The Hilltop House board of directors has chosen a new director for the community corrections center, one they hope will be more involved with the community, said board chairman Tom Harms.
Sally Frey, one of 30 candidates considered for the position, will start as executive director May 8, Harms said. Frey has experience in inmate re-entry programs with the Department of Corrections and Parole in Kansas, crime prevention and early intervention with children, and nonprofits, Harms said. She also has degrees in psychology and marriage and family therapy, he said.
“She’s been in these programs for a long time there, and this (Hilltop position) is very similar work to what she’s been doing in Kansas,” Harms said. “And who doesn’t want to live in Durango?”
Frey told directors in an interview that she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life in Kansas and had always dreamed of living in Colorado, Harms said.
Frey will take the position being vacated by John Schmier, who oversaw Hilltop House for about 17 years and resigned earlier this year. Harms at the time declined to discuss details of Schmier’s resignation – “I feel it’s a personnel matter,” he said.
Harms on Wednesday acknowledged there are things that need “to change and update and rejuvenate” at Hilltop House, but he declined to get into specifics, saying the board of directors has yet to establish a strategic plan for new leadership.
The board wants Frey’s input in how the community corrections center can adapt to better serve the community.
“We want her to come here and get a feel of how things are now,” Harms said. “We want her to be a good leader to update the facility physically and culturally.”