Brian Chaffin - President
Although born in Cincinnati, OH, Brian is an Idaho boy at heart. He grew up dreaming of mountains and rivers, so in the fall of 2000, he packed up and moved West to pursue a degree in natural resources from the University of Idaho. He was quickly introduced to river guiding by a good friend from Salmon, and so he started guiding trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in 2001. Since then, Brian graduated from UI, worked for NRS as a sales rep for the Southeast US and the Intermountain West, and worked as a river ranger for the USDA Forest Service on the Main Salmon River–all while continuing to guide at least a few trips each summer to stay connected to the community he loves. In July 2007, he married the love of his life, Jenni, along the banks of the Salmon River in Stanley, ID. In 2014, Brian completed a PhD in Geography at Oregon State University and is now a professor at the University of Montana.
Pat Wunz - Vice President
Pat grew up doing outdoor activities with her best friend's family in Idaho Falls, ID. She really learned to love the outdoors and knew she would rather spend her time there then anywhere when she worked summers in Island Park, ID, through high school. When she turned 41 and her 2 sons were out of high school she took a job with the Forest Service at Boundary Creek. There she met many guides who changed her life with their adventurous lifestyles and insight into life. It changed the pathway of her life and she went to school to get her Bachelors of Science in Nursing continuing to work at Boundary Creek for 5 seasons. Since then she has obtained her own raft and she began traveling, going on many adventures. She has been on 5 medical missions with Project Helping Hands to Bolivia, Peru, and Dominican Republic. She has been lucky enough to live in the Himalayas and in the Andes in the same year. She feels her summers at Boundary and having the opportunity to know the guide community helped her to have the life she now has. She feels fortunate to have been chosen to serve on the Redside Foundation Board and be able to give something back to that community. She is the Trauma Coordinator at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise and hopes her medical capacity can contribute to the organization.
Sheri Hughes – Secretary
Sheri Hughes currently works as the Forest Service permit and lotteries coordinator/specialist for Recreation One Stop, known to most as recreation.gov. Sheri works virtually from her Central Idaho home in Challis, where she has deep 4th generation family roots. Sheri worked on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for the Forest Service from 1980 until 2007 and had acting river manager duties on the Main Salmon for 7 years. As a result of her years working in and around Idaho’s guiding community and being an extreme extrovert, she has an extensive friend network of current and retired guides throughout the country. She is married to a 25 year retired river guide, Melvin Hughes. Her great uncle guided Ernest Hemingway on game hunts in the Pahsimeroi, and her mother worked for several years as a guide at Twin Peaks Ranch. Even without this family connection her passion for the welfare of Idaho’s guides is a priority as they make up a large portion of people she considers extended family.
Doug Rigby - Treasurer
Doug is an Idaho native from Challis. He grew up recreating in central Idaho and started guiding in 1986 for Triangle C Ranch in Stanley. Doug studied philosophy at Boise State University and graduated with a BA in 1993. Since then he has worked on many of Idaho’s rivers and in the occasional hunting camp. He and his wife Mary live in Boise with 2 (or 3) cats and a dog. Doug reflects, “Guiding has been great to me over the years, and I am excited to serve the guiding community as I transition to plumbing contractor.”
Matt was born in Gooding, Idaho and grew up on a sugar beet and potato farm north of Rupert. He went to Twin Falls High School and continued his education at the University of Idaho where he majored in Resource Recreation Land Management and minored in German. After University life, Matt fled to Saskatchewan Canada to tackle a family potato growing operation. After two years and one long Canadian winter washing and bagging potatoes, Matt decided that rafts were much more interesting than tractors. Matt first guided for Triangle C Ranch on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Stanley, Idaho. This started a long career of guiding and sparked some of the best friendships and events in his life. Matt has guided for Rocky Mountain River Tours, Triangle C Ranch, The River Company, Sevy Guide Service, Northwest River Company, Three Rivers Rafting, and Bighorn Outfitters as a hunting guide.
A 4th generation Idaho native, Jenni grew up in Twin Falls and gained a love for the outdoors at an early age, thanks to her mom and dad. Many summers were spent camping in the Sawtooth Valley or fly-fishing at Henry’s Lake in Eastern Idaho. After graduating from high school, she moved to Moscow to continue her education at the University of Idaho where she graduated from the College of Natural Resources with a Conservation Social Science degree. While in college, she met Brian Chaffin who introduced her to whitewater rafting on Idaho’s rivers, truly the treasure of the Gem State. They married in July 2007 in Stanley, along the Salmon River. Jenni works as a purchaser for NRS, the Idaho-based manufacturer of whitewater rafts, equipment, and apparel and lives in Missoula, MT with Brian and their two malamutes, Jack and Koda.
Greg is the owner/outfitter of Canyons River Company out of McCall, ID since 2010. He first met the Salmon River in 1989, guided several years in Colorado, and has been guiding the Middle Fork and Main Salmon with Canyons since 1994. Greg is a kayaker, boatman, professional ski guide, entrepreneur, and highly regarded watercolor artist. Additionally, Greg also has guided in the Grand Canyon for over 10 years and still guides a trip each year for AZRA on the Colorado River. He is the vice president of the Middle Fork Outfitters Association and is a founding member of the Main Salmon Outfitters Association. Greg is active with America Outdoors and has recently lobbied for river issues in Washington DC. Based in Aspen, CO in the winters, he spends his summers in Idaho and is often found riverside, harnessing his paintbrush, expressing his greatest inspiration...the river itself. Check out Greg's paintings at www.riverpainter.com.
Tom grew up on a farm in Nebraska wrestling with cattle and his brother. After getting his BA in history from the University of Nebraska, he moved to Reno, NV where after a year he heard about river guiding from an old high school friend. Tom stepped into a raft for the first time on the Stanislaus river in 1981 and discovered what eventually became his profession. He spent his first season working in the Sierras then came to Idaho at the end of the season to do the last remaining trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. The first few years he always assumed he would quit guiding and find a "real" job. That finally did happen in 1997 when, after years of mind numbing menial winter jobs, he had gone back to school and became a Registered Nurse. Tom could now support himself and still get away to guide. He currently resides in Salmon, ID where he works part-time in the surgery department from Oct-May then guide most of the summer on the MF of the Salmon.
He is honored to be on the Redside board. It gives him the opportunity to give something back to a vocation he loves. In addition, his healthcare experience may help inform the decisions the foundation needs to make.
Hannah grew up in Boise, Idaho, exploring Idaho's outdoors with her family in the summers. Her first rafting trip resulted in swimming a class IV rapid on the South Fork of the Payette. Far from scaring her away, that river-christening started a life-long love for river adventures. While working as a wild land firefighter for the Forest Service in Stanley, Idaho, Hannah was elected mayor at the age of 22. During her time in office, she developed a deep connection to Stanley and strong friendships in the guiding community. After completing her term as mayor, she moved to Bozeman, Montana and worked for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition advocating for wilderness and endangered species protections. While in Bozeman, she attended Montana State and completed a masters degree in public administration.
Currently she lives in Ketchum, Idaho working in event planning and non-profit fundraising. She spends any free time she can in Stanley visiting her husband and playing in the mountains she loves. Serving together on the Redside board gives her and her husband, Jeremy, the opportunity to support their friends and employees in the guiding community that have meant so much to them.
Jeremy has been an avid hunter and fly-fisherman for over twenty-five years. Growing up in the small town of Bastrop, Texas, he spent every moment he could exploring the woods and river out his backdoor. At the age of ten he taught himself how to fly-fish with a Cabela's kid's fly-rod set and a how-to guide. He started as a rafting guide in 1999 for Triangle C Ranch based in Stanley, Idaho. In 2003, he became a guide turned outfitter, purchasing the company and changing the name to White Cloud Rafting Adventures and Headwaters Fly-Fishing.
Jeremy is proud to serve on the Redside Board, sharing a position with his wife, Hannah Stauts. Their close connection to the Stanley and river communities drives their desire to further the Redside mission and support the health and well-being of Idaho's guides.
Flagstaff, AZ & Salmon, ID
Growing up in Twin Falls Idaho, Nate began to learn the importance of rivers on the Snake River plain, a landscape both stark and poignantly beautiful. After graduating from Twin Falls High School he studied philosophy at Boise State University, spent years learning lessons in the mountains, and then attended Northern Arizona University to receive a Masters of Science in Applied Geospatial Sciences and Natural Resource Management. Through all of this Nate has guided on the Snake, Salmon, Middle Fork of the Salmon, and Jarbidge/Bruneau rivers for the past 14 years but mostly for Idaho River Journeys.
Currently living in Flagstaff Arizona with his fiancee, Nate spends his time in the winter months working as an advisory board member and avalanche technician for Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center as well as a ski patroller for Arizona Snowbowl. Nate's passion for guiding in Idaho is based on the hope and work put into valuing Idaho guides and ushering in a new generation that are as healthy, diverse, and strong as Idaho's free flowing rivers.
Patrick is a North Idaho native who came of age over the course of six years with Forest Service on the St. Joe, Clearwater, and Salmon Rivers. Somewhere between his first summer in the woods and the last of his twenties he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Writing from the University of Idaho, and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, at Boalt Hall. Patrick now lives in Boise, where he allocates his time among practicing law, his friends and family, and his endeavors to give back to the community from which he came.
Emerald LaFortune - Executive Director
Emerald is Idaho born and raised and has been a guide on the Middle Fork, Main and Lower Salmon River as well as Hells Canyon of the Snake. She holds an Environmental Studies and Non-Profit Administration degree from the University of Montana. In addition to her non-profit experience and guiding experience she has a background in freelance writing, media management and community organization. Emerald was hired as the Redside Foundation's Executive Director in November 2016.
Brhe Minkler - Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Born and raised in Northern Idaho Brhe went on her first whitewater rafting trip at age 7. Falling in love with the river, Brhe dreamed of being a guide on Idaho's rivers. Brhe starting guiding on the Salmon River in 2000 after her first year of college. Brhe met her now husband Jamie at a guide party that same summer. Brhe and Jamie were married June 2013 on a sandy Salmon River beach and now have a son, Fisher. Continuing to guide throughout college Brhe completed her Bachelor Degree at Boise State University and later her Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling from Northwest Nazarene University. Currently, Brhe is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor working in the Boise area. In addition to her counseling practice Brhe is the case manger for the Redside Foundation Guide Helpline.
Cheyenne Brown - Media Manager
Cheyenne Brown grew up on the Palouse Prairie in Northern Idaho. She comes from a long line of wheat farmers, but fascinated by rugged landscapes has chosen to pursue a life in the outdoor industry. She was introduced to the Idaho guiding community at a young age, with a grandmother who ran the office for Shepp Ranch Outfitters and was treasurer of IOGA. She spent several seasons at Shepp Ranch on the Main Salmon where her aunt and uncle worked as guides and managers for 40 years.
Cheyenne currently works for NOLS both as a field instructor and as ‘in-town’ staff in the equipment departments in the Teton Valley and Pacific Northwest. She’s earned a bachelors degree in Geography from Western Washington University and pursued a Masters in Geography at the University of Minnesota. She’s fallen in love with stories, all kinds, and is currently working to cultivate the same level of curiosity and wonder in the simple things as her Plott Hound Konza.
Cheyenne manages the Redside Foundation's social media channels and blog.
Advisory Board Members
Jane Evans – Treasurer
Jane Evans is the mother of Telly Scott Evans, who we honor through the Redside Foundation and Scholarship Fund. She is a native of Minnesota, but has spent most of her lifetime in Idaho. Jane loves the Idaho outdoors and enjoys fly-fishing, skiing, biking, and spending time on rivers camping and rafting with her son Kobe. She is an avid hiker of Idaho’s mountains especially in the Boise foothills where she resides. Jane has a Masters in Education and after ending her teaching career at Boise State University, in 1998, has owned and operated Eastgate Management.