Jesica Averhart, an executive with The American Underground in Durham, will succeed Winkie La Force as head of Leadership Triangle.

La Force plans to retire as president in January.

Leadership Triangle is a non-profit organization established in 1992 to educate and promote regionalism across the separate communities of the Triangle. La Force has led the group since 2002.

Averhart is community engagement director at the AU startup up, which provides a variety of office space and entrepreneur-focused services in Durham and Raleigh. She will take over as executive director of Leadership Triangle in the first quarter.

“Winkie is one of our region’s greatest assets and a driving force for the progress we’ve experienced over the past several decades, says Michael Goodmon, vice president of real estate for Capitol Broadcasting Company, and, chair of Leadership Triangle.

“Winkie leaves very big shoes to fill and our board was unanimous that Jes Averhart is the perfect successor to lead this institution into the future. Like Winkie, Jes personifies Leadership Triangle’s values. You won’t find anyone more collaborative, community-minded and action-oriented than Jes.”

Averhart has worked at The AU and the American Tobacco Campus since 2011.

The American Underground is part of CBC, the parent company of WRAL TechWire.