Bringing Peace, Love and Dairy to the World
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 57 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.
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.
Christina Curry, Accounting 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.
Sharon Bice, Communications Manager / Graphic Artist
Sharon grew up with dairy goats and her 9 siblings on Redwood Hill Farm, the family farm her parents founded in Sebastopol in 1968. She is a graduate of Oregon’s Lane Community College with a degree in Graphic Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Oregon.
After assisting Redwood Hill Farm in 1999 in launching their first website, Sharon returned to the family business full time in 2000, bringing 15 years experience in the graphic arts field, with a specialty in print media design. In addition to overseeing design for packaging and point of sale materials, advertising, communications and social media for Redwood Hill Farm and its Green Valley Organics Lactose Free dairy lines, she enjoys testing, styling and photographing the fabulous recipes utilizing the company dairy products.
“What a joy for me to work with my brothers, sisters, and the 50 great employees that make up Redwood Hill Farm today. It is especially gratifying to have come full circle by working on print and package design for our business, as I designed the very first packaging for Redwood Hill Farm, Black Cherry Kefir, in 1970 as a young teenager!”
Sharon is a fine art oil painter with additional interests in photography, fiber arts, live local music, and garden design at her west county home on the Russian River which she shares with her canine companions “Crissy” and “Mr. Finnley”.
She is an active supporter of the Daily Acts organization, past board member for Community Support Network, a member of the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and former Editor of the Redwood Empire Dairy Goat Association newsletter, “Goat Notes”.
Accounting and Programs Coordination
L-R: Jordan Hood, Shelley Bice Mills
Jordan began working for Redwood Hill Farm as the Accounting and Management Support Staff in October 2013. She is the second of five children and was born and raised in the beautiful Sonoma County. In 2007, she graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Liberal Studies. After college, she worked for several years in the accounting department for an asbestos law firm. Jordan currently lives in Rohnert Park with her husband Jason, daughters Karleigh & Kassidy, and their dogs Troop & Bailey. She loves to spend her time with family and friends enjoying the outdoors.
Shelley is the middle child of 10 children in the Bice family and loves being back in her hometown and in the middle of the family business! Shelley studied Land Use and Environmental Planning at U.C. Davis and worked as a Planner for Sonoma County for 10 years and 4 years for the City of St. Helena. “I am amazed at the sense of pride by our co-workers and the love from our customers which makes working for the family business very rewarding. The delicious products we make and the projects we work on together feel less like work and more like fun!” In her spare time, Shelley makes artisan soap with raw goat milk from Redwood Hill Farm. “Goat milk is so good for your body – inside and out! Alpha-hydroxy acids contained in goat milk are believed to have rejuvenating effects on skin cells and the rich butterfat softens and moisturizes.
Marketing & Communications
L-R: Nancy Lorenz, David Bice
Nancy Lorenz was a longtime fan of Redwood Hill before joining the Marketing Team in 2011. Previously, she worked at Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies and The Press Democrat. Nancy enjoys working on a wide variety of projects, including photography, social media, packaging, signage, graphics and literature for sales and marketing. Nancy enjoys the fresh air of her bike commute from Graton, where she lives with her husband Dave and one cat. They have one grown daughter, Amelia.
David Bice grew up at Redwood Hill Farm and still likes to brag about winning a 4-H Showmanship class as a 12-year old with his champion Saanen goat named Darcy! These days, David represents the farm at many culinary events and non-profit fundraisers, while serving our cheeses and telling the story of Redwood Hill. He's also the "milkman", loading and delivering fresh goat milk from our dairy to our creamery, three miles away. He's also the farm gardener and administers our Facebook page, with daily photos of the happy goats and farm. David returned to the family farm in 2008 after living in Hawaii where he operated his own plant nursery, did landscape installations for oceanfront homes, and had a 21-year career in radio, as "David Bice in Paradise". His spare time goes to gardening, hiking, fishing, LandPaths Sonoma County, KOWS fm & KWTF community radio stations.
Dori Schack, Marketing Representative
After receiving a B.A. in psychology from UC Santa Cruz and falling deeply in love with coastal northern California, Dori stayed on campus for 3 more decades as a program manager, event planner/coordinator, and the writer/producer of print and online marketing communications. A fan of farmer’s markets and “slow food,” she joined the company in 2010 to promote our outstanding products to natural food and specialty store managers, as well as customers, in and near the Central Coast.
Dori is the sister of the late Steven Schack who, with Jennifer Bice, co-founded Redwood Hill Farm, so she brings enthusiasm and family pride to her job. When she’s not evangelizing for RHF/GVO, she enjoys brisk outdoor walks, documentary films, long conversations, and her family: husband Rick, and two sons.
Alexandra Aceves, Customer Relations Manager
Since 2005, Alex has been the heart of our office, facilitating communication between departments, answering customer questions with enthusiasm and most recently, managing our Customer Service office. In her spare time, Alex loves to dance and enjoys reading.
Alex and her husband, Jose, reside in the local town of Graton. Her favorite quote is, “Do what you do so well that they want to see it again and bring their friends.” Alex obviously takes this quote to heart because it is a pleasure to watch her "in action".
L to R: Augusta Bates, Rachel Kualii
Augusta joined our Customer Relations team in June 2010 after graduating from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Communication, just in time for the launch of our Green Valley Organics product line. An avid dog lover and frequent concert-goer, she studied abroad in South Africa and loves traveling to new countries. She also volunteers as a delivery angel for the Ceres Community Project, a local organization she became involved with after processing Redwood Hill Farm's Kefir donation orders. Aside from working with an amazing group of co-workers every day, Augusta looks forward to Redwood Hill's annual Farm Tours and the Fancy Food show because she gets to interact face-to-face with our awesome customers and business partners.
Rachel joined our Customer Relations team as a marketing representative in April 2013, but she grew up making cheese with her Aunt Jennifer and doing chores on the family farm. Some of her favorite childhood memories are from growing up in Sebastopol and playing with the goats on Jennifer’s original Occidental farm. Rachel graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a Bachelors of Arts in Marine Science and became an avid world traveler while voyaging around the globe for Semester at Sea. She moved from Hawaii back to her roots in Sonoma County with her partner Ashley and their adorable Yorkie Lily, who eagerly contributes to quality assurance product tastings for Redwood Hill Farm’s goat milk yogurt, kefir and cheese. Rachel’s passion for interacting and connecting with people from all walks of life, combined with her love for the family’s business and delicious products, makes her a perfect fit for Customer Relations.
Georgi Karabelov, Cultured Products Manager
Georgi studied to be a veterinarian in Bulgaria and we are lucky to have him here at Green Valley Organics! He started in 2004 working on the farm and milking goats and has worked his way through every position at the Creamery. Bulgarians are proud to be famous for their yogurt and Georgi takes that to heart in his position now as the Dairy Scientist of Cultured Products. As one customer put it, “Your yogurt is my little daily bowl of heaven that I crave as soon as I get out of bed in the morning.” Georgi’s studies come in handy with his varied duties in dairy technology, microbiology of the milk and dairy products, and quality control.
Georgi and his wife Gergana, have two children, Pavel - age 8 and Dohna - age 7. Pavel may be following in his Dad's footsteps - he came up with some very scientific questions at the Take your Kids to Work Day! Georgi likes to spend his spare time fishing and hiking, and enjoys photography and computer science.
Jesus Pacheco, Cultured Products Supervisor
Jesus has been a valued member of the Redwood Hill team since 2007. He oversees all aspects of the daily production of our cultured yogurts and kefirs. Along with managing the schedules of his crew, he makes sure everything is operating smoothly every step of the way, ensuring only the highest quality cultured products go out our door.
Cultured Products Production Team
Bottom Row, L-R: Gustavo Martinez, Jefty Hernandez, Fortunato Hernandez
Middle Row, L-R: Omar Solorio, Luciano Bejar, Willy Ramirez, Jesus Canela, Jesus Pacheco, Ventura Ventura, Daniel Mendez
Back Row, L-R: Leonardo Garduno, Benjamin Vasquez
The Cultured Products Production Team takes great pride in making our nutritious and delicious yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cream cheese each week. They know to give 100% all the time because our product will be consumed by everyone including our families! Our promise as a team is to always work together with respect, integrity, and commitment to excellence.
Milk Receiving and Pasteurization
Juan and Alfredo are our early birds here at the creamery, ready when the first milk trucks pull in at 2 am! Throughout their shifts, they will unload up to 5 truckloads of fresh milk from local dairies. They perform stringent testing on the milk, which includes tasting, before receiving it into the creamery, where they then perform the pasteurization. Another integral part of their responsibility is sanitizing each truck thoroughly after each delivery to ensure freshness and safety.
Kathleen Heibach, Quality Assurance Manager
Kathleen grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania where there was not much to do besides swim, fish and trek around outdoors. She moved to California where employment and cultural opportunities were greater, continuing her outdoorsy pursuits. At 38, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. After a brief stint in an environmental lab, she moved into dairy lab work, which she found much more interesting and wholesome. After that dairy closed, she moved on to a technical position with a major food company. It was a great place to study food safety as they produced just about everything – except dairy products. Finally, Kathleen is back to dairy after 14 years and loving it.
“I love my job at Redwood Hill. The people are great to work with and I am proud to be associated with an award winning product line. As an animal lover, it means a lot to me that the Redwood Hill Farm was the first Certified Humane goat dairy in the country. At Redwood Hill, quality starts at the top which makes my job as Quality Assurance Manager a pleasure.”
Quality Assurance Team
Stefan Valdeolivar, Quality Assurance Technician
Stefan was born and raised in Petaluma, California. He went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and earned a BS in Earth Science with a minor in Geography. Stefan’s favorite activities include weight lifting, hiking and other outdoor activities. He is also an avid fan of Manchester United Football Club.
Ann Caswell, Quality Assurance Supervisor
Ann has a Dairy Science BS degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California. Sonoma County has been her home for over 14 years. Ann has 15 years quality assurance experience in food manufacturing and winery facilities. In her spare time, Ann enjoys spending time with her children Henna and Kyle. Her hobbies include hiking, Tai Chi, and traveling.
Rodolfo Pacheco, Warehouse Manager
Rudy joined the Warehouse team in 2008 and keeps our products moving smoothly as the Warehouse Manager. Goats are a part of life for Rudy, born in Guanajuato, Mexico. His grandfather gave him his first goat when he was 5 years old and his grandfather is still a goat herder at 80 years of age! Rudy has two children, Estrella and son Rio who love to eat goat yogurt every day.
Shipping & Warehouse Team
The indispensable crew that maintains our warehouse and preps our cheese, yogurt and kefir for shipping - L to R: Carlos Aroche, Rosa Alcantar, Gamaliel Solis, and Remigio Garcia.
Rosa joined the Warehouse team in 2005 when it first opened at the current location in the old apple cannery - she says "I am very happy and lucky to be working here at Redwood Hill Farm" - I think we are the lucky ones! She enjoys spending her spare time with her two children, 8-year old Eddy & 3-year old Tyra, and her husband, Wences. All of us at Redwood Hill love to enjoy Rosa's delicious homemade chocolate flan cake!
Gama has worked for the Warehouse team for 7 years, is a very hard worker, and he always has a happy attitude! He wants to retire from Redwood Hill Farm in a few years to go back home and visit his grandfather who lives by the ocean. It will be very tough to find someone to fill Gama's shoes. Gama hopes to open his own business one day and enjoys thrift store shopping for items for his new business.
Remi fits right in with this hard-working team - always willing to help out. We enjoy working with him!
Creamery Sanitation Team
Meet our creamery Sanitation crew, L to R:
David Munoz, Marcelo Aguirre, Manuel Ruiz, and Leobardo Gamino (Supervisor).
These guys work as a team to ensure our creamery is sanitary, spotless, and spiffy. This is a very important job because everything begins and ends with sanitation. The production of our wonderful products depends on an excellent job done by this team!
Creamery Maintenance & Mechanics
Keeping it running smooth at the creamery day in and day out, are: L-R: Abel Nolasco, Dan Tensfeldt, and Kevin Poulson
Abel Joined us in June of 2014. He has extensive experience working in a production company as a maintenance mechanic. He brings with him new ideas of how we can be more efficient, and is always willing to take the extra step to make sure everythig is working great. During his spare time he enjoys spending time with his two sons and his wife, being outdoors, and coaching his sons baseball team.
Dan Joined the team in October of 2012 as our Refrigeration Specialist. He worked in building construction and refrigeration following an earlier career in lithography. We are now able to handle all refrigeration projects in house with Dan on our team. Dan enjoys spending time with his family and volunteers with the Russian River Wild Steelhead Society to educate young people to be good watershed stewards!