Green Valley Organics' lactose-free, realy dairy is made by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, which is owned and operated by Jennifer Bice. Jennifer, our senior leadership team, and more than 70 employees run our day-to-day operations at our creamery.
Jennifer Lynn Bice, Owner, CEO
In 1978, Jennifer Lynn Bice assumed ownership of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc., the family farm and grade A goat dairy her parents started in Sonoma County in 1968. Along with her late husband, Steven Schack, Jennifer expanded the business to produce a greater variety of goat milk products, and diversified the dairy goat-breeding program. In 2010, Jennifer once again diversified the business. This time with a new kind of dairy and under a new brand name – Green Valley Organics®, the first lactose free cow dairy yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cream cheese to be available nationwide.
Redwood Hill Farm® is owned and operated by Jennifer along with 76 dedicated employees. Promoting the benefits of goat milk products and developing a genetics program of excellence remain her top priorities, and this commitment has positioned Redwood Hill Farm at the forefront of the dairy goat industry. Jennifer’s expertise crafting fine goat milk products gave her an extensive background in creating products for sensitive stomachs. She knew that many people were lactose intolerant and searching for options. This gave her the motivation to provide these people with more choices. She knew lactose free dairy yogurt, kefir and sour cream would have a strong niche, just like her goat’s milk products. That is how her pride and joy, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, gave birth to Green Valley Organics.
Satisfying & Sustainable
Quality and sustainability have remained Jennifer’s guiding principles throughout the years. The most recent example is a 2,548 panel solar energy system encompassing nearly two acres of roof space on the creamery. The goat dairy farm is 100% solar powered. Redwood Hill Farm also holds the distinction of being the first goat dairy in the United States to be Certified Humane® by Humane Farm Animal Care®, which is considered the gold standard in third-party certification for humane animal treatment. From artisan cheeses consistently awarded in national competitions, to superior goat milk yogurt and kefir, to a dairy goat breeding program that has brought her national acclaim, Jennifer remains true to her vision of providing a satisfying and sustainable lifestyle for the farm, the goats and all of her employees.
Her goats are consistent award winners at shows throughout the country, and Jennifer was named Premier Breeder by the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) at its 2012 National Show. She has served as a dairy goat judge throughout the United States and Canada for more than 31 years and holds the distinct honor of being selected to judge the ADGA National Show seven times. Jennifer is chair of the Judge’s Training Committee and serves on various ADGA committees such as Linear Appraisal, Products, and Annual Meeting. She is a past board member of the American Cheese Society (ACS) and was inducted into the ACS Academy of Cheese in 2011 as one of the 8 pioneers of artisan goat cheese in the U.S. She currently serves on the scholarship committee.
A Global Perspective
At the International Conference on Goats in France, Jennifer had the opportunity to learn about the dairy goat industry from a global perspective as well as dairying and cheese production in the country that continues to lead the world in the development of fine goat milk cheese.
Atanas Draganski, Creamery Plant Manager / COO
Atanas began milking goats at Redwood Hill Farm in 1997 after emigrating from Bulgaria, bringing with him a B.A. in Agricultural Economics. After 17 years at Redwood Hill Farm, Atanas has done it all at the farm and creamery - from milking goats, making cheese and yogurt, managing different departments, and now, overseeing the creamery and the employees.
As Chief Operations Officer, Atanas is responsible for supervising the managers of our Cultured Products and Cheese Departments, in addition to Warehouse & Shipping, Quality Assurance, and Repair & Maintenance Departments to insure that our yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cheeses are both delicious and produced safely. He is also in charge of our Information Technology Department and keeps our computers working well and up-to-date. Additionally, he supervises the computer programming of equipment and our telephone and security systems.
His hard work, dedication, and positive attitude have vaulted him to the top of operations here at Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. In June 2013, he received the North Bay Business Journal’s Facility Manager Recognition Award.
Atanas enjoys spending time with his family - his partner Zlatina and their daughter Alexandra. He loves to run, play soccer and tennis, and working with his computers.
Darlene Brazil, CPA / CFO
Darlene, a Sonoma County native, joined the Redwood Hill Farm team in early 2011. She had six years of private accounting experience and thirteen years of public accounting experience prior to joining the accounting team at Redwood Hill Farm. Darlene had provided services in individual, partnership and corporate taxation, financial accounting and consulting during those years in public practice. Darlene is a graduate of Sonoma State University and a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. She also is a member of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise group and a board member of the Sonoma Humane Society in Santa Rosa, CA.
"My experience in public accounting has allowed me to work in a variety of fields with a variety of clients. I enjoy continuing my connection with the dairy industry, as my father was a part of this industry his entire working career both in the Azores and after immigrating to the US. On a more personal note, I enjoy all the wonders that Sonoma County has to offer and spending time with my dogs. I also, enjoy traveling, many outdoor activities and live theatre."
Rich Martin, Chief Marketing Officer
Rich has spent his entire career in the food industry and joined Redwood Hill Farm in early 2014. He grew up in Elk Grove, California and now lives in Petaluma with his wife and three children. He received his undergraduate degree and MBA from Saint Mary’s College. He started his career in the food industry in true entrepreneurial spirit by starting a food company, Nonni’s Biscotti, with his two former college roommates. After selling Nonni’s in the mid-90’s, Rich went on to manage sales & marketing for a number of successful food brands. He has a particular passion for organic food and really enjoys developing and launching new products.
“It’s very satisfying to work for a company whose mission and core values are so well-aligned with my own. It is important to me to be part of a sustainable food system.” In his spare time, Rich does his best to keep up with his crazy-busy kids.
Christina Curry, HR Manager
Christina began working for Redwood Hill Farm as the Accounting Manager in May 2013. She was born and raised in Los Gatos, California and moved to Santa Rosa in 2002. She graduated from San Jose State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Since graduating Christina worked in public accounting until she moved into private accounting in 2010. She also serves on the board of the Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs) and serves on both the Personnel Nominating and Finance Committees.
Christina lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Scott, son Kai, and dog Meadow. She loves reading, gardening, cooking, traveling and most importantly being in the company of family and friends.
Helen Lentze, Director of Communications
Helen joined Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery in the summer of 2014 with more than a decade of marketing and communications experience and a lifelong love for good food. Born in Germany, Helen moved to Switzerland as a child, and grew up in Bern where she enjoyed the great European cheeses and “anything butter” in her mother’s kitchen. She immigrated to the United States in 2001, shortly after earning her degree in Economics from the University of Hamburg.
Once settled in San Francisco, Helen followed her interest in social justice into the non-profit sector, where she managed national consumer education programs on agriculture, food production and international trade for Fair Trade USA. Moving from global development advocacy to California’s mission-driven food industry was a natural step, as connecting consumers with sustainably-made, organic and highest quality foods was a common thread.
Helen honed her marketing, digital media, PR and branding skills first on the agency side at 1st Wave Media, then in wine, and finally the dairy industry with Straus Family Creamery. Today at Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Helen helps to build brand awareness for the Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics brands, by integrating a large variety of marketing and communication tools.
Helen lives in rural Sonoma County with her husband and two children. Weekends find her in her kitchen – baking, cooking and canning - to bring out the best flavors from the apples, plums, pears and vegetables growing in her enormous garden.