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Meet Our directors

Bret A. Muter

Hailing from Saginaw, Michigan, Bret has nearly 15 years of experience in leading outdoor and environmental education programming around the country. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology from Ferris State University and has a master’s degree in Fisheries & Wildlife from Michigan State University.  

Bret currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, where he runs Parks in Focus, a program of the Udall Foundation that connects middle school youth to nature through photography and outdoor learning. In his spare time, Bret enjoys hiking, camping, fishing and photography. He serves as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and volunteers with a number of other community organizations in Tucson. Although he loves living in the Southwest, Bret will always consider Michigan his home and tries to get back as frequently as he can to visit.  

Bret credits his father, John, for inspiring his own love of nature and for his passion of introducing new audiences, particularly youth, to the outdoors. He looks forward to continuing his father's legacy through the work of the Muter Outdoor Fund. 

Joseph R. Ruthig

Born in Alpena, Michigan, in 1956, Joe's introduction to hunting and fishing came from his father and older brother. At the age of six he moved to Saginaw but still spent summers camping and fishing with his dad. He met John Muter in the 5th grade and became instant friends. Over the next 50 years, Joe witnessed firsthand John’s love of Michigan’s rich outdoors, and his passion for introducing others to fishing and hunting.

After four years in the USMC and 30 years at Saginaw Steering Gear (GM), Joe is now enjoying retirement.  Serving over 20 years as the Finance Officer for his local American Legion Post, and serving as the Treasurer for Zion Lutheran Church keeps him very active in the community.


Joe is honored to be able to serve on the Board of Directors for the Muter Outdoor Fund and is looking forward to helping engage new audiences in Michigan’s rich outdoor heritage.

Robert Johns

Bob was born and grew up in Saginaw and has enjoyed the outdoors in Michigan for his entire life. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and also enjoys boating, hiking, skiing and most outdoor activities.  After receiving his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, he joined Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan, where he completed a 30-year career in business management and global leadership roles.  In 2010 he moved to Colorado and founded Summit Growth Solutions, a consulting business helping entrepreneurs and companies with the global commercialization of specialty materials.


Bob has served on the boards of United Way, Junior Achievement and Red Cross of Midland County, and has been a mentor for students and colleagues for his entire career.  He enjoys the mountains and skiing in Colorado, though he and his wife continue to spend much of their summer and fall seasons at their cottage at Hubbard Lake, near Alpena, MI.


Bob met John Muter in elementary school and always respected John’s commitment to the outdoors, his family, and introducing people to Michigan’s outdoor heritage. 

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