Our Team

It only makes sense that you would want to meet the captains of the Freedom Fishing Foundation ship. Each board member has a direct connection to military service and several of our board members have suffered as a result of their service.

They volunteer their time because they know firsthand just how challenging it can be and they want to help others. We know going fishing won’t magically fix everything, but we also believe in the power of time in nature and a good fishing buddy.

We love fishing and helping vets and their families!

Meet Our Team

Ben Elfelt

Ben Elfelt

President

US NAVY, SEABEE’S

“Freedom Fishing Foundation allows me to share the sport of fishing with people who may not otherwise have means to go.”

Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson

Founding Director

Eric Anderson is a MN Army National Guard veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2006. During his deployment, while escorting a convoy en route to Baghdad was struck by an IED. Since the explosion, he has suffered from TBI and PTSD. During his recovery, he and Jim Flermoen who was severely injured in the same attack discovered there was a peace that came when fishing. Eric and Jim spent time fishing together and felt a responsibility to help others experience the benefits too. The pair worked together to form Freedom Fishing Foundation.

Jim Flermoen

Jim Flermoen

Founding Director

Jim Flermoen is a MN Army National Guard veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2006. During his deployment, while escorting a convoy en route to Baghdad was struck by an IED. Jim was severely injured resulting in him being medically evac-d to Germany and onto Brook Army Medical Center. Since the explosion, he has suffered from TBI and PTSD. During his recovery, he discovered he felt at peace when fishing. He especially enjoyed fishing with other vets, including Eric Anderson who was injured alongside him in Bahgdad. Jim and Eric felt a responsibility to help others and that is how Freedom Fishing Foundation came to be.

 
Dorothy Radermacher

Dorothy Radermacher

Community Development & Fundraising

Dorothy’s late husband is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and she has a heart for veteran-related causes. Dorothy has been a tremendous help to Freedom Fishing Foundation, she brings an organization and get stuff done attitude to each meeting. She keeps everyone on track all the while building our presence in the community and forming connections wherever she goes.

Zach Abbott

Zach Abbott

Fishing Operations

Zach is currently serving the Minnesota Army National Guard as an Indirect Fire Infantryman. He decided to join the Freedom Fishing Foundation after his deployment to the Horn of Africa. Freedom Fishing Foundation is a great outlet for him to connect with other veterans and service members while participating in his favorite hobby, fishing. He enjoys a variety of fishing activities, but often finds himself doing a lot of offshore largemouth bass fishing North East of the metro area. He also have a Bachelor’s in Conservation from River Falls, so outdoor activities and things of that nature are always of interest.

Caleb Wedger

Caleb Wedger

Strategic Management Director

Caleb is a vet whose life was personally touched by suicide. Veteran suicide is what motivated him to run 100 miles in 2021 in hopes of making a difference and raise awareness. He approached Freedom Fishing Foundation about his plan and shared his wish for FFF to be the fundraiser’s beneficiary. 100 Too Many was a success and we all wanted the partnership to continue, hence Caleb was asked to join our board. Caleb is an avid fisherman (and runner), husband and father of two.

 

Gregg Campbell

Gregg Campbell

Secretary

Gregg served over 20 years in the Army Reserve as a Horizontal Construction and Combat Engineer. He deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan before retiring as First Sergeant for HHC 372nd Engineer Brigade at Ft. Snelling, MN. Gregg is a life-long educator and lives “up north” with his wife and two kids. Joining Freedom Fishing Foundation allows him to pursue two of his greatest passions; supporting fellow Vets and fishing.