Synergy Founder and Chairman Mitchell May talks about the healing properties of a dried maitake mushroom during a tour of the company's Moab facility on Monday, Dec. 11. [Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

Nearly 30 years ago, Synergy Founder and Chairman Mitchell May laid the groundwork for what would become one of Moab’s most prominent companies.

The Synergy Company officially launched in 1992 with the mission of bringing health and wellness to people around the world. At a time when local tourism was in its infancy, May had the foresight to bring in another type of industry that would stand the test of time. Currently employing 70 people – 60 of whom live here – the organic supplement company has been a steadily growing business known for setting standards worldwide with its innovative practices and products.

May’s early entrepreneurship was driven by a personal passion for wellness, as well as his years of university-level work and study.

“The intention with Synergy was to use the research I had done at UCLA Medical Center,” he said during a Dec.11 tour that brought Grand County Council members Jaylyn Hawks and Mary McGann and others to the facility.

Pure Synergy, the flagship product of the company, was formulated a decade prior, as a project during his clinical studies. Finding a way to help improve health drove him to spend the next four years putting together what would become the company that exists today.

“We started Synergy in a really small, very modest manner,” he said. “I had no expectations, no idea that we would grow to what we’re doing now.”

May’s idea of helping people was one of a scientific, medical and historical approach to bolster a healthy lifestyle.

Each item sold by the company goes through rigorous testing to meet regulatory standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and those of the 55 countries abroad that purchase its products. Pure Synergy alone contains 60 ingredients and is put through more than 600 tests before packaging occurs. All 32 products combined are comprised of 300 distinct ingredients in total.

Synergy Chief Operating Officer Jay Bertuzzi oversees the testing and manufacturing done day to day, ensuring that the company’s rigorous standards are kept intact.

Amber-colored glass is used to prolong the shelf life of the products, as well as to encourage recycling. Samples of previous product line the walls of the warehouse for testing purposes related to shelf life. In addition to the standards set by the company itself, Synergy follows broader regulations to meet or exceed Certified Organic and Kosher certifications, and federal laws under the FDA. Other steps are taken to prevent cross contamination, be it through intense cleaning or specific devices.

Bertuzzi said the company has been an example to the industry through trade organizations representing over $4 billion in sales.

“These massive companies come down here to see how this little, tiny company can do it right and still be profitable and stay in business,” he said.

Synergy representatives said they pride themselves on their ethical, sustainable business practices, and in being an industry leader.

“In addition to our branded, finished products, we sell raw materials in bulk to other companies,” Synergy Director of Research and Development Thatcher Vagts said. “Many of those are doing similar things to us, so in some respects (they are) our competitors.”

In helping the industry as a whole, Synergy is able to maintain integrity and still make sufficient profit to sustain and grow its operations.

During manufacturing, each product has its own unique blend of ingredients which can take as little as a day, or as long as two to three weeks, to put together. For Pure Synergy, the largest seller, 14,000 kilograms of material are formulated once a year to ensure there is enough on hand to satisfy demand.

Synergy officials say they expect 2018 to be a banner year for the company, as well as for their commitment to Moab – recently announcing that they have four new products slated to be released in the coming year and plans for further expansion of the local manufacturing plant.

To learn more about The Synergy Company, go to: www.thesynergycompany.com.

Organic supplement company is one of area’s largest employers