The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) is a non-partisan educational research institute and government watchdog dedicated to improving the lives of Idahoans. IFF advocates for free market solutions, private property rights, individual responsibility and transparent, limited government. IFF develops and distributes original research and data with the goal of restoring our state and nation as beacons of opportunity and prosperity.
IFF's Internal Revenue Service's "determination letter" is found here
Our income tax returns are available for 2009
President: Wayne Hoffman
Wayne Hoffman is one of Idaho's leading experts on public policy, the Idaho Legislature and the practice of journalism. Hoffman has spent 25 years writing about government and politicians. He writes a weekly column, found in newspapers and on websites throughout Idaho, and is often invited to speak on complex issues including taxation, health care, free markets and education. Throughout his years in the news business, Wayne won numerous awards for investigative and political journalism. During his years of covering the state legislature, governor's office and state agencies, Wayne often exposed government waste, failed government programs and politicians whose voting records were inconsistent with their rhetoric. After leaving the news business in 2005, Wayne became the special assistant to the director of the state Department of Agriculture. In 2006, he managed the communications efforts of several successful political campaigns and became the communications director for Congressman Bill Sali. Wayne lives in Nampa with his two children. Wayne has been at the helm of Idaho Freedom Foundation since the organization launched in January 2009.
— Email Wayne at email@example.com
Board Chairman: Bob Rathbone
Robert Rathbone graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Economics. He holds a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) designation awarded by the Investment Management Consultants Association in conjunction with the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Bob has completed various certificate courses at The Wharton School. A native Idahoan raised on a farm in Marsing, Idaho; Bob and his wife Cristina have three grown children.
Board Vice Chairman: Brent Regan
Brent Regan is the founder and president of Regan Designs, specializing in designing electromechanical products for medical, aerospace, defense, marine and automotive industries. He holds 11 U.S. patents for medical devices.
An advocate of the free market, Regan has testified in favor of free market health care. He also initiated the North Idaho Conservative Resolution against the federally mandated health insurance exchanges.
He has successfully assisted in organizing and opposing Local Improvement Districts in Kootenai County; sponsored legal efforts to protect neighbors' property from illegal commercial land use; conceived, sponsored and was the master of ceremonies for the Conservative Candidate Forum prior to the 2012 primary; and developed a caucus sign-in procedure and volunteer training for the Kootenai County Republican Caucus.
"Leisure" activities have included building and competing in automobile endurance road racing including 24 hours of Daytona (first in class (GTU), third in class (GTP)); six hours of Riverside (third in class); four-hour Sears Point Endurance Race (overall winner, twice); 24 hours of Nelson Ledges (third overall); and three seasons of campaigning 3 fighting robots in the Battlebots series aired nationally on Comedy Central.
Regan has lived in Idaho since 1999 and is a school board trustee for Coeur d'Alene District No. 271. He is married with three children.
Board Secretary: Heather Lauer
Heather Lauer has an extensive background in issue advocacy and grassroots organizations. She is currently the owner of Villageous LLC, a consultancy specializing in digital campaign management. Previously, Heather was a Partner at DCI Group, a strategic public affairs and global issues management firm based in Washington, DC. Over the years, she has worked on a variety of issue campaigns in the areas of telecommunications, energy, technology, health care, and homeland security. Her first experience working on public policy issues was in the Washington office of Idaho Senator Dirk Kempthorne in 1995. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration from Georgetown University. She was born and raised in Nampa.
Board Treasurer: Dan Symms
Dan Symms is an Idaho farmer. He is a partner in Symms Fruit Ranch which is the largest shipper of fresh fruits in Idaho. He is a past president of the Idaho/Oregon Fruit and Vegetable Association, Past President Idaho Apple commission, Past member of the Idaho Cherry commission and is a current member of the Idaho/Eastern Oregon Onion Committee. He was also a director of the Center for the Study of Market Alternatives; one of the earliest "think tanks" dedicated to extolling the virtues of Capitalism & individual liberty. A 1983 graduate of the College of Idaho, he grew up in Virginia and Idaho while his father served in the United States Congress. A committed capitalist, Dan has had a life long passion for the philosophy of individual liberty and responsibility. Dan and his wife Linda are parents of three grown children.
Director: Loel Fenwick, MD
Dr. Loel Fenwick invented the family-centered birthing room system and the birthing bed that are now standard in America and throughout the world.
He founded The Borning Corporation. Borning was the leading provider of facility planning, operational training, equipment and services for contemporary maternity care until the company was acquired by the Hill-Rom company.
Loel founded The Cybele Society, a professional education organization of obstetricians, nurse managers and health care administrators that led the nationwide change to family-centered, single-room maternity programs.
Loel is the chairman of Phillips+Fenwick, a maternity care operation and consulting company that has designed and implemented maternity care programs in with more 400 hospital in the US, Canada, Europe and China.
Director of Transparency and Government Accountability: Erik Makrush
Erik Makrush serves as the Director of Operations for the Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) and worked for IFF since 2009. Prior to becoming the Director of Operations, He worked as a policy analyst and legislative advisor on policy issues centered on local government, urban renewal, state and federal health care reform programs, and higher education. Erik continues to serve as the Transparency Project manager for the Foundation's AccountableIdaho.com website and database.
Erik's work over the past decade on limited government and the removal of barriers to allow our capitalist society flourish has been noteworthy and he regularly challenges the status quo. He has served as a legislative advisor since 2005 and served on the Board of Directors for a local charter school. He is an avid proponent for the protection of Constitutional rights and holding elected officials accountable for their political positions.
Prior to moving to Idaho in 2002, Erik lived in the Washington DC area and served in the US Navy. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Political Science with an emphasis in Law, and a minor in business from Boise State University.
Erik was commissioned as a Navy Supply Officer in 2010 and continues to serve in the Navy Reserves. Erik lives in Caldwell with his beautiful wife and is a father of seven wonderful children.
— Email Erik at firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy Analyst: Parrish Miller
Parrish Miller grew up and was home-schooled outside of Salem, Oregon. He relocated to Boise, Idaho, from Wyoming in the summer of 2006.
He has always had a keen interest in history, government and economics and has been very active in politics and the political process since 2008. He has been involved in the Tea Party and other grassroots organizations since their inception and has served as a Delegate from Ada County to the Idaho Republican State Convention in 2010 and as an Alternate in 2012.
He has also served as a Director on the Boards of the US Patriot Club and Tea Party Boise, and has studied political science at Boise State University.
— Email Parrish at email@example.com
Communications Director: Mitch Coffman
From March 2010 through December 2012, Mitch served as a state government reporter for IdahoReporter.com. During 2012, he also assumed responsibility as part-time communications director for the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
With the continuing growth and emergence of the Foundation, he is now the full-time communications director for the organization responsible for donor and media outreach as well as coordinator for printing projects, social media, video and audio, among other duties.
A graduate of Iowa Falls High School, Mitch attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he majored in communications and played on the varsity tennis team for two years. He then transferred to Boise State University, graduating with a degree in communications/video.
— Email Mitch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Scholars
Ronald M. Nate
Dr. Ronald M. Nate, Ph.D., is a professor of economics at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg. He received his bachelor of science in economics from the University of Utah, his master's degree from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Connecticut.
He has taught at BYU-Idaho since 2001 and was assistant professor of economics at Ohio University Eastern for three years before moving to Rexburg. His areas of emphasis are public choice economics, law and economics, quantitative methods and poverty economics. He is active in local community service including being a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America and has chaired several political and civic committees.
Dr. James L. Payne earned his doctorate in political science at the University of California at Berkeley in 1968, and has taught at Yale, Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins and Texas A&M University. In 1985 he became an independent researcher and freelance writer and moved to Sandpoint. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications as diverse as the Wall Street Journal and Reader's Digest.
His recent books include a study of why Congress keeps increasing spending ("The Culture of Spending") and an examination of the burdens of the tax system ("Costly Returns").
In 1996 he was awarded a Bradley Fellowship at the Heritage Foundation to study the welfare system. The resulting book, "Overcoming Welfare; Expecting More from the Poor—and from Ourselves," was published in 1998.
In 2004 he published "A History of Force; Exploring the worldwide movement against habits of coercion, bloodshed, and mayhem."
In 2010 he published "Six Political Illusions," a primer on government that explains the fallacies that lead to big government.
He is also the author of four political satires about bizarre governments. All four fables are gathered into a single volume, "Take Me to Your Government," to be published in September 2013.
Payne is also an avid sea kayaker and has written two books about his long-distance adventures.
Steve Ackerman is a political and economic analyst with more than 15 years of college and university teaching experience including at Boise State University, College of Idaho, Northwood University, the University of California and California State campuses, and others.
He is a managing director with the competitive intelligence firm Apprize360. He is the former president of Provizio, also a competitive intelligence firm. More than 90 percent of Provizio's clients were Fortune 100- and Fortune 500-level companies. Provizio and Apprize360 have brought several millions of dollars of revenue into Idaho.
Ackerman, a veteran of the Air Force, has also been an analyst with the President's Commission on Military Base Closure and Realignment, with the Institute for Defense Analyses and with the International Republican Institute. He was also the editor of two global stock market and business journals.
Currently completing his Ph.D. in political economy with the Swiss Management Center University, Ackerman has a master's degree from the University of Miami (Coral Gables) and has conducted research with Claremont Graduate University.
Ackerman has been a guest on CNBC-Europe, along with other television and radio programs around the country, including locally. He has been published regularly in several newspapers around the country, again as well as locally.
Dr. Peter Crabb holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oregon and a master's in business administration in finance from the University of Colorado.
His research in economics and finance is published in the "Journal of Business," the "Journal of Microfinance," and the "International Review of Economics and Finance," among others. Dr. Crabb lives with his wife, Ann, and their four children in Canyon County, Idaho.
Idaho Freedom Foundation, Inc
2404 Bank Drive, Ste 314
Boise, ID 83705