Bob Brunson In addition to being a founding member of the board Bob is also our Executive Director. He has been around horses his whole life and has a deep love and respect for animals, in general. Bob attended Valley Forge Military College where he formed an early and longstanding respect for our Nation's servicemen and women, including many friends that are both active and retired military. Bob lives on his sustainable ranch outside Austin, Texas right down the road from Sherwood Forest Faire. He combined his passion for horses, veterans and medieval history by founding Knights of the Grail to facilitate equine therapy for veterans and help teach chivalry and knightly skills to its participants. His passion for riding was reignited when he formed a special bond with one of the KotG horses named Merci. Together they taught each other care, trust and love. It's his hope that working with the horses and learning chivalry will help veterans who struggle after leaving conflict zones.
George Appling is a “Passionpreneur.” He co-owns 6 companies, all of which he has a deep and abiding passion for. They are: Sherwood Forest Faire, Sherwood Forest Summer Camp, Eternal Arms, Thorin’s Mead, Renaissance Magazine, and BoomCloud 360. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Knights of the Grail and Chairman of the Board. George donates the use of his horses (Boreas, Sadi, Sgò, & Rock) and the use of the Sherwood Forest Faire site to the program. George bought his first horse, Sadi, in 2010 and has been riding since then. He rides upwards of 50 times per year and has competed in Joust Games at Sherwood Forest Faire since 2016. In a former life, George was a partner at McKinsey & Company as well as Booz & Company. He also had the honor of serving as CEO of Personal Communications Devices LLC and as the COO of Brightstar Corp, the world’s largest cellphone distribution company. George holds two Masters degrees from Harvard University and two Bachelors degrees summa cum laude from Texas
Shawn McKee (AKA Duncan Mackay) Is a veteran of the USAF and the first beneficiary of this program. Additionally he acts as the organizations Treasurer. He serverd on active duty as a photo processor from 1976 - 1981 in Sumter SC, and Alconbury, England. He also serverd in the USAF Reserves stationed at Bergstrom AFB, Austin, TX from 1986 - 1991 in telecommunications. He began riding in late 2015 with no prior riding experience. In the summer of 2016 he was part of the first amatuer joust games demonstration at Sherwood Forest Faire summer camp. Shawn finds that working with the horses helps to bring peace to him in times of stress. The bonding that one must do to properly interact with the horse also has a great healing effect on the soul. He is grateful for the opportunity to join the board and help grow this program for his fellow veterans.
Raul Alvarado Is a US Navy Veteran who served on active duty from 1990 to 2002 as a Fire Controlman (Weapons Systems) as well as an instructor at the Aegis Weapons Systems training center in Virginia . He joined KotG in 2018 with very limited horsemanship experience. Qualified to participate in the 2019 Sherwood Forest Faire Knightly Skills Challange. He finds the empathetic nature of the horses to be very therapeutic in the sense that he must focus on the positive emotions and let the negative go. Taking part in the care of the horses, as well as learning, and instructing others on equestrian skills thus helping the KotG team to grow is a great source of accomplishment for him.