Born and raised in Washington State, owner Peter Kilpatrick always knew he wanted to build and over the years he indulged his passion. Growing up on the then rural south end of Mercer Island, Pete was famous for his use of challenging materials in an endless series of forts. From a steel framed dome during his years at The Evergreen State College, to the San Juan Island cabin built in 1972 of recycled wood from a turn of the century schoolhouse, Pete opened the tap of his imagination and let ideas pour out. A growing family and the need to express his developing architectural vision found Pete building his “big” house when a fire destroyed the cabin and hurried the vision along. A few years later, Pete made the leap from Ravenhill Woodworking to Ravenhill Construction and a company was born.
Pete and his wife Becky have made significant contributions to the San Juan Island community. Becky spent over twenty years teaching in her much loved Foxglove Preschool. She is now focusing on her art and looking forward to the 2009 opening of her gallery and studio in the new Ravenhill building. Pete has been a volunteer fireman for over 20 years. He is a member of the Advisory Board for The Community Home Trust, which provides low cost housing on San Juan Island and is also a member of The San Juan Initiative, part of the Puget Sound Partnership, which looks for solutions to clean up Puget Sound.
Pete and Becky have two children. Daughter Madeline recently received her Master’s degree from Smith College and is beginning a career in clinical social work. Son Adrian graduated with a B/A from the University of British Columbia and is interested in pursuing a career in green building and sustainable architecture.
Besides building, Pete is passionate about spending time in the mountains whether hiking, skiing or mountain climbing. His most recent climbing trip took him to Nepal where he summited 22,400 ft. Ama Dablam near Mt. Everest.
As office manager, Shelle Cropper is a vital member of the Ravenhill team. She performs the enormous task of keeping the company organized and is constantly looking out for the best interests of our employees and clients. She brings great integrity and gravity to her role and is also much appreciated around the office for her kindness and wit.
A native Northwesterner, Shelle loves the rainy, windy, gray days when it’s hard to tell the difference between the water and the sky. She thanks the goddess that there are only about three days a year when the temperature gets over 75 degrees. A graduate of The Evergreen State College, with a teaching degree from Western Washington University, Shelle spends her real time writing, quilting, gardening and learning to play the violin.
Shelle and her husband Ellis, a fisherman and longtime member of the Ravenhill team, have two beautiful children who grew up with their gang of cousins on San Juan. Her daughter Isla recently graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in pre-veterinary studies. She is an accomplished rider and horse trainer. Son Sky is currently attending Evergreen State College and spends his summers fishing with his father in Alaska.
Jonathan Hu joins the office team as project manager and green building specialist. He is a National Association of Home Builders Green Building Professional and is responsible for assuring that Ravenhill’s current green building project, Bruels, meets Built Green and LEED certification standards. Jonathan is an experienced carpenter and designer and is Ravenhill’s resident expert in AutoCAD. He is also often credited with being the most positive member of the Ravenhill office team and has dubbed his work area “the Spring of Eternal Hope”.
Jonathan was born in Bombay, India and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He and his wife Vail moved to the island in 1995 and, after a few years of traveling back and forth to Asia, the two settled down to raise a family. Jonathan and Vail now have two beautiful daughters; Uma, 11 and Ella, 8. The girls have enjoyed growing up in this idilic island setting and Jonathan says he hopes they can remain children for as long as possible.
When not at the office, Jonathan works from home running his own design business. Jonathan and Vail both play in bands and are active members of the local music scene. Jonathan looks forward to future gigs and travel adventures with his family.
Joe Cooper is our cabinetmaker and interior finish foreman. Located in the shop attached to the Ravenhill office, he is involved in all aspects of the business from researching health care benefits to encouraging efficiency. Joe brings confidence, skill, artistic vision and a bit of humor to every project he undertakes. Look for more about Joe’s work in our new section on the Ravenhill Cabinet Shop.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Joe graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in botany. He owned Joseph Cooper Designs, a cabinet shop in New York City for 4 years, and then began his trek, via a cabinet shop in the high desert of New Mexico, to the Pacific Northwest.
Joe says that he is like an “…old salmon, migrating back to his origins,” an east coaster who found his true home in the west. Joe and Paula, an accomplished potter and artist, got married and then built their house near the little pond on MacGinitie Road. Joe continues to gather inspiration from sons Eli and Otis who are now exploring the world of competitive sports. Both are enthusiastic baseball and soccer players who are currently enjoying another busy year at Friday Harbor Elementary School.
Dan Bacon has spent 16 years as a Ravenhill interior finish foreman. When a house has been “baconized” it achieves a level of perfection rarely seen in the construction world. Dan continues to impress the crew with his patience and incredible attention to detail on a progressively more challenging series of projects.
Moving from New Jersey, Dan and his family joined his mother and sisters on the island. Dan, Frances and their four children participate in this community in many ways. Dan is an EMT and helps teach first aid and CPR classes. Frances works for the Journal of the San Juan’s and both have been active in The Spring Street School (a private middle/high school). Their oldest son Daryl, continues to pursue a modeling career and has been featured in an advertising campaign for Calvin Klein. He is now at home helping a friend with a building project while playing in a local marimba band. Bronwyn attends Bastyr medical school in Seattle. Ceradwen, is focusing on her artwork while curating for local artists in Seattle. Youngest son Trefor is a welcome seasonal member of the Ravenhill crew and is currently attending school at Santa Clara. Dan’s spare time finds him collecting tools, hiking, fishing for salmon and spending quiet moments with Frances reading in the evenings.
Lloyd “the hammer” Thompson has been with Ravenhill for almost 20 years. An interior finish foreman, Lloyd has worked on many of our most complex projects. He is the acknowledged master of the concrete countertop. The crew really appreciates Lloyd’s positive attitude and cheerful demeanor. Whether singing, joking or relaying an urban legend or story from his past, Lloyd knows how to get the job done and have a little fun while he’s at it.
Lloyd, Myah and their daughters, Sorelle and Juniper moved to the island from Humboldt, California. They bought 10 acres and built a beautiful little house at the edge of San Juan Valley. Lloyd’s interests include identifying birds, collecting exotic woods and growing roses.
Lloyd and Myah recently surprised their friends and families by getting married in Hawaii! They returned home and threw a fantastic island party filled with music, dancing, drum beats and laughter. More than a few people shed a tear of joy for one of the island’s most fun couples.
Jerry Price has been a foreman with Ravenhill for almost 15 years. An experienced carpenter, he owned his own company; Price Construction, in Southern California. Jerry’s first job for Ravenhill took him to the west side of the island. As he watched the orca whales chasing salmon in the Straights of San Juan and eagles nesting in nearby trees, his comment was “…they call this work?”. Jerry and his wife Jody have three kids and are very involved with the schools.
Chris Wisniewski has been working with Ravenhill for over 15 years. He started work in 1992 on a large project on the eastside and has worked on many projects and islands since. Chris grew up on the East Coast, attended Lock Haven University, then went to Wooden Boat Building School in Seattle. While attending school in Seattle, he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Chris’ hobbies include bike riding, traveling, and tinkering on his own place on Schoolhouse road.