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RF native named director at Kinnic Falls

Patrick Simon, a 1980 graduate of River Falls High School, was recently named CEO/executive director of the 46-bed Kinnic Falls halfway house, 902 Orange St. For the past six years Simon worked as a counselor at Kinnic Falls. He succeeds interim director Del Permann, the former head pastor at United Church of Christ in River Falls.

Simon is charged with overseeing an operating budget of just over $1 million and 15 full- and part-time employees.

"It's a new challenge in my life," Simon said of the promotion. "I look forward to it. I want to see this place be viable when I'm gone. A place for addicts to recover is a needed part in our community."

Simon admitted that the local halfway house isn't that well known in River Falls. He hopes to change that during his tenure as CEO by giving public talks about Kinnic Falls and also making better connections.

"I'd like to put the awareness out about who we are and what we do," he said. "I'd like to build some bridges to the community and show the successes we have here and why that's important to our society."

Simon himself is a recovering alcoholic. He said Kinnic Falls clients relate well to counselors who've struggled with the same addictions.

Read more on Patrick Simon and Kinnic Falls in the Jan. 14 print edition of the River Falls Journal.