custom requirements or the market presents unanticipated challenges, we do everything in our power to get to YES. Our sales managers and sales assistants always start with the assumption that there is a solution if we’ll take the time to find it together.

Ana Garcia

Samples Coordinator

Ana started at Silva in 2021. She coordinates all the samples sent from Silva. She prepares and ships samples of Silva’s products to customers for various needs including new project development, as well as needs for product testing and certifications for customs clearance.

Anthony Drost

Account Sales Manager

Anthony has been a Silva sales representative since 2007. He travels the U.S. and Canada visiting with customers and loves working on new food, pet food, and nutraceutical projects. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a minor in human resources. In his free time he likes to ride bikes with family, friends and even co-workers. If it has two wheels, he wants to ride it. His goal is to mountain bike the Colorado Trail with his two boys, 500 miles from Denver to Durango.

Carole Lane

Samples Coordinator & Technical Documents

Carole started at Silva in 2017. She coordinates all the samples sent from Silva. She prepares and ships samples of Silva’s products to customers for various needs including new project development, as well as needs for product testing and certifications for customs clearance. Carole also provides technical documentation for Silva’s products as requested by customers.

Darren Van Essen

Senior Sales Manager

Darren started at Silva in 1997. Throughout the years he has worn numerous hats but a majority of his time has been within the sales department. His main sales focus is on key national accounts. Darren holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Calvin College with a minor in finance. Darren has also served in numerous committees at school and was president of the Crown Point Christian School board. Darren is a father of four boys and spends a lot of time coaching them in baseball and basketball. In his free time Darren enjoys golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. He is also an avid outdoors-man.

Dave Agema

Key Account Sales Manager

Dave started with Silva in 2001 and handles the day-to-day business with both existing accounts and new customers to communicate product knowledge and service opportunities. In addition, he handles pricing, negotiates contracts, and works side-by-side with accounts on new projects. Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a marketing minor. Outside of Silva, he enjoys coaching his kids sports teams, vacationing with family, and attending local sports games.

Jeff Weidenaar

Vice President of Sales

Jeff has been with Silva since 1998, always working within the sales arm of the business. He continues working with our customers, along with oversight of the sales teams and business development planning. Jeff directs the marketing efforts for Silva as well. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business with a marketing concentration. Jeff has served and continues to volunteer on various school, college, and church committees. He also enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family, including his three children.

Kim Sherwood

Order Process Manager

Kim began working at Silva in 1999. She is responsible for invoicing, overseeing order information, entering and maintaining customer information, and she creates documents for export shipments. Outside of Silva, Kim enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, gathering with friends, reading, and pool days.

Matt DeVries

Sales Administrator

Matt started with Silva in 2015 and directly assists customers with purchase orders, products, questions and concerns around shipments. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing with an entrepreneurship minor. In his free time he enjoys photography, working on vehicles, and spending time with family.

Payton Lambert

Sales Assistant

Payton has been with Silva since 2021 as a sales assistant. She directly assists customers with purchase orders, products, shipment questions, and other daily needs. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and volunteers with the local fire department. Outside of work, she loves spending time with friends and family.

Rick Balkema

Account Sales Manager

Rick began working at Silva in 2012. He enjoys every part of dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis and does his best to get to know them to make their jobs easier. He graduated from Purdue University with a degree in German – International Studies and a minor in International Business. He spends his free time with his three young children, coaching and watching sports, and trying to enjoy it while it lasts! He also enjoys golfing when he can get away with it!

Ronni Munyon

Sales Assistant

Ronni, who started at Silva in 2018, assists in the day-to-day operations of the sales team, which includes entering orders, production information, and providing general customer service. Prior to Silva she worked in customer service and had retail sales experience for five years. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with family, boating, and anything water-related.

Samantha Justice

Sales Administrator

Sam started at Silva in 2016. She assists customers with purchase orders, including questions and needs around daily shipments. Sam can help you with all customer service needs and any needs of our products. Prior to Silva, Sam worked in customer service for several years. Outside of Silva, she enjoys reading, attending workout classes, going to concerts, and spending time with friends and family.

Sean Read

National Key Account Manager

Sean, who started at Silva in 2019, enjoys working with CPG clients across the globe. His focus is on new product development and contract management, both stateside and in international markets. He holds a Bachelor of Science in marketing with a sales management emphasis from the University of Dayton, and received his MBA from Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business. He spends his time with his wife, Julia, and their dog, George, and when he’s able, enjoys tennis, golf, and skiing.

Stan Kempczynski

Key Account Sales Manager

Stan has been with Silva since 2002, working within the sales department as an account manager. Stan enjoys helping customers solve problems and works to source and supply ingredients they need to achieve their goals. Stan holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University. He enjoys time with his family, coaching soccer, and all outdoor activities from water skiing to home projects.

Tyler De Jong

Sales Support Administrator

Tyler has been at Silva within the sales department since 2012. His primary focus is working with the sales team to support achievement of various departmental objectives, especially top-notch service to Silva’s customers. Tyler also works closely with other departments to enhance Silva’s ability to serve customer needs at a high level. Tyler holds a B.S. in business with a management focus. In his free time, Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife and four boys, playing basketball and other sports, and anything outdoors.

Supply Chain Team

We invest in our current and future supply chain—leveraging our experience in dehydrates across the globe, with selected partners and the full support of the Silva global supply chain team to provide our customers with uninterrupted supply of the highest quality ingredients.

Alesha Benedict

Vendor Quality Assurance Manager

Alesha, who began working at Silva in 2013, is responsible for implementing and managing the supplier quality programs, SEDEX, and social responsibility. She drives continuous improvement with suppliers to achieve vendor compliance and meet the raw material quality standards. She holds an M.S. in Education & Interdisciplinary Studies, a B.S. in Agriculture Science, and A.A. in Agriculture Business and is HACCP Certified and Preventative Controls Certified. Outside of Silva, she raises Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and volunteers with the 4H Youth organization.

Dan Monzin

Purchasing Analyst

Dan started at Silva in 2018, and is responsible for analyzing purchasing data, coordinating cargo inspections, and review of vendor laboratory reports. He holds a B.A. in political science with a concentration on research methodology. He also has six years laboratory experience. Outside of Silva, he enjoys spending time with family and friends; hiking; taking trips with his dogs; cooking; and, working on projects around the house.

Eric Carroll

Purchasing/Buyer

Eric has been with Silva since July 2021. He is a buyer of raw material ingredients used to produce Silva’s finished goods. Eric has an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and is a Six Sigma Yellow Belt. Outside of the office he enjoys playing in a local cover band on weekends and adventuring out for some camping, hiking, kayaking, or motorcycle riding with his wife.

Kelly Kelson

Import Logistics Coordinator

Kelly, who has been with Silva since 2001, is currently managing the Receiving/International Logistics department, with a focusing on global importing and customs compliance. She also coordinates Silva's local, outside sterilization needs and aids in managing raw material inventory. Kelly has an Associate Degree in Accounting. She enjoys biking, attending her sons' school events and sports, spending time with her family and friends, and any outdoor activities.

Pontus Mattsson

VP, Supply Chain and Administration

Pontus has been with Silva since 2005 and oversees Silva's global raw material procurement, as well as the quality department and the Silva-China operations. Pontus holds a bachelor of science in finance and economics from American University of Paris. In his free time Pontus enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and the occasional round of golf.

Rodrigo Nunez

General Manager, China Operations

Rodrigo has been with Silva since 2007, always in China developing and implementing various quality programs at this raw material point. He holds a computer science certificate and has obtained a Hazard Critical Control Point certificate, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Auditor trainee (AIB standard) and pest control principles. Rodrigo’s experience in the AD industry started back in June 1996 in Chile; he relocated to China in 2002, fell in love with the opportunities and challenges within China. and decided to stay. Since then, Rodrigo met a lovely Chinese national and got married in 2012. In his spare time, soccer is the preferred sport but he also enjoys ping-pong when weather does not allow outdoor sports.

Tyler Huenink

Director of Procurement

Tyler has been with Silva since 2010 working within the purchasing department. He is involved with inventory management, product contracting with raw material vendors, and working on new product/new vendor development. Tyler strives to maintain and build relationships with our raw material vendors to ensure sufficient supply and quality products. Tyler holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a finance minor from Trinity Christian College. Outside of work, Tyler enjoys spending time with his two young children, as well as a variety of sports and activities such as cycling, hiking, running, and cross country skiing.

Quality Control Team

Our quality control team is ultimately responsible for product safety and quality to not only meet and but also exceed every food safety requirement, because we care about making products that are truly good for you—good for your customers and good for your business.

Emily Otte

Technical Services Representative

Emily started at Silva in May 2020. She is responsible for providing technical documentation and responding to customers’ questions and quality needs. Emily has a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University in agribusiness and marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship. Outside of the office she enjoys spending time at the lake with family and friends.

Nick Plebanski

Quality Assurance Manager

Nick started with Silva in February of 2017. He is responsible for managing Silva’s quality programs and processes to assure Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory compliance. Nick holds a B.A. in biology from Indiana University and is SQF, HACCP, ISO 17025 Lead Internal Auditor, and PCQI Certified. Starting his career in a laboratory setting, Nick had the opportunity to develop an understanding of microbiological issues related to food and the environment in which it's manufactured. This experience has helped him in his approach to identifying potential food safety issues and determining best actions to prevent them from occurring. Outside of the office, Nick enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Samantha King

Quality Assurance Lab Technician

Samantha started at Silva in 2017. She handles incoming raw material and finished good item testing. She also distributes COAs to companies on shipped orders and performs other data entry tasks. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, writing, and softball.

Operations & Shipping Team

Our operations and shipping team maintains the efficiency of our company from strategizing process improvements to ensuring timely shipments to our diverse customer base.

Abelardo Ramirez-Vega

Shipping Supervisor

Abelardo has been with Silva since 2007 when he started as a production line worker. He has worked in the shipping department since 2014. Outside of Silva, he enjoys family time, sports (mostly soccer), and loves going to the gym.

Dan Dodevski

Director of Engineering

Born and raised in Macedonia, Dan moved to the United States with his family in 1999. Dan has focused on all Silva engineering needs, including an emphasis on major production capacity and efficiency projects since joining the Silva team in April of 2021.

Prior to Silva, Dan led a team of engineers on high speed bakery production line expansion projects in Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Georgia. Dan has over 20 years of experience in food manufacturing executing labor productivity improvements through deployment of best practices and lean manufacturing principles. Dan enjoys spending his free time with his wife and his three daughters.

Eduardo Hernandez

Receiving Supervisor

Eduardo joined Silva in 2016. He supervises compliance of receiving practices with established company policies and standards. Eduardo has a bachelor's degree in physical education. Outside of Silva, he enjoys spending time with his family and rebuilding cars.

George Albert

Vice President of Operations

George, who started with Silva in 2017, plans and monitors the daily operations of the company. He leads decision-making for operational activities and strategic goal setting.

Lisa Stetson

Shipping Manager

Lisa has been with Silva since 2012, She coordinates the work flow from order to the warehouse to shipping, checks and compares freight costs, and supervises shipping employees. Lisa has an Associates of Applied Science and has been in the shipping industry for 28 years.

Roberto Alcantar Jr.

Operations Manager

Roberto started at Silva in 2019, and oversees production and sanitation in the facilities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Purdue University, and enjoys spending time with family and watching sports.

Accounting Team

Silva’s accounting team provides accounting services and manages the finances of our company from billing clients and customers to tracking assets and expenditures.

David Cowser

Controller

David has been part of the Silva team since 2018, managing the accounting department. David holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Indiana University, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He enjoys time with his wife and two daughters, serving at his church, and rooting on the Cubs, Bears, and Notre Dame football.

Lisa Evers

Senior Accountant

Lisa began working in the accounting department at Silva in 2019. She provides accounts payable, accounts receivable, and other accounting services. Outside of Silva, she enjoys spending time with family.

Tim Niehof

Vice President of Finance / CFO

Tim has been a part of Silva since 2008. He oversees the accounting and human resources departments and serves on the senior management team. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. He enjoys time with his family, while leading and serving in various church ministries.