Gov. Polis appoints new executive director to lead Department of Revenue


    Mark Ferrandino was appointed to serve as executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Gov. Jared Polis announced Nov. 18, 2020. (Courtesy Office of Governor Jared Polis)

    Gov. Jared Polis announced a new leader for the department tasked with collecting state tax revenue and regulating marijuana and gambling.

    Former state House Speaker Mark Ferrandino replaces Lu Córdova as executive director of the Department of Revenue, according to a Nov. 18 statement from the governor’s office.

    “We’re thrilled to have Mark lead the Department of Revenue,” Polis said in the statement. “Mark is committed to public service, holds (exemplary) financial management skills and brings a wealth of experience … that will benefit the hardworking people and businesses of our state.”

    Ferrandino will be paid an annual salary of $170,000 to lead the Department of Revenue, which employs 1,600 people and has a budget of more than $400 million, Polis spokesperson Elizabeth Kosar said in an email.

    Most recently, Ferrandino served as deputy superintendent of operations and previously as chief financial officer for Denver Public Schools. He was first appointed to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2007 and served until 2015. Elected House speaker by his colleagues, Ferrandino occupied that powerful role during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions.

    “I’m honored to be appointed by Governor Polis to lead the Department of Revenue,” Ferrandino said in the statement. “As the son of two public school educators, I have always believed in public service and I look forward to this opportunity to be part of building a strong future for Colorado.”

    The Colorado Department of Revenue collects most types of taxes and issues ID cards and driver’s licenses. It also enforces Colorado laws around gambling, liquor and tobacco products, horse racing, automobile dealers and marijuana.

    Córdova, the former executive director, began working as an advisor to Polis in August. Heidi Humphreys, the Department of Revenue’s deputy executive director, had stepped in as interim executive director until Ferrandino’s appointment.

    Córdova’s new advisory role involves “working with state agencies to identify and implement new ways of operating to generate cost savings by increasing efficiencies and enhancing customer service through technology,” according to an August statement.

    That includes projects such as making the Department of Motor Vehicles’ services accessible on phones and tablets, Kosar said, adding that Córdova “also spends time negotiating some of the larger contracts the State has with technology vendors.”

    Ferrandino’s move to the Department of Revenue represents one of three high-profile departures of leadership from Denver Public Schools within days. Superintendent Susana Cordova resigned to take a job with a Dallas school district, and Jennifer Holladay, the associate chief of portfolio management, will also leave her position, Chalkbeat reported.