The SVL Team

Our dedicated staff looks forward to serving you! Our team has well over 100 years of combined experience in the environmental laboratory industry. As a client of SVL, we guarantee that you’ll be treated with professionalism and exceptional customer service for years to come.

Nan S. Wilson

President & CEO

Nan Wilson took over the family business in 2017. Nan loves being a problem solver, digging into data, and finding ways to improve processes. Nan’s laboratory experience includes positions from technician to quality, analyst and chemist, HPLC methods development and GLP pharma. Nan has a BA in Chemistry and Russian from Willamette University. Nan spends time skiing at Schweitzer, driving four kids, and volunteering with Girl Scouts.

Heather LaPierre

Laboratory Director

Heather graduated in 2009 from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Microbiology. She began her professional career at SVL, right out of college, and has navigated her way through the company’s various technical departments using her deep analytical skills. Since taking on the role of lab director in 2022, Heather has had opportunities to utilize her early hands on experience to help manage the day to day operations and develop SVL’s talent. Outside of work, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons, and two black labs, enjoying all the seasons of North Idaho has to offer. She also enjoys sushi, self-care, and traveling.

Don  W. Johnson

Technical Director

Don Johnson has 33+ years of inorganic analytical chemistry experience both as a Chemist at the bench and as a Field Service Engineer where he specialized in ICP-MS, ICP-OES, GFAA, FLAA, TGA and DSC equipment for two of the largest, international instrument manufacturers. He studied Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and after graduation, he began his career in the environmental industry with his first stint at SVL in 1991. He has laboratory experience spanning mining, manufacturing, precious metals, environmental as well as semiconductor, pharmaceuticals, and wear-metals analysis. His return to SVL brings his career full-circle where he adds a very diverse skill set to the laboratory’s operations.

Michael Desmarais

Technical/Quality Director

Michael Desmarais has 20+ years of experience in the environmental analysis field. Michael has held positions both at the bench and in the field in environmental chemistry. He has a BS in Physical Science from Washington State University. Michael is a participating member of The NELAC Institute and is responsible for the administration of the SVL Quality Program.

Michael Desmarais

Connor R. Williams

Client Services Director

Connor Williams started at SVL in 2018. He has a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and an MS in Recreation Management from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  Connor also has 5 years of analytical experience with ion chromatography, microbiology, and classical chemistry analyses.

Dave Tryon

Project Manager

Dave Tryon began his analytical chemistry career with SVL in 2004.  During that time Dave has performed nearly every analysis SVL provides to our clients from both the Classical and Instrument departments. From sample prep, to instrumentation analysis, to technical writing, Dave has covered a lot of ground at SVL.  This diverse skill set makes him a valuable asset to SVL as well as the clients he serves.

Katie Salter

Project Manager

Katie has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Archaeology with a minor in native American studies and South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Montana and 8 years of experience in environmental science. She has spent several seasons in the field taking water quality samples for analysis and interpreting data for the State of Idaho and the State of Montana. Katie enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities such as backpacking, fishing, whitewater rafting, ATVing, and cycling.

Tawnya Hall

Project Manager Assistant

Tawnya Hall started at SVL in 2022. She has a BS in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from New Mexico State University. Her 20+ years of Customer Service experience helps her create a seamless experience for both clients and project managers alike. Tawnya ensures clients are doing things correctly, from COC relinquishment to reporting. Tawnya has 5 adult children, 3 grandchildren, & 4 four-legged grandchildren. To end the long debate between them, her favorite children are her Miniature Pinscher, Reese’s Pieces and Mini Golden Doodle, Maggie Mae.

Megan Bircher

Analytical Team Lead – Sample Receiving & Prep

Megan earned a BS in Biology and a BS in Environmental Studies from Eastern Oregon University. She joined SVL in 2019 as a Microbiologist and moved on to Team Lead for the Sample Receiving/Sample Prep team. Her work experience includes sample and data collection in the fields of Botany and Forestry. In her spare time Megan enjoys running, hiking and cross-country skiing with her family.

Linda Johann

Client Services Liaison

Linda Johann has 40 years of experience in Microbiology—both in environmental and public health (medical) arenas. Linda held positions at the bench and as a supervisor for the Idaho State Public Health Laboratory in Coeur d’ Alene. She has a BA in Psychology and Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. She is a manager and analyst for the Coeur d’ Alene Lab; a section of SVL specializing in biological analyses.

Brandan Borgias

Systems Manager

Brandan Borgias has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley (1985). He has been with SVL Analytical since 1991, holding positions as Quality Manager and Systems Manager. Brandan currently oversees the lab’s Information Management System (LIMS) and works with clients on custom reporting and electronic deliverables. He is an avid rower since college and has been active in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area since 2005.

Kale Swainston

Laboratory Information Management System Chemist

Kale Swainston earned a BS in Chemistry from Utah State University.  He has held positions at the chemistry bench and in front of the keyboard.  Kale joined SVL in 2005; since then he has helped implement and maintain the laboratory information management system, design and customize laboratory software applications, and provide analytical method development support.

Jena Thornton

Accounts Receivable / HR

Jennifer Bell

Accounts Payable / Purchasing

Jennifer Bell was born and raised in Elko, Nevada. She worked for Independence Mining Company (formerly Freeport McMoran, Inc.) in the Independence Mtn. Range from 1988-2006 where she learned AutoCAD and drafted cross sections for mine plans. She moved to the Silver Valley in 2006 and was hired by TerraGraphics, Inc. where she drafted remediation maps for the Bunker Hill Superfund Site cleanup for 10 years. Jennifer joined SVL in 2017 in the Accounting Department. She brings 30+ years of dedicated administrative experience to SVL.


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