Leadership

Fraternus Chapters are born from and always pointed back to the parish, the local community of men, because it is the Eucharist that Christian fraternity is most manifest. Fraternus helps to unite the men of a parish into a brotherhood seeking virtue and holiness, and then provides a framework to make sure that passes on to the next generation through intentional mentoring.  This makes a Fraternus Chapter truly a “brotherhood for all ages.”  Although it goes into high school and beyond, Fraternus membership begins in 6th grade, because it is in those years that mentoring becomes necessary.

Leadership

National Program Officer


Jason Craig grew up in two homes – sometimes with his mom and sometimes with his dad, but he moved in with his dad full time at age 12. “For a lot of my friends, their father was a blank in their minds,” Jason explains, “They just were not around. But my dad took me in at a critical age and showed me that fathers love and protect their sons. Later it made sense to me that God would send His Son to save me – dads do that for their boys.”

Jason fell into typical teenage vices, but everything changed after he was mentored by a mature Christian man and led to accept the Christian faith. Jason has been working with youth ever since.

After a failed attempt at showing a Catholic friend why Catholicism was nonsense, Jason became a Catholic, along with his future-wife Katie, who grew up in an atheist home. After being received into the Church, Jason and Katie entered the world of full-time Catholic ministry. However, as Jason applied his knowledge and experience of youth ministry at a Catholic parish he realized that it was the families, especially the fathers that had the greatest impact. During this time Jason joined Justin Biance and Tommy Van Horn in founding Fraternus, and Jason wrote and developed the training and curriculum used today around the country. Jason has a Masters in Theology and Evangelization from the Augustine Institute, and continues his studies and work from a small farm in rural NC. His writings on culture, masculinity, and mentoring have appeared on numerous sites like New Advent, Catholic Exchange, and Those Catholic Men, and he is working on a book on rites of passage for Catholic boys. He is also known to staunchly defend his family’s claim to have invented bourbon.

National Administration and Development Officer


Joshua Johnson, whose story you can watch on “The Journey Home” on EWTN, has experienced the impact of mentoring firsthand. Thanks to mentoring he received as a young man, he left a career in political fundraising to become a United Methodist Pastor, and eventually found himself resigning from the pastorate and becoming a Catholic.

Prior to joining the Fraternus Exective Team in 2014, Josh started a Fraternus Chapter at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Bremerton, WA. In addition to serving Fraternus, Josh is the managing partner of Eagle Guard Self Storage, Holy Family Properties and on a limited basis consults for other nonprofit organizations. He has extensive experience in ministry, finance, nonprofit management, fundraising, commerical property management and real estate investing. He holds a Master’s of Theological Studies (Magna Cum Laude) from Duke University, a Master’s in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a BS in Government (Cum Laude) from Liberty University. He is a Certified Fund Raising Professional (CFRE), an international certification earned in the fundraising profession after extensive study, examination and years of successful fundraising.

Josh lives in the Greenville, South Carolina area where he is happily married to Katie and has been blessed with four children, Joshua Jr., Elizabeth Anne, Juliana, and Dominic. He volunteers as a Captain at his local Fraternus Chapter and enjoys hiking, camping, traveling and adventures to new places with family.

Ranch Officer

Believing deeply in the power of beauty to change the world, Jimmy’s gift of storytelling and piano-playing brings him to every corner of the world. From summer camps and corporate retreats to large-scale conferences, his greatest joy is helping others fall in love with God.

He’s the founder and chief curator of Love Good, a subscription company that promotes music, books, and art that evangelize culture through beauty. He’s been involved with Fraternus since the early days, helping launch chapters across middle Tennessee and leading summer ranch several years in a row. For over ten years now, HAWC on Tuesdays and Frat Nights on Wednesdays have been highlights and staples of his life in Nashville.

National Communications Officer

Tom is a cradle Catholic, growing up in the Northeast, raised in a family of five, he is right in the middle of four girls. His father was an electrician, and while his mother stayed at home, with some part time jobs to help make ends meet. Tom went to Catholic Schools through his graduation as an Electrical Engineer from Manhattan College. He met his wife at college, then in 1984 they were wed at Manhattan College (in one of the ugliest chapels on earth). They started their Life together in the Hudson Valley in NY, where Tom started his nearly 28 year career with IBM, followed by another 7 years with Cognizant. They moved to Atlanta, then Charlotte when they sought a simpler lifestyle (going away from a 2-income home, plus nanny) to raise their twins, Thomas & Sarah, who were 2 at the time.

Tom & Dianne joined St. Mark Catholic Church in Huntersville, NC during its very first days, and they have served in many different capacities. Tom is a charter Knight of Columbus at St. Mark Parish, and was a part of the launch of a “new” Youth Ministry program there in 2001 called Life Teen (after completing an Executive MBA program at Wake Forest University). He has served on the Pastoral Council, was a catechist for 4th graders, ran Confirmation Preparation for Teens (RCIT) and has been training the Altar Servers at St. Mark on and off since its beginning.

In 2013, Dianne and Tom were approached by Fred Goduti (Charlotte Area Regional Sage) to attend an information session on Fraternus and Fidelis. We did, and both of us jumped in. Dianne became the Lead Lady for Fidelis during its first 3 years, and is now is on the National Board for Fidelis, while Tom became Fred’s Finance Officer, and established his reputation for details and quality in all we do (nick-named “The Hammer” by peer captains and creating a new verb in the national team of “being Ridered”). He joined the National team in August and looks forward to contributing wherever his skills can plug in to grow this Awesome ministry to hundreds if not thousands of parishes.

Our family has jumped out of an airplane (making memories when Tom found his Second Job through the intersession of St. Joseph his patron). We love roller-coasters (the bigger / faster the better), live music, and most important we love our time together as both our twins are still here in the area. Finally, after 23 years in Huntersville, raising our family, we downsized this year to a Condo on Lake Norman, and are loving our retirement location and blessed lives. Praise God.

New Chapter Development Officer


Terry Rumore is a lifelong resident of Birmingham, Alabama. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Charlotte, for 23 years and together they have raised 4 beautiful children; Patrick (21),Anna(19),Libby(17) and Michael(13).

He is a third generation business owner along with his brother. They own Southern Armature Works and Southern Radiator Cooling where the Rumore family has been serving the Birmingham community for 89 years! Terry and his family are members of the Cathedral of St Paul where he serves as Commander of the Birmingham Fraternus Chapter.

National Sage & Fraternus Board Member


Danny Snyder has a classic American story of working from the bottom to the top, working up from dishwasher to chief operating officer of the Merchant’s and Mere Bulle’s restaurant chain. He also started an Allstate insurance company, sold it back to Allstate, then started an independent insurance company that has grown to 2,000 clients in a short few years. But like many “classic American” men Danny fell away from his Catholic faith as a young man.

After decades of struggling to balance his life, things needed to change. So, he decided to try out going to Eucharistic Adoration at the local parish. “From that point a fire was ignited,” Danny explains. Danny re-engaged with his faith in a big way.

But it wasn’t until he became the first Commander of Our Lady of the Lakes Fraternus Chapter in Hendersonville, TN that Danny’s flame went from pilot light to full blaze. “When I heard of Fraternus I knew I must get involved for the sake of my sons,” explains Danny, “little did I know I would benefit me more than them.”

Danny is not only a volunteer and benefactor, but is offering his lifetime of successful business experience as a Board Member. When asked why he works so hard for Fraternus, Danny is straightforward: “Fraternus is changing the world for the better. Better equipping young Catholic boys to be great Catholic men.”

National Program / Systems Officer


After spending the first eight years of his life with the Wynne family following the father’s DuPont career transfers from Old Hickory, TN to Bridgeport, CT, Herkimer, NY and Scarsdale, Ny, the Wynne family returned to Nashville, TN in 1947 via a two year stay in Springfield, TN. Tom, a cradle Catholic, attended Catholic schools all but one school year of his life through one year of college at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN. Determining college was not for him at that point in time, a waste of perfectly good money, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army Security Agency. After active military duty, some years were spent as an insurance adjuster which prompted the successful taking of law courses at the University of Tennessee Nashville Extension. Circumstances and opportunities lead Tom to embark on his 36 year career in the asphalt paving construction industry in Nashville which prompted a return to the UT Extension for courses in civil engineering. Retiring from the asphalt paving industry in 2002, Tom started enjoying the leisure life in Hendersonville, TN where he had been a resident since 1978, attending Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church with his wife Jeanie. Then along came Fraternus to Our Lady of the Lake in 2010 in which Tom finally engaged in something truly meaningful.

I’m beginning my ninth year in Fraternus and was Communication Officer for the OLOL Chapter from its inception, then after a time, I was appointed, elected or designated the first National Commander of Fraternus.

I keep it real with the brothers. I have made it an annual affair, sometimes, maybe, twice a year, to confess to the Brothers that I have broken every commandment that Moses brought down from the mountain. More than once! Everyone! I well know when, where and how the evil one strikes. I’ve lost battles and, finally, won some. Now, being in the right army, I can prepare my young Brothers for the onslaught, telling the story in the third person only revealing in last sentences that the person the story is about is me and involving them in the story, asking at certain points what the person in the story should do to correct himself. They get thoroughly involved. Mentoring is telling them when and where evil lurks and how temptation presents itself. Then give them witness and training to get up if they fall, retreat, re-group, re-plan and fight again!

I think Fraternus will be, someday, as integral to the Catholic Church as the Knights of Columbus.

Board of Directors

Chair

Ed Toth first came into contact with Fraternus right at the beginning, at one of the “pilot” Chapters at St. Paul’s in Pensacola, FL. “I fell in love with the idea immediately,” he remembers. “I’ve been involved ever since.”

Ed and his wife Karen co-founded Telecom, a successful business in the world of telecommunications. As an electrical engineer, Ed has also worked in management at GE and has overseen man high-tech projects. “I have also had every version of a smart phone since the very beginning,” he adds. Ed and Karen have created a wonderful culture in their company that allows their family to be together, travel often, and live their faith vibrantly.

Ed’s two boys are currently Brothers in Fraternus, and Ed is even piloting a program for younger boys, since Fraternus doesn’t start until age 11. He has experienced what he calls “the burden and privilege” of mentoring and knows the world needs more ways that men can intentionally form the next generation. It’s a burden, he says, because men are fallible and sinful creatures, but it’s a privilege because men are also called in a unique way to pass on a true manhood rooted in Jesus Christ.

Asked why he is a board member and benefactor, Ed laughs and says, “Because Jason Craig invited me to his house for fresh bacon!” But he then explains that his experience with the brotherhood and philosophies of Fraternus have really helped him in his own life, and help men and boys in general reclaim the spirit of virtue and greatness. “Men and fatherhood in general are just too underrated, but we can look around today and see how much we need more virtuous men.”

Founder

As the lead founder of Fraternus, Justin’s inspiration to start Fraternus came from growing up without strong Catholic mentorship and then finding it when he joined the Catholic Student Union at Florida State University. While working for the Boy Scouts of America he began to see the need for a distinctly Catholic movement for boys rooted in fraternity and learning the truth of manhood found in Jesus Christ.

Professionally, Justin and his brother Jason own and operate J. Biance Financial, an investment advisory practice. Justin remains a dedicated member of the Fraternus team as a benefactor and board member and still offers many hours a week mentoring and providing input to the brotherhood. Justin also has two masters degrees, one in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary and one in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.

“Fraternus provides the kind of brotherhood young men desperately need,” Justin explains. “So many boys end up in the wrong kind of brotherhood, following the wrong kind of mentors. Fraternus provides an image of the Father young men crave but rarely encounter. It is this very natural experience of fatherhood and Christian brotherhood which makes Fraternus so powerful.”

Jeremy points to two things that brought him to Fraternus. First, in the Summer of 2013 he traveled to Lourdes, France, the famous site of Mary’s apparitions to St. Bernadette. “For me it was a spiritual trip,” Jeremy said, “but for my wife it was a tremendous conversion.” After the trip, he says it became clear to him he needed to do more to lead his family’s formation of their faith. “But I wasn’t sure how to step up his game,” he said. His wife was always at the heart of his family’sjourney in faith and she was progressing further and leading. “I knew as a father I needed to be leading better, especially since I have two sons and a daughter who need a strong male example.” But Jeremy was struggling to understand how he could improve even if he was coming to grips with the why.

A couple of years after this experience he was invited by his good friend to a dinner party where Danny Snyder presented his experience with Fraternus. After the party ended, his friend and soon-to-be Commander of Birmingham, Terry Rumore came to him and said “I want to do this, and we are doing it together.” Through Fraternus their existing friendship, inspired by Danny’s testimony, became a brotherhood with a mission. With Jeremy’s help Birmingham is one of the nation’s largest and most impactful Chapters.

Jeremy says his prayer to be a better spiritual leader was answered through Fraternus. While he knows he has much work left to get better, he was honored to have his son become the first young man Knighted in his Chapter; and as such his son has entered college more prepared because of the brotherhood of men.

Jeremy brings extensive accounting and financial experience to the board as the CFO for Hoar Construction, LLC, a national player in the commercial construction industry. At Hoar, Jeremy works side-by-side with colleagues who place the spirit of service and integrity in all they do. He has also held leadership roles on other non-profit boards and serves in advisory role for a local banking company. And most importantly Jeremy is a father to Ben, Will, and Abigail, and a husband to Michele. He loves to travel and spend time at the lake with his family, and explore the outdoors. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama and attends St. Paul’s Cathedral parish.

John Rutherford, who was elected to the US House of Representatives for the 4th district in Florida (Jacksonville) in 2016, was an “instigator” to the whole idea of Fraternus. As the Sheriff of Jacksonville, a position held from 2003 to 2015, he mentored and met regularly with Justin Biance, who at that time was with the Boy Scouts of America. Rutherford listened as Justin voiced concern that there needed to be more mentoring and virtue formation for Catholic boys, and the Sheriff encouraged him to start that organization. “He really sent me off with that mission,” Justin recalls. “Without him I’m not sure if Fraternus would be here.”

Congressman Rutherford was not always a man of faith, let alone a Catholic. He was raised Methodist, but fell away. “I realized that Sunday was just another day to work and make money,” he remembers. “All I did was chase the dollar.” He never recalls having a personal faith. But that changed when he encountered death – memento mori. Rutherford says as a police officer he had a man die in his arms, which is a shocking encounter for anyone, but one day he came upon a young woman who was dead on a scene. “She was my age,” he remembers. “She did not know she was going to die that day.” This caused a self-reflection that led him back to the Bible, which he read cover to cover twice that year (1978), and making that story real by making a personal act of faith in God. Later, exploring the topic of authority and authenticity, he answered the grace of conversion and became a Catholic. “Then I read ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’”, he said, referring to the book by St. John Paul. “John Paul had a huge impact on my life – he’s a big hero of mine.”

Congressman Rutherford sees his professional life as an act of love and service, considering it a privilege to serve his community. Asked about his most cherished achievements, he points to the moments when as a police officer and Sheriff he was able to help individual lives turn around. “Just months before retiring I got a note from someone I helped ‘flip’ from a life of crime. The note included a picture and a card celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and they said their marriage was possible because of my help.”

“I know mentoring changes lives,” he says, “and that’s why I serve and donate to this great mission of Fraternus.” Congressman Rutherford has two children, six grandchildren, and is happily married to his high school sweetheart.

Chip Snowden worked with Justin Biance when they were both involved with the Boy Scouts. When Justin started Fraternus to focus specifically on mentoring boys into virtuous Catholic men, Chip caught the vision instantly. “Fraternus fills a critical gap in an area that get’s very little attention,” says Chip, “which is the positive mentoring of young men.” Chip knows that when men are absent in boys’ lives, problems follow. He lost contact with his own father when he “needed him most,” as Chip says, and knows that without strong mentors he would not be where he is today.

Today Chip is Senior VP and Aviation Market Principal with Hanson Professional Services. Chip worked as Chief Operating Officer for the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, working directly with the 9/11 and post 9/11 changes and challenges to airport security. He also oversaw the logistics involved in the 2005 Super Bowl, Jacksonville being the smallest market to ever host that event. In 2008 Chip began working on the iconic airport terminal in Mumbai, India, a project he is very proud of. He has also served on numerous boards including Boy Scout Explorers and St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Chip is married to Amy, and together they have three children. Chip’s youngest son served in a Chapter of Fraternus in Jacksonville prior to his entrance into the seminary, which he credits Fraternus for inspiring. Knowing his own experience without a father around, seeing the life of his son effected, and seeing firsthand in Jacksonville the urgent need for more virtuous men, Chip is happy to explain why he is a benefactor and serves on the board of directors: “I firmly believe in the mission and the absolute necessity to develop men in the face of our cultural decay.”

Danny Snyder has a classic American story of working from the bottom to the top, working up from dishwasher to chief operating officer of the Merchant’s and Mere Bulle’s restaurant chain. He also started an Allstate insurance company, sold it back to Allstate, then started an independent insurance company that has grown to 2,000 clients in a short few years. But like many “classic American” men Danny fell away from his Catholic faith as a young man.

After decades of struggling to balance his life, things needed to change. So, he decided to try out going to Eucharistic Adoration at the local parish. “From that point a fire was ignited,” Danny explains. Danny re-engaged with his faith in a big way.

But it wasn’t until he became the first Commander of Our Lady of the Lakes Fraternus Chapter in Hendersonville, TN that Danny’s flame went from pilot light to full blaze. “When I heard of Fraternus I knew I must get involved for the sake of my sons,” explains Danny, “little did I know I would benefit me more than them.”

Danny is not only a volunteer and benefactor, but is offering his lifetime of successful business experience as a Board Member. When asked why he works so hard for Fraternus, Danny is straightforward: “Fraternus is changing the world for the better. Better equipping young Catholic boys to be great Catholic men.”

Treasurer

Mike Van Horn was a founding board member of Fraternus and has generously given his time, talent and treasure to the mission to mentor boys into virtuous Catholic men. Mike’s professional experience is extensive. As a trained geologists Mike was tapped to lead some very challenging projects for companies like Enron Oil & Gas in places as far as India, China and Southeast Asia. Today Mike is the CEO of Independence Resources Management, an oil and gas startup in Texas.

Mike was raised by a strong Catholic father, who himself is a dedicated benefactor of Fraternus. Yet, despite his upbringing Mike, like many men, fell away from the faith in college. But he had an adult conversion back to Christianity through Protestant friends, and even became a member of a Seventh Day Adventist community. But through study and prayer found his way home to the Catholic Church. Mike knows firsthand how important it is for young men to be well formed, and surrounded by Catholic mentors. All of his four kids (Tommy, Michelle, Bobby and Caroline) are strong and faithful Catholics.

“Fraternus is a way to heal the brokenness of boys,” Mike says, “and help them see themselves as brothers in Jesus Christ and adopted sons of God the Father.” Mike says that his father broke a long chain of divorce and fatherlessness, remaining faithful, which directly impacted their family’s image of God’s faithfulness. Mike also knows that mentors are not optional add-ons for boys, but an essential part of a full formation. This is why Mike knows men and boys need Fraternus.

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