Founder / President
Jeff is the proud founder and owner of Patriarch Distillers. He has been working in the liquor wholesale industry since 1999. He has always had a palate for whiskey and bourbon and he wanted to learn more about the fermentation and distillation processes that were used to make them. In 2002, Jeff began experimenting with distilling, making his own whiskey and bourbon and storing it away.
It was not until 2011 that Jeff finally brought his dreams to fruition. He came up with the idea of using a canteen bottle, did some research, hired an attorney, and found that both the patent and trademark for the bottle were available. A veteran himself with strong military ties in his family, Jeff felt that the canteen was a natural fit, an iconic symbol that everyone could recognize.
Jeff named his product Soldier Valley after his father’s hometown in Iowa. The brand name serves to bring together both the farming and military histories of his ancestors. Through his business, Jeff enjoys being able to give back to the community and support his fellow veterans.
Shannon has been with Patriarch Distillers since day one. She attended Wayne State College for four years before graduating from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications and Mass Communications.
Shannon has worked in the liquor industry for over 20 years and has known the founder, Jeff Hadden, for just as long. When Jeff first came to her with the idea for the canteen bottle, she told him he had to do it. After repeatedly being asked by Jeff to come on board with the operation, she was finally convinced.
As the Directing Manager, Shannon oversees Patriarch’s accounts, manages payroll, computes the monthly and quarterly taxes, schedules music, hires and trains new employees, updates the website, and helps design new merchandise. She is also the human resources manager and is in charge of the tasting room and the tour schedule at Patriarch. Shannon’s favorite aspect of working at Patriarch Distillers is the people, as she enjoys talking to both the employees and the customers.
Darrel is the most recent member of the Patriarch team, joining in November of 2017. He spent 21 years serving in both the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve. After retiring from active duty, Darrel supported the Strategic Air Command as a contractor. He became involved with Patriarch after overhearing at the bar that the distillery needed someone to give tours. He left his name and number and got the job.
Darrel currently leads tours and spends time working as a bartender and bar back. As someone who brews his own beer, Darrel has always been interested in the distilling process and is currently learning the distilling craft and plans to continue to grow his skills and knowledge in support of the Patriarch mission.
Cassandra has worked at Patriarch Distillers as a bottler for more than five years. She is double majoring in journalism and broadcasting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is set to graduate in May of 2021. Prior to college, she spent two years working as the high school correspondent for the Gretna Guide and News, a weekly newspaper.
At Patriarch, Cassandra keeps busy as she updates the company website, bartends, gives tours, and helps manage the social media accounts. She continues to bottle while also taking on any miscellaneous tasks around the distillery.