The Foundation

Formerly a for-profit business, Butte Creek Mill became a foundation shortly after the devastating fire that destroyed most of the building on Christmas Day, 2015. The Mill then received its 501(c)(3) status in 2017. Aside from the traditional benefits of having tax-exempt status and tax-deductible contributions, there are many long-term benefits the Foundation will provide to the Southern Oregon community once it is restored.    As a non-profit organization, Butte Creek Mill Foundation will enrich the community by boosting the local economy as it revives tourism in Eagle Point. It will provide educational opportunities to all as it increases its accessibility, environmental sustainability as it secures the water rights to the creek, and historical preservation as the Mill becomes operational again. In addition, the Foundation will continue to oversee the running of the Mill General Store once reopened. Once the Mill is again operational, the Foundation will become self-sustaining and will be beneficial to the community in perpetuity.       All of this is possible with the continued support of donations and community support to “Rebuild the Mill”. The Butte Creek Mill Foundation is an integral part of the community as it works to bring people together and create lasting connections for the betterment of all. It also provides the opportunity for people to learn and participate in Southern Oregon history as the Mill rejoins local tours. The Mill creates an environment where the community can come together and make a difference. With continued support, it can be restored to its rightful place as a historical monument and enrich the neighborhood for many years to come.    The Butte Creek Mill Foundation mission is to preserve heritage, build community, and improve the environment. Our goals are implementing a core curriculum about Native Americans, early settlers, nutrition, ecology of Butte Creek and early building methods. We will adhere to a policy of sustainability and integrity.





Sue Kupillas, Board Chair

Sue Kupillas graduated from the University of Idaho, with a BA in the Arts and completed a standard teaching certificate from Western Oregon University. She taught High School art, was a substitute teacher and “Artist in the Schools” for several years.

Ms. Kupillas was a Jackson County Commissioner for 16 years. During her tenure, she started the White City Community Improvement Association and the White City Urban Renewal Agency in 1990. After she developed a community policing district in the unincorporated area, crime and vandalism dropped by 10 percent in the first year. She started the Rogue Family Center, bringing state and county human services under one roof and creating Oregon’s first one-stop program. In the 1980s Ms. Kupillas served on the School District 9 Board of Directors and was president of the Oregon School Boards Association.

For the last eight years Kupillas has run a consulting business, Allied Solutions by Kupillas, LLC (ASK). Kupillas received several awards, including a Planning award from the State of Oregon for work in White City, Award from Society of American Foresters; Jackson County Stockman’s Association, and the Chamber of Commerce among others. 

Kim Jones, Vice Chair


Kim is an Oregon native who grew up in the Rogue Valley. Her background is in business and she worked in the private sector for twelve years prior to attending graduate school. While in law school in Salem, OR, she decided to add on her MBA and finished school with a joint degree of Juris Doctorate and Masters of Business Administration. While in graduate school her studies focused on land use, sustainability, natural resource law, and public policy. 


Leon Sherman, Board Member at Large

Former Mayor and Police Chief of Eagle Point, OR






PATRICK DUFFY - “I've called the Rogue Valley home for over 25 years so naturally the Butte Creek Mill holds a special place in my heart. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to join as a community and rebuild the cherished Mill. Creating memories with family and friends in the new and improved Mill will not only bring our community closer together but will help with the economic growth of Eagle Point when people come see it for themselves.”

Patrick Duffy is an American actor, best known for his role on the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas, where he played Bobby Ewing, the youngest son of Miss Ellie and the nicest brother of J.R. Duffy is an Eagle Point resident.

PATSY SMULLIN - “I can't think of a better way for all of us to show our love for this community than to invest in the rebuild of such a historic monument. I'm honored to be on the advisory committee for the Butte Creek Mill and look forward to watching the progress as our beloved mill is restored.”

Patricia (Patsy) Smullin, Medford, OR, is President of California Oregon Broadcasting which includes five TV stations, a digital production company and a cable television company in Central Oregon. Patsy currently serves as a Willamette University trustee, AAA Oregon/ Idaho board member, and on the SMART leadership council. She is a former board member of the National Association of Broadcasters and the NBC Affiliate Board. Patsy holds a B.S. from Oregon State University. She served previously on the OSF board from 1999 to 2006 and has returned to serve again.



SAM JAMES - “I have had the privilege to be a community leader all of my adult life. I encourage our entire community to come forward to support this project. The Butte Creek Mill rebuild will make life much better for all of us in the Rogue Valley.”

Sam James, Eagle Point, OR, graduated from Phoenix High School in 1967 and then joined the Navy for six years.    He discovered during his travels in the Navy that southern Oregon is a very special place to live. Upon his return, Sam began working in the construction industry which eventually to led to owning a commercial construction company for a quarter of a century. Sam became highly involved in the community during this time and continues to be involved today.



BILL THORNDIKE - “The loss of the Butte Creek Mill in 2015 was tragic for our community and beyond. As a third generation resident of the Rogue Valley, it is without question that this historic landmark needs to be restored for the spirit of our community and the enjoyment of the tourists who visit the valley each year.”

Bill Thorndike, Medford, OR, operates his family business, Medford Fabrication. Bill serves as the Treasurer of the Northwest Health Foundation. He also currently serves on several boards including, Southern Oregon University, Oregon Business Council, Regence – Oregon BlueCross Blue Shield, Crater Lake National Park Trust, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Forum, Jefferson Regional Health Alliance, and Philanthropy Northwest.  Bill has served on several Boards and Commissions in the past including, Port of Portland, Oregon Community Foundation, Asante Health System, Northwest Area Foundation and the Portland Branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.  Bill Graduated in 1972 from Medford Senior High and graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BS in Business Administration.  His honors include the SOLV/Tom McCall Leadership Award and the Glen Jackson Leadership Award from Willamette University.

LINDSAY BERRYMAN - “My family and I have many fond memories of visiting the Butte Creek Mill and, like the rest of the community and beyond, we were deeply saddened by the tragic events of 2015. It is an honor to be a part of this community and watch everyone come together to rebuild this special place. I am looking forward to creating new memories and for those who visit the valley to see what we have accomplished.”

Lindsay Berryman, Medford, OR, is the Owner and President of Sacca di Italiana, a business which imports and sells fine leather handbags. Previously, Lindsay was a Residential Real Estate Agent with Van Horn Real Estate and founded and developed the Cookie Connection, both in Medford. She has been a Director of Peoples Bank of Commerce since July 2014. As the first female mayor of Medford, she has a long history of volunteer and government service. Including two esteemed appointments by Governor John Kitzhaber to the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission and the Oregon Progress Board.



BOB & CHANA HYER - “Eagle Point became our home in 2013 when we became the proud owners of the Eagle Point Golf Course. As new residents to the valley, we immediately felt the love of this community and couldn't think of a better way to show our gratitude than by getting involved in the rebuild of the Butte Creek Mill. We look forward to watching this structure evolve and can't wait to celebrate with our local community at its completion.”

Bob and Chana Hyer, Eagle Point, OR , moved to Eagle Point in 2013 when they purchased the Eagle Point Golf Course. Before coming to the Rogue Valley, Bob previously built a successful financial planning business, Mosaic Financial Group, in the Portland area. He grew up in Southern California and played baseball in the United States Air Force for six years.  Chana is a landscape designer, horticulturist, and master gardener.  She designed the landscaping at the Eagle Point Golf Course.  Chana has also signed on to design the garden next to the Mill, also known as Debbie's Garden.

KEN TRAUTMAN - “As a local business owner, native Oregonian and Eagle Point High School graduate, it is my privilege to be part of this community and to work with other locally minded individuals to rebuild the Butte Creek Mill. The Mill is a special and longstanding part of our history. We owe it to one another to come together and restore the Mill, not only for the local community, but for the next generation and for those who visit us each year.”

Ken Trautman, Medford, OR, Co-founder of People's Bank of Commerce since 1998.  He has been the President and Chief Executive Officer since September 2008. Mr. Trautman worked with Western Bank as Senior Vice President and Regional Administrator for Southern Oregon, before it was purchased by Washington Mutual in 1996. He has been Director of People's Bank of Commerce since 2008. He has also been a Director of Asante Health Systems, Inc. since March 9, 2017. He serves as a Director of Oregon Bankers Association, Secretary and Treasurer of Oregon Bankers Association and has served on the board of directors for the Community Health Center, Britt Festivals, Greater Medford Rotary, D-9 Foundation. In addition, he is actively involved with 4-H, FFA and other youth organizations.

WILL ST. LAURENT - “Since my first arrival in 1985, the Butte Creek Mill has been an indelible part of my connection to the Rogue Valley. Being part of the community for 33 years, our family has a strong desire to help restore the Mill to its former glory so this important piece of the history of the Rogue Valley can provide the same important historical context for future generations of residents and visitors. I am humbled to help in the process to support this critical effort of restoration and preservation of the Butte Creek Mill.”

Will St. Laurent, has served over 9 years on the Board of Directors of the St. Laurent Institute. He founded Genomic Diagnostic Technologies (GDT) in order to make investments in promising technologies in Systems Biology. GDT worked with Dan Jones to acquire the assets of Helicos and create SeqLL. Mr. St. Laurent has served as Vice Chairman of the Western Bank of Oregon and served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Vitech America, as well as founding many other companies in lumber, real estate, all natural food products, agriculture, recycling and alternative energy. Mr. St. Laurent holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.