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.
Executive Director: 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
Board President: 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.
Director: 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.
Director: 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.
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.
Director of Operations: 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.
Policy Analyst: Parrish Miller
Parrish Miller grew up outside of Salem, Oregon, where he was home-schooled before moving to Boise, Idaho, 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 the 9/12 movements since their inception and 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.
Development Director: Emjaye McDonald
Emjaye McDonald is a 5th generation native of Idaho’s Lost River Valley.
Prior to joining IFF, she worked with a variety of organizations such as Swiftcurrent Strategies, Rose & Allyn Public Relations, the Massachusetts Republican Party, Barrett-Jackson, the National Federation of Republican Women, as well as freelance consulting for an assortment of political action committees, congressional and legislative campaigns, and grassroots advocacy projects.
Emjaye received her bachelor’s degree in political communication from Emerson College and currently resides in Boise.
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.
Board of Scholars
Ronald M. Nate
Bio coming soon…
Bio coming soon…
Bio coming soon…
Bio coming soon…
Idaho Freedom Foundation, Inc
2404 Bank Drive, Ste 314
Boise, ID 83705