As Chief Operations Officer, Atanas is responsible for supervising the managers of our cultured products and cheese production, in addition to Warehouse, Quality Assurance, Sanitation, and Maintenance departments to ensure that our yogurt, kefir, and cheeses are 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 enthusiasm have vaulted him to the top of operations, and he’s living the “American dream” with Zlatina and their daughter, Alexandra. When he’s not working, Atanas enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer and tennis, and his computers.
“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.”
“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 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.
Communications and Graphic Design Coordinator
Sharon Bice 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, marketing 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
Jordan Hood, Staff Accountant
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 Bice Mills, Programs Coordinator
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.”
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, expanded Redwood Hill Farm, so she brings enthusiasm and family pride to her job. When she’s not evangelizing for Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics, she enjoys brisk outdoor walks, documentary films, long conversations, and her family: husband Rick, and two sons.
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 Relations 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”.
Augusta Bates, Accounts Liaison
Augusta, pictured on left in photo, 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 Farm’s annual Farm Tours and the NASFT Winter Fancy Food Show because she gets to interact face-to-face with our awesome customers and business partners.
Rachel Kualii, Customer Relations
Rachel Kualii, pictured with her Yorkie “Lily”, 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 Road 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.
The Cheese Team
The crew that crafts our award winning artisan cheeses each and every week, L to R : Jefferson Fuentes, Roselia Camacho, Willie Ramirez, Maribel Ramirez (Cheese Communications Order Processor), Jeff Sims, Michael Martinez and Erick Lopez (Cheesemaker).
Cultured Products Manager
Georgi studied to be a veterinarian in Bulgaria and we are lucky to have him here at Redwood Hill Farm! 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 Cultured Products Manager. 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 and Dohna. 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.
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.
Jesus is a big sports fan, rooting for Mexico’s National soccer team and the Raiders. His 3 1/2 year old daughter Natalie loves to come in and help daddy taste-test the yogurts for quality control.
Cultured Products Production Team
The Cultured Products Production Team takes great pride in making our nutritious and delicious yogurt, kefir and sour cream each week. They know to give 100% all the time because our product will be consumed by everyone including their families! Our promise as a team is to always work together with respect, integrity, and commitment to excellence.
L to R: Bottom Row—Gustavo Martinez, Jefty Hernandez, Fortunato Hernandez
Middle Row—Omar Solorio, Luciano Bejar, Willy Ramirez, Jesus Canela, Jesus Pacheco, Ventura Ventura, Daniel Mendez
Back Row—Leonardo Garduno, Benjamin Vasquez
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
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.
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.
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
This indispensable crew maintains our warehouse and preps our cheese, yogurt and kefir for shipping. L to R: Carlos Aroche, Rosa Alcantar, Gamaliel Solis, 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, Eddy and Tyra, and her husband, Wences. All of us at Redwood Hill Farm 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!
Milk Receiving and Pasteurization
Juan Rodriguez (left) and Alfredo Monter-Jacinto are the “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 five 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.
Creamery Sanitation Team
Meet our creamery Sanitation crew, L to R: David Munoz, Marcello Aguirre, Manuel Ruiz, 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
Responsible for keeping it running smooth at the creamery day in and day out are L to R: Abel Nolasco, Dan Tensfeldt and Kevin Poulson.
Abel joined us in June, 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 everything is working great. During his spare time he enjoys spending time with his two sons and wife, being outdoors, and coaching his sons baseball team.
Dan Joined us 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!
The youngest of 10 children in the Bice family, Scott is proud to be part of the family business his parents founded in 1968 at Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. Back on the farm since 2001, Scott has worn many hats, including Warehouse & Shipping Manager and Cheese Plant Manager. Under Scott’s supervision, Redwood Hill Farm became the first Certified Humane® Goat Dairy in the United States.
Scott raises his own LaMancha and Saanen dairy goats under the Vineyard View herd name and is happy with the breeding program’s growing success. Scott has been a licensed judge with the American Dairy Goat Association since 2010 and enjoys traveling throughout the country on judging assignments.
Scott and his wife, Cristi feel fortunate to be able to live and raise their two children, Nicole and Colton, on the farm. The family enjoys the many aspects of a homesteading lifestyle, including raising their own pigs, meat chickens and egg layers. Scott’s hobbies include cheese making, tennis and trail running. Scott also enjoys writing and is excited to be creatively teaching the public more about dairy goats on Redwood Hill Farm’s blog, The Bleat Beat.
Although Trinity grew up with her own dairy goats, she has played an integral role in the success of our farm for many years. As a teenager, she clipped show goats at Redwood Hill Farm, and began working full time for us in 2005.
As herd specialist, Trinity works to maintain the superior breeding program our herd is known for. She finds interacting with the goats on a daily basis especially rewarding, and the results are obvious in the health and beauty of our herd, and the many ‘National Champions’ awarded over the years.
Trinity holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Pacific University in Oregon. Besides all things “goaty”, she enjoys sports, and was a premier softball player at Pacific University. Trinity enjoys most things outdoors, and anything “Farm” related. Trinity also manages her own herd known as ‘Goat-San’, and is highly active in the American Dairy Goat Association as an Licensed Judge, and Linear Appraiser.
Steve grew up in a dairy goat-raising family in south central Wisconsin. Thirty some years ago he relocated to Sonoma County and became the first employee at Redwood Hill Farm. In those days, forty goats were milked by hand and bottling was done with a hand operated bottler for local distribution of raw goat milk. The most sophisticated technology back then was a fork and wheelbarrow. But Steve shared the vision that someday the business would expand and be a financial success, and feels very gratified to see that dream come true.
Steve has always maintained a small select group of Saanens as part of the herd, which trace back to does that he started milking in 1952 when he was five years old. Two of these does were National Champions in 2010 and 2012. His life membership in the American Dairy Goat Association ranks tenth in seniority; he has been a licensed dairy goat judge for 47 years. Steve has dairy goat friends around the world whom he has visited. He has written about dairy goats for many years, with one book to his credit, and is regularly featured in “United Caprine News”. Steve is currently working on a history of dairy goat registry activity in the United States.
The Farm Team
Although coming from a variety of backgrounds, the Redwood Hill Farm Team shares the common goal of maintaining one of the top show and milking dairy goat herds in the country. They strive for a commitment of sustainability and diversification of our family farm in beautiful Sonoma County.
L-R: Michele Benson, Gergana Karabelov, Krista Meyers, Margarita Ortega, Dominique Weaver. Not shown: Pedro Lopez-Matus.