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 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 anxieties 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 works 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.
Wendy DialClinical Director
Wendy grew up in the Detroit, Michigan suburb area where the auto industry was a big part of her family. She and her family moved to Alaska in 2010 to serve in churches where she and her husband have pastored. She has ministered and counseled since 2000 in Michigan, California, Oregon, and Alaska. Wendy graduated summa cum laude with a master's in professional counseling from University of Grand Canyon and is working on her licensure as an LPC. She loves helping people in the area of mental health and spiritual wholeness. She has worked with people with a wide range of concerns including spiritual issues, depression, anxiety, marriage and family conflicts, and coping with grief and loss. She loves the outdoors, spending time with her family, riding their Harley, playing with their two fur babies, and taking photos in this great state.
Alecia GottlobProject Coordinator/Counselor
Alecia moved to Alaska in 1998. She graduated Cum Laude from the 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 I certification. She enjoys refurbishing furniture, gardening, and foraging for mushrooms and berries. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters. Kim has an obsession with cast iron, sourdough, chicken, and baking. Kim loves working with our clients, watching people take a negative experience and turn it into a positive opportunity, and seeing clients grow by giving guidance and support.
Mandy is a Counselor 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 continuing her studies in the ways of countless spiritual guides
Gwen ChickalusionCase Manager
Gwen is a lifelong Alaskan, born and raised here. She was hired in March of 2023 and is studying to be a Substance Abuse Counselor. Her family moved to Homer in October 2022 from Tyonek. She worked for the Tyonek Tribal Conservation District as a Garden Manager, growing and marketing produce for the community. Gwen has always liked to help people when she could, she joined the Volunteer Fire Department in 2002, and remained a 1st responder for several years. Gwen enjoys fishing & hunting, berry picking, and gardening with her family of four, and teaching other communities how to start their own garden.
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, and 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. She is currently working on her CDC II, BHC II, and AAS in Human Services and continue on towards a BA in Social Work. In her spare time, she works in her studio creating all kinds of arts and crafts. She loves the outdoors where the fish is on, the walking is beautiful, the woods for wildlife, and the trails for riding.
Jennifer MerrillAdministrative 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 and spending time with his family. He has an AA with a major in accounting and currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree.
Courtney MitchellData Coordinator
Courtney Mitchell was raised in Alaska, where she worked in the medical field until moving to New Mexico to attend university and obtain her bachelor's degree in Political Science. Upon returning to Alaska, with a desire to help the community where she grew up, she found a place as Data Coordinator at Cook Inlet Counseling. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and spending time outdoors in her spare time.