Executive Director & Staff

Brandon Hoffner, Executive Director

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Brandon has been the executive director since September 2011. Brandon is a life-long conservationist who has focused his education and career on protecting and restoring some of the West's most idyllic landscapes. Born in an eastern Colorado farming community, he earned a B.S. at Colorado State University in wildlife biology and rangeland ecology, with additional training in agricultural business management and GIS. He has worked at Colorado State University, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Pheasants Forever, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Brandon enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, especially taking part in one of many outdoor pursuits such as angling, hunting, biking, camping, skiing, hiking, and rafting that they can enjoy together.

Brady Taylor, Conservation Fund Director

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Brady has been with the Foundation since June 2007, managing and developing HFF's fundraising and endowment campaigns. Originally from Burley, Idaho, he received his bachelor's degree in conservation biology and his master's in public administration from Brigham Young University. Prior to working with the Foundation, Brady worked for the Boy Scouts of America in Seattle focusing on volunteer recruitment, membership recruitment, and fundraising. During his time away from the HFF office, Brady enjoys fishing, hiking, and camping. He recently added rowing a driftboat to his expertise, completing the Western Rivers Professional Guide School in the summer of 2012. Brady and his wife Amy are the parents of seven and live in the lower watershed.

Rob Van Kirk, Senior Scientist

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Rob Van Kirk joined the Foundation as a senior scientist in 2012. Rob has fished the river since 1977, and helped define HFF's work as the Foundation's first research director from 1994 to 1998 before pursuing an academic career. Rob grew up in Arcata, California and received a B.A. and M.S. from Humboldt University. He holds a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Utah, where he focused on mathematical modeling of fish and wildlife populations. He is a past recipient of HFF's Conservation Award and the Idaho Chapter of the American Fisheries Society's Native Fish Conservationist of the Year Award. Rob and his wife, Sheryl, live in Ashton. Read Rob Van Kirk's vitae

Julie Maurer, Membership and Systems Coordinator

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Julie joined the Foundation in the fall of 2012. As Membership and Systems Manager, she manages all membership transactions and database inputs for individual donor records as well as the database creation/management for all fundraising events throughout the year.  Julie brings to the Foundation 26 years of experience in the U.S. Air Force managing munitions movement worldwide and also program management for major weapon systems.  Julie is an Ashton native and recently returned to town with her husband Tim after living as far away as Iceland! She has three children, three stepchildren, and three grandchildren.

Kristen Widdison, Development Coordinator

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Kristen joined the Foundation’s team in June 2015 to coordinate HFF’s events and receptions.  She is from Eastern Idaho and now lives South of Rexburg in Lewisville. Before joining HFF, she worked for Melaleuca for nine years holding different responsibilities, the most recent with a team specializing in events and recognition. She also has her own portrait photography business that keeps her busy on evenings and weekends. In her free time, Kristen loves camping, fishing, traveling, and anything outdoors with her husband Jake and their daughter Haizley.

Tim Maurer, Operations and Human Resources Manager

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Tim Maurer joined the Foundation in January 2015 as Financial and HR Manager. Although a new hire to HFF at that time, Tim had been a valued asset as a volunteer at multiple Henry's Fork Days and other major HFF events. He had previously contracted with HFF to close out select RAC grants in 2012. With the acquisition of the new HFF Community Campus in mid-2016, he became the new Operations manager.  Tim brings project administration experience, leadership skills, attention to detail, and event management credentials to HFF after completing a 26-year career in the U.S. Air Force as well as eight years of Civil Service. During his military career, Tim spent more than 13 years overseas including, Korea, Guam, Germany, England, Norway, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and many other locations. Tim is a novice fly fisherman but enjoys the rowing aspect of fishing. Tim is also a long-time distance runner having completed 73 marathons and counting. Tim and wife Julie live on their ranch near the Henry's Fork.

Melissa Muradian, Research Associate II

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Melissa Muradian started work July 1, 2015, on a one-year appointment as post-graduate research associate, which has recently been extended for a second year.  She works closely with the Foundation's senior scientist, Rob Van Kirk, on analysis of water quality data. She obtained her B.S. in applied mathematics from Texas State University and then went directly into the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) interdisciplinary graduate program at University of Washington.  Her thesis work reformulated the stock assessment model, used by Alaska Department of Fish and Game to manage Prince William Sound herring, and conducted a simulation study to explore the trade-offs between the cost of running each data-collection survey and the relative return on the investment. Her general interests include statistical methods, data analysis, Bayesian methods, and modeling and management of marine, coastal, and inland aquatic resources. She enjoys being outside and active with her dog, gardening, reading, and thinking about astronomy. 

Jamie Laatsch, Conservation and Outreach Coordinator

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Jamie Laatsch joined the Foundation in July 2015 as the Conservation and Outreach Coordinator, a new position combining conservation technician, outreach, and education. She is originally from northern Virginia, but comes to the Henry's Fork from Chicago. Jamie has a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and an M.S. degree from Utah State University in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management. She calls on her background in both environmental and social science in her position as Conservation and Outreach Coordinator, managing everything from restoration projects to communications and youth education. In her free time, Jamie enjoys trail running, hiking, biking, skiing, and, of course, fly fishing.

Paige Cahoon, Graphic Design and Marketing Coordinator

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Paige joined the Foundation's team in May 2013 to coordinate HFF's events but now works part-time as the Graphic Design and Marketing Coordinator so she can stay home with her daughter Penelope-May. She is orginally from Sammamish, Washington, and moved to Idaho with her husband Matt, in 2007. Before joining HFF, Paige worked for Melaleuca in Rexburg, Idaho, where she created and managed a specialty program for 200 staff members. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and has managed a professional beauty supply. In her free time, Paige can be found outdoors, camping, fishing, floating the river, or bow hunting with Matt, Penelope, and their dog Chevy. 

Bryce Oldemeyer, Research Associate I

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Bryce started working for the HFF August, 2016, as a research associate assisting Rob Van Kirk and Melissa Muradian in collecting and analyzing water quality data. Bryce is an Idaho native who has taken his childhood passion for fishing and built a career focused on fisheries and fisheries related research. He obtained a B.S. in environmental science, academic certificate of statistics, and M.S. in fisheries science; all from the University of Idaho. His graduate project was centered on juvenile salmonid abundance estimation within the Snake River basin and the effects various juvenile Chinook Salmon life-history expressions had on an individual’s survival and reproductive success. Over the last seven years Bryce worked directly for, or in cooperation with, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game conducting salmonid research within Idaho. Bryce fills his free time hunting, fishing, backpacking, camping, hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, backcountry skiing, and playing sports. 

Ben Ortman, Conservation Technician

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Ben joined the HFF team in January 2017 as a conservation technician. In collaboration with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, his primary focus is the implementation of a creel and economic value study of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. Ben grew up in Georgia where he obtained a B.S. in environmental science from Berry College. Recently, Ben worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service as a fisheries observer, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with the Coastal Chinook Research and Monitoring Program. In his free time, Ben enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, sports, yoga, and outdoor activities.

Darcy Janssen, Finance and Office Administrator

 

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Darcy joined the HFF team in the spring of 2017. As Finance and Office Administrator, she has the responsibilities of managing the company’s financial tasks such as payroll and budgeting, as well as maintaining administrative duties by implementing structure and organization. She brings to the table 30 years of financial and accounting experience as well as a happy personality, charm, and humor that invite a positive work environment. Darcy was born in Rexburg, Idaho and has lived in several cities statewide. She currently resides in St. Anthony with her husband, Mike, and two youngest children. She has four children and four grandchildren who keep her busy with school, sports, and crafts. In her free time she enjoys camping, fishing, and hiking.