People Are at the Heart
of Everything We Do

Our purpose at Intertek Alchemy is to help build a safer, more sustainable world. Our guiding principle to help achieve this mission is “people make the difference.” Because at work, at home, and in the community, it’s literally people that make the difference in everything we do.

That’s why we are laser-focused on developing solutions and services that ensure every frontline worker feels valued and has opportunity for growth. We’re proud to be on this journey with thousands of clients who share our passion, enriching the lives of millions of workers.

We bring our vision to life by providing training and development solutions that companies can leverage to improve safety and culture in their workplaces. We create the highest quality adult learning and training content. We develop and deploy innovative learning technologies that engage and empower employees to perform at their best. And we consult with companies, guiding a philosophy of continuous improvement.

Who We Are

Of course, just like your people are your most valuable asset, our people are ours! Intertek Alchemy is a collection of content creators, adult learning experts, engineers, designers, data scientists, developers, and more. We are connected by our passion that what we do is making a difference in the world. Whatever our individual day jobs entail, the sum of our parts keeps food and products safe for everyone, while creating opportunities for and improving the lives of frontline workers.

Our Leadership

Darrin Harkness
President

Darrin brings to Intertek Alchemy a combination of business management and international HR leadership. His 20+ years of international leadership experience spans a diverse spectrum of industries with a focus on cultural transformation, organizational effectiveness, human capital development, corporate integrations, and restructuring. Darrin has been working in a leadership position with Intertek for more than 12 years, helping companies shape cultures and practices that drive results and build long-standing employee relationships.

Darrin specializes in shaping long-range visions and aligning organizations to create value-centric cultures. He’s served as a catalyst and change agent with a successful track record of repositioning organizations as best-in-class industry leaders.

Darrin grew up in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada area and received his Bachelor’s from the University of Toronto and completed his post graduate studies at Humber College. When spending time away from work, Darrin enjoys spending time at the lake with his family and two dogs.

Erin Silver
EVP, Client Services

As an early member of the Alchemy team, Erin has at one time or another managed Alchemy’s marketing, customer support, operations, and training activities. As VP of Customer Operations, Erin serves on Alchemy’s executive team and is responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the customer life cycle. Previously, Erin worked for over 10 years at Sachem, Inc., an Austin-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals. Erin holds a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Texas.

Susan Blakely
VP, Development Operations

Susan Blakely joined Intertek Alchemy in 2022 as the VP of Product. She has over 25 years' experience in product strategy, engineering, and user experience for mid-market and enterprise SaaS products. Prior to Alchemy, Susan held senior leadership positions in technology used by nonprofits, corporations, and associations. Susan is skilled in translating market needs and technical requirements into business strategies and has a passion for talking to customers to build products that make their jobs easier. Away from work, she enjoys time with her family and kayaking and camping at parks throughout Texas.

Jeff Chilton
VP, Consulting

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in the food industry, specializing in food safety, quality assurance, and plant management. Prior to Alchemy, Jeff was the founder and President of Chilton Consulting Group for 18 years, helping clients achieve and sustain GFSI certification under the SQF, BRC, and FSSC 22000 standards along with USDA and FDA Regulatory Compliance services for HACCP and Food Safety Plan. Jeff is a certified SQF Auditor, SQF Consultant, Preventive Control for Human Food Lead Instructor, and International HACCP Alliance Lead Instructor. Prior to starting Chilton Consulting Group, Jeff was a Plant Manager at two large food processing companies and a Director of Quality Assurance. Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Management from Tampa College, Tampa FL.

Deepesh Desai
VP, Sales

Deepesh has almost 20-years of experience in SaaS B2B sales, developing and executing go-to-market sales strategies for company growth, building high-performing teams, and crafting long-term client partnerships. He has walked the improbable path of growing up in a small town in India to being a successful sales executive, which instilled the philosophy of lifelong learning, listening, solving customer problems, and being consultative. As Vice President of Sales, he is accountable for the growth of the company and ensuring that our client get the best experience through their early interactions with the sales team. Prior to joining Intertek Alchemy, he served in variety of leadership roles from consulting, training, marketing, client success, and sales within EHS space, and collaborated with leaders within Fortune 1,000 companies globally. Deepesh lives in Austin, TX, with his wife and two kids. Outside of work, they like hiking, travelling, and exploring global cuisines.

Laura Dunn Nelson
VP Food Safety, & Global Alliances

Laura joins Alchemy with over 25 years of experience implementing food safety and quality control programs for processing, packaging, food service, and retail operations. She has worked with global retailers and manufacturers in the implementation of their GFSI certification programs. Prior to Alchemy, Laura managed Silliker’s South Region food testing laboratories, implemented ISO 17025 requirements, conducted GMP and HACCP audits, and trained food safety auditors. Her hands-on experience in testing food products has assisted food companies in the successful implementation of good manufacturing practices (GMP), quality assurance, and HACCP programs. Laura is a graduate of University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.

Robyn Goddard
VP, Marketing

For over 14 years, Robyn has been Alchemy’s brand ambassador, focused on growing awareness and adoption of our solutions and services across the globe. Her efforts contribute to over 40% of sales and are key to ensuring a 95% client retention rate. Before her life as an Alchemist, Robyn held marketing positions in other global technology and retail organizations. She has both a BBA and MBA in Marketing from Texas State University.

Aaron Rappoport
VP, Finance

Aaron Rapoport has dedicated his entire career to tech and SaaS companies. Aaron joined Intertek Alchemy in late 2020 as Senior Director of Finance but was quickly promoted to his current role as VP of Finance. He holds an active CPA license, and his core strengths include financial strategy, operations, assessment of growth opportunities, governance, and risk management. Aaron earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Florida State University. When he’s not crunching numbers at Intertek Alchemy, he enjoys traveling, cooking, and outdoor activities.

Our History

FEB
1996
Alchemy Interactive is founded. The multi-media production company made video CDs that came with college textbooks. Crazy to think…this was cutting-edge at the time!
OCT
1996
Avatar Technology is founded. Waaayyyy before the movie with blue aliens we might add, and with technology meant for good. This company’s software helped school districts track teachers’ continuing education units.
AUG
2003
Our early love for minor name changes is evident. Alchemy Interactive is now Alchemy Studios, and secures a $1M grant from Texas Workforce Commission for prototyping its training platform for frontline manufacturing workers.
OCT
2003
Trumpets blare as Alchemy signs its first food manufacturing client, J-Bar-B Foods. Fun fact: J-Bar-B Foods is still a client today, nearly 20 years later!
SPRING
2004
Alchemy Studios release its first scalable course library not custom to a specific client. The 34 courses are in English and Spanish, covering food safety and workplace safety.
Could it be? A perfect union blooming? Alchemy Studios and Avatar Technology begin their first collaboration, the result leads to Alchemy Studios releasing its first LMS platform, SISTEM.
NOV
2006
We knew it! Alchemy Studios and Avatar Technology officially merge after more than a year of close collaboration. The new company is named Alchemy Systems, bringing together award-winning production and learning management technology into one company.
SEPT
2008
The perfect union bears its progeny, as the first Alchemy User Group is held in Austin. This adorable, lovable scion would in time blossom to today’s Alchemy Engage Conference, the nation’s pre-eminent conference dedicated to frontline workforce engagement.
SPRING
2012
Blimey! Alchemy Systems expands to the United Kingdom. Haggis recipes soon spread throughout our Austin headquarters.
DEC
2012
What did the people want? The ability to customize Alchemy courses! And when did they want it? Now! Alchemy Creator™ course-authoring tool is released for clients to create custom courses, and edit Alchemy courses.
SPRING
2014
Alchemy Coach is released. The mobile on-the-floor validation app is the first of its kind, and is honored with the IAFP’s Food Safety Innovation Award in 2015.
OCT
2015
The Courseware Creative team wins Alchemy’s annual pumpkin-carving contest with a terrifying entry that included a real cow’s tongue. How critical is this to the company’s timeline? That’s debatable, but it was quite the buzz around the office for some time.
SEPT
2016
We just can’t contain ourselves to training for frontline workers only anymore. So we launch Alchemy Academy, a B2P (business to professional) online platform providing professional-level eLearning and certifications, with courses developed by Alchemy Consulting.
AUG
2018
Our love for minor name changes is complete! London-based Intertek, a global quality assurance and testing firm with offices in 100 countries, acquires Alchemy Systems. Our new name is Intertek Alchemy.
FEB
2019
Alchemy Playbook™ is launched. The revolutionary mobile app makes it easy for companies to record videos and turn them into task-specific, on-the-job training courses. Playbook also tracks every workers’ qualifications, to help fill production gaps instantly.
MAR
2020
Our new parent company is rubbing off on us as Intertek Alchemy expands to international markets. Our courseware and technology platform are translated and localized for markets in Latin America and Europe.
APR
2021
Alchemy Academy rebrands as Zosi, the first kink in our armor of only minor name changes. The new name also includes a new catalog with hundreds of individual direct-to-consumer eLearning courses.
AUG
2021
Who doesn’t love a good milestone? Alchemy welcomes the 1,000th client to its flagship Alchemy Training System platform, elevating the safety and performance of more than 1 million frontline workers.