Mayor Announces Nomination and Appointment for Two Executive Directors

Published on November 16, 2023

Today, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced the nomination and appointment of two executive director roles within his administration.

Molly Duplechian is nominated to continue in her role as the executive director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Duplechian will oversee business licensing, the review of marijuana and liquor applications and ensure businesses are compliant with regulations. Duplechian’s nomination will go through the City Council approval process.

Perla Gheiler has been appointed as the executive director of Human Rights and Community Partnerships. Gheiler will focus on building collaborative partnerships in our community, setting out to address the needs of historically marginalized residents. Gheiler will work closely with community groups, advocates and faith-based organizations, all with a goal of developing policy that promotes equity and accessibility.

“Molly and Perla have been steadfast leaders in Denver for years, and I’m thrilled to bring them on to our leadership team,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “Their dedication to our city and commitment to delivering world-class customer service for Denverites will put us well on the path to a more vibrant Denver.”

Molly Duplechian - Executive Director, Department of Excise and Licenses

After serving as the deputy director of policy and administration with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, Molly Duplechian was promoted in January 2022 to lead the department.

As executive director, Molly has overseen the implementation of the largest expansion of licensing in Denver history with the rollout for the first-ever requirement for landlord licensing in the Mile High City. Even before the full licensing requirement goes into effect in January 2024, the city has issued more than 11,000 licenses that cover 142,000 rental units. With this new license and continued economic vitality across the City of Denver, Duplechian has led the department through a 30% growth in workload while also continuously meeting or exceeding goals for license transaction and processing times.

Duplechian has been with the City and County of Denver since 2007, previously working in the Budget and Management Office before joining the Office of Marijuana Policy and Excise and Licenses team. Her work has helped Denver continue to be at the forefront of cannabis regulation, enforcement and education worldwide.

Molly received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Ohio University and a Master of Public Administration from Idaho State University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her two children and her husband, Josh.

Perla Gheiler - Executive Director, Human Rights & Community Partnerships

headshot of perla gheiler, a Latina earing a bright yellow blazer with long dark hairPerla Gheiler has over 20 years of executive-level experience, providing strategic guidance to Fortune 500 companies. Her award-winning insights extend across local, regional, national and international levels, showcasing expertise managing multi-million-dollar media budgets in the private sector and spearheading strategic initiatives in higher education.

In addition to her corporate success, Gheiler is a dedicated community advocate. She has a rich history of serving on community boards and earning the trust of local neighborhood groups and community leaders. Perla served as the chair of the board of directors for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2012, chaired the public policy committee in 2013 and marketing committee in 2011.

Gheiler previously served as the director for the Office on Aging at the City and County of Denver, fostering connections between aging communities and the Mayor's office.

She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. Through the National Hispana Leadership Institute, she attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and The Center for Creative Leadership where she earned the Executive Leadership Certification. Gheiler is a Colorado local. She and her husband Larry are the proud parents of their 14-year-old son, Austin.

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