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Educated in Switzerland with a BA (in economics) from the University of St. Gall and with a JD from the University of Zurich, spent the first part of his career with Jacobs-Suchard AG, a Swiss multinational company, working as a member of the legal team as well later as part of the management team. He worked for the group in Switzerland, USA and Italy in various management capacities. He then started his entrepreneurial life with farming operations in Tanzania, East Africa, real estate development (commercial) in the USA, car dealership and banking. Ernst is presently a Director Coastal States Bank as a founding member of this local community Bank. He is also the Chair of the Executive Committee of Synco Inc a commercial real estate developing company, in Charlotte, NC and serves as Chairman of Lowcountry Motors in Bluffton, SC. He is also an active member in the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) and participates in leadership academies in The Middle East (MELA) and Central Eurasia (CELA). Ernst is a Vistage International Chair, the world’s leading CEO organization with over 19,000 members and facilitates monthly meetings with a group of CEO’s from the Savannah/Hilton Head Area. Besides his activities as entrepreneur Ernst has spent the last 20 years with some NFP organizations among others as Chair of the Board of Trustees of two private schools on Hilton Head Island, as Vice Chair of the Arts Center Board of Coastal Carolina, Chair of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. He is presently Chairman of the Wish upon a Horse Foundation, the Outside Foundation and the Junior Champion Foundation, all on Hilton Head Island. Ernst is married to Christina, they have 3 adult children. Ernst is fluent in German, French, Italian and English. He and his wife love travelling and sports from skiing to golf.