Mayor Hancock Names Nominees for Excise & Licenses and Human Services

Published on January 12, 2022

Mayor Michael B. Hancock today announced his nominations of Jay Morein as Executive Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS) and Molly Duplechian as Executive Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses. Both nominations are subject to confirmation by Denver City Council.

Morein currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Human Services.

“Jay has had a long and storied career in human services at both the local and state levels, and his depth of expertise will be a tremendous asset not only to Denver Human Services as its Executive Director, but also to our entire community and to our neighbors who rely on the support the department provides,” Mayor Hancock said. “When it comes to this chapter in the story of this department, I can think of no better leader than Jay to continue its critically important mission.”

Morein began his career with DHS in 1981 as a chief accountant before becoming a division director overseeing the department’s budget and its contracting services section. He was later promoted to one of DHS’ two deputy executive directors, where he oversaw both support services and program services. In 2008, Morein transitioned to the Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services to serve as its Director of Finance and Administration. He served as the Office Director for the Colorado Department of Human Services under then-Governor John Hickenlooper, overseeing the state human services budget, performance management, and audit and program compliance.

Morein returned to DHS in 2015, serving under then-Executive Director Penny May and later as Chief of Staff for Executive Director Don Mares. Following a brief retirement in 2018, he again returned to the department in 2019 to serve as Chief Operating Officer, providing guidance and direction to the department’s three deputy executive directors. Morein will build upon the foundation set by Executive Director Mares, who is stepping down at the end of the month to become the interim President and Chief Executive Officer of The Colorado Trust, to strengthen the child safety net for Denver children by improving coordination between safety net agencies and cultivating the agency’s outreach into communities.

Duplechian was named the interim Executive Director of Excise and Licenses following the departure of Ashley Kilroy.

“Molly is a great example of how fortunate we are in the city to have a deep bench of talent and successful experience, ready to take on the challenges of executive leadership,” Mayor Hancock said. “She is more than prepared to continue the work at Excise and Licenses to support our economic recovery, improve the licensing process and create more equity in the marijuana marketplace. Her proven track record of results positions her well to lead this agency going forward.”

Duplechian has served the City and County of Denver since 2007, the past four years as Deputy Director of Policy and Administration for Excise and Licenses. Duplechian joined the Office of Marijuana Policy in 2014 and worked side-by-side with former Executive Director Ashley Kilroy in developing the first legalized marijuana market in the world and remained as Kilroy’s top deputy when the Office of Marijuana Policy and Department of Excise and Licenses merged. Duplechian began her public service with the city as a Financial Analyst with the Department of Finance and most recently shepherded the largest overhaul ever in Denver marijuana regulations that created exclusive licensing for social equity applicants for the next six years.

Duplechian will continue supporting the success of Denver’s business community and their employees, and implementing policies geared towards equity. She will also continue the Hancock Administration’s focus on supporting economic recovery, public safety, and successfully launching the new residential rental license next year.

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