IOGA Staff and Board of Directors
Aaron Lieberman, Executive Director
As a lifelong outdoorsman and ~15+ year professional rafting and fishing guide here in Idaho, Aaron has a strong connection to—and passion for—IOGA’s Mission, which is grounded in a commitment to the enhancement of quality outdoor experiences with, and conservation of, Idaho’s lands, waters, and wildlife.
In his role with IOGA, Aaron advocates for and represents Idaho’s outfitters and guides interests and values—in the Idaho Statehouse, with State and Federal Agencies, and in the national political arena with our Congressional Delegation and Industry partners.
Aaron revels in exploring new wilderness landscapes and wild rivers, at home and abroad, and has guided and undertaken private kayaking/rafting trips in Chile, Peru, Nepal, and most recently, Kyrgyzstan. Besides rivers and the running of them, Aaron enjoys trips in the backcountry, reading and listening to audiobooks, playing music, and loving on his dog, Chetco.
Hardy Bender, Development & Events Manager
Hardy Bender is an Idaho Guide living in Boise, Idaho. Hardy studied Management Information Systems at the University of Alabama with a minor in Computing Technology & Applications and a specialization in Business Information Technology.
Hardy is originally from Mobile, Alabama and moved to Idaho during college in order to become a river guide. He comes from a lineage of raft guides and outfitters and have been floating Idaho's rivers since long before he was able to remember the trips, let alone run a boat. However, he always knew that he would wind up guiding in Idaho.
He has now been working in Idaho's backcountry for almost a decade on many of our beautiful rivers. Throughout his time as a guide, he has developed a passion for our wild places and the outfitters/guides that enable people to experience them. As he likes to say: "Working as a guide presented me with the challenges and gave me the tools that I needed to become the person I am today. Now it is my turn to give back to the outfitters and guides that have helped me so much."
Mark Martin, Salmon & Steelhead Coordinator
I was born and raised on an out-of-the-way edge of civilization in northern Maine. Long story short I ended up in Stanley, ID, where guiding river trips and flyfishing was originally supposed to be a temporary break from a fisheries management career path. It seems like trout, steelhead, the Middle Fork of the Salmon, etc. had other ideas.
I worked on Atlantic salmon conservation for several years in Maine before moving to Idaho, and saw firsthand the demise of a once-thriving anadromous fish at the hands of decades of environmental neglect and hydrosystem effects. The decline of Idaho steelhead and salmon was just a little too much deja vu. I’ve been advocating for free-flowing rivers (in particular the Lower Snake) and wild trout, salmon, steelhead for years as a guide, and taking that to another professional level with IOGA seems like a natural progression. Salmon recovery is one of the most important cultural and ecological issues facing our region, and I’m excited to work toward a holistic recovery on behalf of Idaho’s outfitters and guides.
IOGA Board of Directors
President Jeff Bitton 2023
Vice President Erik Weiseth 2024
Treasurer Doug Rigby 2023
Vice President, Hunting Steve Sobotka 2024
Vice President, Rivers Ari Kotler 2023
Vice President, R.E.C. Colby Blair 2024
Vice President, Guides Steven Zettel 2023
2023 Board of Directors
Jerrod Farr 2023
Gia Randono 2023
Zach Crist 2023
Roy Akins 2024
Toby Wyatt 2024
Caleb Viano 2024
Skip Volpert 2022
Bekah Cain 2022
Skip Volpert 2025
Bekah Cain 2025
Lonnie Allen 2025
Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board
Chairman Brad Compton
Vice Chairman Louise Stark
Board Member Tammy Overacker
Board Member Erik Weiseth