The Cook Inlet Counseling Team
We are a team of highly trained clinicians and support staff whose experience and compassion enable us to provide the highest quality of care. Read more about us below!
Charlie SimonsChief Executive Director
Charlie has lived in the Soldotna area since 1987, growing up in a family with a construction business on the peninsula. He has been working as a counselor for the past 14 years with experience in residential, community outpatient, and in institutions, with adults and youth. He holds a Chemical Dependency Clinical Supervisor certification through the Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification. Charlie graduated Suma Cum Laude with a double major in psychology and sociology from Southern New Hampshire University. He is a certified Brianspotting therapist, an innovative therapeutic process, that has been found to be effective in resolving many anxiety and trauma related symptoms as well as addiction and other compulsive behaviors. Charlie has also been trained in numerous therapeutic approaches, with a significant focus on trauma and work with adolescents. Charlie applies a present and person-centered approach informed by his years of therapeutic work that allows for a client directed process that utilizes modalities that each individual can benefit from, depending on their unique needs. Charlie believes that providing an environment that is safe enough to grow in and interventions that value and respect an individual’s time are of great importance.
Sara FannChief Financial Officer
Sara was born and raised in Louisiana. She moved to Alaska in 1989 with her husband in search of adventure and greater opportunities. Sara has an Executive Secretary Degree with a minor in Accounting from Spencer Business College in Lafayette, Louisiana. Sara’s previous experience was working for accounting firms and was the Assistant Controller for Salamatof Seafoods before beginning employment at CICADA in August, 1994. Sara enjoys gardening and training her English Springer Spaniels to compete in dog sports. Her dogs have earned titles in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Barn Hunt, Scent Work, and Tracking. Sara is a member of the Peninsula Dog Obedience Group and Kenai Kennel Club. She is an American Kennel Club approved Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and Canine Scent Work Judge.
Alecia GottlobProject Coordinator/Counselor
Alecia moved to Alaska in 1998. She graduated Cum Laude from University of Alaska Anchorage in 2015. She holds a Chemical Dependency Counselor I and Behavior Health Counselor I certification through the Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification. Alecia has worked as a substance abuse counselor at CICADA for the past 3 years and is excited to be working in her new role as PROMISES Project Coordinator. She is passionate about community education and collaboration, reducing stigma for all people affected by addiction and behavioral health disorders, and helping individuals reach their goals.
Kim has been with Cook Inlet Counseling for two years, recently transitioning from a Case Manager to a Counselor. She has a Counselor Tech certification and is working towards her CDC I. She enjoys refurbishing furniture, gardening, and foraging for mushrooms and berries. She enjoy spending time with her husband and daughters. Kim has an obsession with cast iron, sourdough, chickens, and baking. Kim loves working with our clients, watching people take a negative experience and turning it into a positive opportunity, seeing clients grow by giving guidance and support.
Mandy is a Counselor Technician at Cook Inlet Counseling. She is blessed to work with individuals who come in to make a change in their life. She is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, a chronic pain coach, and a substance use counselor. She is passionate and committed to supporting people wherever they are in life. Mandy has been privileged to walk beside hundreds of people on their journey toward a new way of life; gifted with an intuitive ability to identify each part of the whole person. She is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in psychology and continue her studies in the ways of countless spiritual guides
Kristine Bayne is a Bachelors level counselor with CDC I certification. She works with Department of Corrections as a Substance Abuse Counselor for their Residential Substance Abuse treatment program offered at Wildwood. Kristine is a retired Head Start coordinator and Family support specialist of 25 years. She has also been a residential advisor working with youth ages 16 to 24 for 13 years. Her experience includes but is not limited to: trauma, chemical dependency, grief and loss, crisis intervention, and Parenting and social skill building.
Fred moved to Alaska in 2001. He has lived on the Kenai Peninsula since 2003 where he worked in the medical community for 17 years. He made the transition to substance use counseling in 2017 and is currently working on his degree in Social Work. Fred loves living in Alaska's Playground and enjoys hiking, backpacking, fishing, and being outdoors as much as possible.
Jimmy Ward, MDiv, M.S.Counselor
Jimmy Ward is a retired army chaplain with 22 years of military experience that includes counseling soldiers and their families on a variety of psychodynamic issues. He is a Master level counselor with a Master of Science degree in Community Counseling with a concentration in marriage and family (2005). He also has a Master of Divinity degree (1988). Jimmy has seven years of Behavioral Health counseling in the military and seven years of post-army-retirement experience as a substance abuse and addiction counselor at Cook Inlet Counseling as well as also working three years as a mental health counselor. His counseling experience covers the full spectrum of psychological issues that include substance addiction, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, domestic abuse, marriage and family, trauma and post trauma. Jimmy is a counselor under the supervision of a licensed professional counselor in the state of Alaska (LPC). Education; M.Div. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, 1988; M.S./ Counseling Columbus State University, Columbus, GA, 2005. Member National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) and the American Psychological Association (APA. National Provider Identifier (NPI) number 1093214348.
Jaclyn RainwaterOutreach Specialist
Jaclyn is the Outreach Specialist for Cook Inlet Counseling in Homer and is also the facilitator for the All Things Addiction Coalition on the Southern Kenai Peninsula. She is passionate about recovery and community collaboration to help those struggling with addiction. Growing up in Alaska has brought a love for fishing, hunting and hiking. She loves enjoying these activities with her growing family. She received an Associate of Arts degree at Kachemak Bay Campus and completed one year of Bible College at Alaska Bible Institute. Jaclyn believes recovery is possible for anyone and aims to spread that message of hope to her community.
Willy DunneCase Manager
Willy put down roots in Fritz Creek area on the southern Kenai Peninsula in 1987 after many years of itinerant work around Alaska and the US as an educator, naturalist and researcher. After finding the ideal spot above Kachemak Bay, he built a cabin and raised his family there while becoming an involved member of the community. A few years ago he retired from his job as an ADFG Biologist which has given him the time and opportunity to explore new avenues of service. After many years of being actively involved in the local recovery community, he has now joined Cook Inlet Counseling as a Case Manager in the Homer Office. When he's not working, he can be found toiling in the garden, exploring local ski trails, fishing in the bay, hiking, biking, camping or otherwise enjoying the Great Outdoors.
Annette SchultzCase Manager
Annette Schultz is an Alaskan resident born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she pursued Rural Human Services, Human Services, Behavioral Health Case Management and attended several programs/courses that earned her several certifications in this field. Annette is committed to providing top quality care and personalized service. Nothing makes her happier than seeing clients succeed. In her spare time, she enjoys doing all kinds of arts and crafts, including but not limited to painting, beading, crocheting, sewing, and wood burning. She loves the outdoors and the fun that comes with it; fishing, hunting, four-wheeling, dirt biking, snow-machining and the walks on the Homer beach.
Jennifer MerrilAdministrative Professional
Jennifer has worked for Cook Inlet Counseling since 2012. She grew up in the Lower 48 on the East Coast and has lived in Alaska for over 10 years. She has worked in the administrative field for over 20 years. Jennifer enjoys photography, hiking, berry picking, and all the natural beauty Alaska has to offer.
Matthew HicksBilling Specialist
Matthew Hicks grew up in Alaska and spent around 10 years in California before moving back with his wife and child to come work at Cook Inlet Counseling. He enjoys reading, spending time with his family. He has an AA with a major in accounting and currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree.