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About RFI

Who We Are

Retrieving Freedom, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization passionately committed to enhancing the lives of Veterans and children with autism through our specialized Service Dog training program. We breed and train chosen dogs that exhibit specific traits necessary to perform tasks to help these individuals, and we believe in matching the dog to the client.

Our training program isn’t designed to train each dog to follow a certain program. Instead, dogs are trained to meet the needs of their specific client. The dogs go through more than two years of training to meet our strict standards for a successful placement.

Operating from two facilities located in Waverly, Iowa, and Sedalia, Missouri, we take immense pride in being an accredited member of Assistance Dogs International.

Our expertly trained Service Dogs significantly enhance the lives of their clients. Beyond assisting with designated tasks and responsibilities aligned with their specialized training, these extraordinary dogs provide invaluable companionship and unwavering, unconditional love. Their presence not only aids in daily activities but also enriches the lives of those they serve, exemplifying the profound impact of the human-animal bond.

The mission of Retrieving Freedom, Inc. is to change lives through the training and placement of Service Dogs for Veterans with disabilities and children with autism.

Retrieving Freedom Board of Directors

At the heart of our mission, guiding and nurturing our endeavors is our dedicated Board of Directors. Each member brings a unique blend of passion, expertise, and commitment, all united by a common goal: to ensure we meet and exceed the needs of our clients. They are the stewards of our vision, constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance our fundraising efforts. This dedication enables us to create more life-changing partnerships between individuals and their Service Dogs.

Iowa Facility

Trent Dirks

Trent Dirks

Senior Major Gifts Officer

Division: Resource Development/Marketing Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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Al Hogen

Al Hogen

Board Chair

Division: Board of Directors

Location: Iowa Facility

Sara Milke

Sara Milke

Foster & Breed Manager

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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Rene Massey

Rene Massey

Board Member

Division: Board of Directors

Location: Iowa Facility

Calvin VerMulm

Calvin VerMulm

Major Gifts Officer

Division: Resource Development/Marketing Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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John Drach

John Drach

Chief Operating Officer

Division: Leadership Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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Bobby Hayden

Bobby Hayden

Board Member

Division: Board of Directors

Location: Iowa Facility

Maddy Burke

Maddy Burke

Client Services Coordinator

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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Kyle Herrick

Kyle Herrick

Board Member

Division: Board of Directors

Location: Iowa Facility

Keri Uzpen

Keri Uzpen

Board Member

Division: Board of Directors

Location: Iowa Facility

Bobbi Lawless

Bobbi Lawless

Apprentice Trainer

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

Alyssa Staudt

Alyssa Staudt

Apprentice Trainer

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

Kelsy Byerly

Kelsy Byerly

Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

Kayla Funk

Kayla Funk

Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

Hannah Keller

Hannah Keller

Facility Coordinator

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

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Tristen Bradley

Tristen Bradley

Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Iowa Facility

Missouri Facility

Brandon Butler

Brandon Butler

Chief Executive Officer

Division: Leadership Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Heather Dawson

Heather Dawson

Chief Financial Officer

Division: Leadership Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Bailey Inman

Bailey Inman

Apprentice Course Instructor

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Laura Erganian

Laura Erganian

Marketing Coordinator

Division: Resource Development/Marketing Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Ashlyn Snyder

Ashlyn Snyder

Program Coordinator

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Kirby Martin

Kirby Martin

Apprentice Trainer

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Macy Broyles

Macy Broyles

Apprentice Trainer

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

Izabelle Bunn

Izabelle Bunn

Sr. Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

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Courtlin Sanders

Courtlin Sanders

Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility

Mariah Voitl

Mariah Voitl

Kennel Technician

Division: Training Team

Location: Missouri Facility