BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ERNST BRUDERER : CHAIRMAN
Ernst is an experienced multinational entrepreneur with an extensive background as a CEO in various industries and cultural environments, including CEO of Overterra USA, Chairman and CEO of Burka Coffee Estates in Tanzania. Head of the Trademark and Patent Department and Corporate Secretary for Jacobs Suchard, a division of Kraft General Foods in Switzerland as well as EVP in Italy.. He is currently a Director of Coastal States Bank, Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Synco Properties in Charlotte and Chairman of the Board of Lowcountry Motors, He is a Chair for Vistage International for the Savannah/Hilton Head market.
He served in many capacities for NFP organizations like as Chairman of The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, Chairman of the Hilton Head Preparatory School and Sea Pines Montessori School, Vice Chairman of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and as a Volunteer and Board Member of Second Helpings. He is presently chairing the Wish Upon a Horse Foundation here on Hilton Head Island and serves as the State Director for the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF).
Ernst has been married to his wife Christina for over 33 years and they have 3 children, ages 21, 24 and 26. He and his family enjoy sports, from skiing and golf to traveling the world!
DR JEAN FRUH : EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Originally from Upstate New York, Jean now shares her time between Hilton Head and West Virginia. Jean obtained her BS and MS in Athletic Training/Physical Education from Springfield College and her EdD in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia.
Jean worked for West Virginia Wesleyan College for over 20 years as an Assistant Professor and Director of Athletic Training. Since relocating to Hilton Head for much of the year, Jean has worked for Outside Hilton Head. There she has served in a multitude of capacities, including: kayak and paddleboard instructor, retail manager, internship supervisor, teambuilding facilitator and guide. In addition, Jean actively created and fostered Outside Hilton Head’s internal, staff-led sustainability initiative “The Green Team.” Dr. Fruh is a South Carolina Master Naturalist and a volunteer at Volunteers in Medicine as well as The Heritage Golf Tournament.
Jean and her husband, Dr. Frank Hartman, have 2 children and 2 grand children. In her free time, she enjoys reading, golf, tennis, travel and Orioles baseball.
DR JOHN BATSON
John Batson grew up on Hilton Head and graduated from Hilton Head High. He graduated from the College of Charleston with a BS in Biology and completed medical school at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He completed his intership and residency in Greenville, SC. He completed dual-fellowships in Sports Medicine and Pain Medicine, and is the only physician in the state to hold these dual board certifications.
Dr. Batson has lectured extensively in the field of Sports Medicine and Spine Care and co-authored 5 publications in these fields. He is a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Batson has been in private practice in the Lowcountry for over five years and currently owns Lowcountry Spine and Sport. His medical practive has been a patron sponsor for the Heritage Golf Tournament for the past 4 years and he organized a group of local physicians to jointly sponsor the even when it was in jeopardy. For over 5 years, John has served as a volunteer team physician for Bluffton High School. Dr. Batson and his wife, Alice recently served as chair people for the American Heart Association Heart Ball.
John and Alice have a daughter Jordan, who is a sophomore at Fordham University in Manhattan. In his free time, Dr. Batson is an avid water sports enthusiast who enjoys windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking and wakeboarding.
A native of Bluffton, Peter has spent most of his life on and around the water. Peter studied photography at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV.
Choosing to work on the water, Peter has made a living at one time or another crabbing, shrimping, as a fishing guide and boat captain. Presently he manages his tree farm and several other properties, as well as being an interpretive kayak guide at Outside Hilton Head. He is also a docent at the Coastal Discovery Museum.
Peter has been married to Leisa for over 30 years and they have 3 children. The whole family enjoys being outside in the Lowcountry.
Mark Messier is a former professional hockey player and currently the CEO of the Knightsbridge National Ice Center. Mark is a six-time Stanley Cup winner and was the Captain of the 1994 New York Rangers in their first Stanley Cup win in 54 years. He is a 16-time NHL All-Star and the only professional athlete to Captain to different franchises to Championships. Mark is the second all-time leading scorer in NHL history, second only to Wayne Gretzky. He is also second in all-time games played to Gordie Howe. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all-time and in 2007 was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility.
Mark was most recently the Special Assistant to the President of the New York Rangers Hockey Club. In that role, Messier assisted President and General Manager Glen Sather in carious on and off ice activities. In addition to his duties with the Rangers, Messier was named General Manager of Team Canada in December 2009 for the 2010 World Championships in Germany. In October 2010, he was named head coach of Team Canada for both the 2010 Deutschland Cup and 2010 Spengler Cup competitions, and led his team to a second place finish in the Spengler Cup.
Messier is a member of the board of the NY Police & First Widows & Children’s Benefit Fund. He is an active supporter of the Tomorrows Children’s Fund, an organization with which he opened the Mark Messier Skyway for Tomorrows Children at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Mark lives in Connecticut with his wife and two young children.
BRIAN KINARD : TREASURER
Originally from Houston, Texas Brian has spent most of his adult life living and working between the Florida Keys, Hilton Head Is., Texas, and parts of Europe. He maintains a 1600 ton US Coast Guard Masters License and has worked extensively on boats, yachts, ships and tugboats. In 2013 Brian and his wife Mollie, a native of Hilton Head, decided to plant roots in Hilton Head and enjoy a welcomed career change. Brian is a full time REALTOR with the Schembra Real Estate Group on Hilton Head Island and serves on many boards and committees, including the Board of Directors for the Hilton
Head Area Association of Realtors, the Chairman of the legislative committee, and the Chairman of the Candidate Screening Committee. He has also been involved with other non-profits on the island, currently serving on the Board of Directors for The Sandbox Children's Museum. When Brian is not busy volunteering or working, you can find Brian, Mollie, and their dog Tug spending time out on the water, surfing, kiteboarding, traveling, and enjoying this incredible Island.
Mike Overton is the founder, owner, and CEO of Outside Brands. A graduate of the University of Vermont with a BS in Resource Economics he has been a business owner in the Hilton Head community since 1979. Outside Brands is a multi-faceted organization. Operations include retail, team and leadership development, outdoor education, outdoor recreation, and destination management. Mr. Overton has lead experiential team and leadership development programs for over 400 organizations including many fortune 500 corporations, local small business, and professional sports teams. He also provides consulting services on the development of nature-based recreation programs.
Mike’s vision to create opportunities for local kids to get outside and his passion for environmental protection and preservation was the seed for the idea of the Outside Foundation. He has served on boards of The HHI Chamber of Commerce, The Island Recreation Association, The Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head, The Low Country Recycling Association, and The South Island Public Service District and currently The Port Royal Sound Foundation.
Melissa Krauss has a diverse background, and currently works full time as a Global Sales Executive for IBM. Melissa graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the John Hopkins University, Carey Business School in Baltimore, Maryland and has held various sales leadership positions at IBM since 2000 where she successfully coaches global teams to consistently deliver complex solutions and achieve large revenue targets. Melissa also has a Masters in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Bachelors in Nursing from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and has held several positions in healthcare prior to joining IBM as both a clinician and an executive. In the span of these roles she implemented clinical and business best practices to reduce cost, drive operational efficiency, and improve outcomes for patients.
Melissa was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and has lived in New York, Tennessee, Indiana and Maryland before moving to Hilton Head Island. Through the years one thing remains the same, her dedication to her family who live across the United States. Melissa is a busy Aunt involved with her 24 Nieces and Nephews and 11 great Nieces and Nephews. She spends her spare time pursuing her love of nature through wildlife photography and working to preserve the local ecology. She is a founding member of the island’s grassroots Turtle Trackers organization which is focused on supporting efforts to improve the nesting and survival Loggerhead Sea Turtles on Hilton Head Island. Melissa is also an avid cyclist who enjoys riding the island roads.