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DHS Director retires after more than forty years

Posted on 01/16/2020
DHS Director retires after more than forty years

 Judy Griego, Weld County Department of Human Services (DHS) Director, officially retired after 44 years of employment with the county and 28 years of serving as the department director. During her recognition at Wednesday’s board meeting, Griego received a standing ovation from a room packed with DHS employees, family and friends.

Griego began her career with the county in May of 1975 as a Contracts and Grants officer for Head Start, Community Action, Senior Nutrition and Employment and Training programs. She worked her way up through many positions within DHS and was promoted to director of the department on May 1, 1991. As director, Griego oversaw the administration of programs such as public assistance, child and adult protection, child support, employment services and other community support programs.

In 1982, Weld County was selected to participate in a national pilot program for Employment and Training Services for individuals receiving public assistance. Griego was instrumental in the program, which ultimately led to the development and implementation of an innovative welfare reform program in Weld County.

“During my first year as commissioner in 2013, I had the honor of serving as the DHS coordinator,” said Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. “I learned so much from Judy, and I so appreciate you and your staff for bringing me up to speed. You’ve earned so much respect here and throughout the state, and we’ll miss you tremendously.”

Under Griego’s leadership, a number of initiatives and approaches to better aid residents receiving public assistance were developed. She also served on numerous committees, including United Way and the North Colorado Health Alliance Board.

“Judy is a very special person and absolutely THE best Human Services Director in the state of Colorado,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, coordinator for DHS. “She has always been above reproach, putting the best interests of the county, children and families first. I have the utmost respect for you, and I consider myself dang lucky to have worked with you.”

“As the most recent—and sadly, last—commissioner coordinator trainee of Judy’s, I have full confidence in your replacement,” said Commissioner Scott James, referring to new DHS Director Jamie Ulrich. “You helped Weld County’s people with dignity, class and grace, and your legacy leaves a lasting impression on all of us.”

Griego smiled, reflecting on her four-decade-long career. “It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work here, and what made it special was the people I worked with and the citizens who challenged me to do more,” she said. “Through the years, I grew up with you and your families. I appreciate the honor of being here for this long.”

For more information about the Department of Human Services, visit https://www.weldgov.com/departments/human_services.