DURHAM — Molly Demarest, American Underground’s (AU) general manager, and Justin Laidlaw, the company’s marketing manager, are moving on.

The change comes after a period of transition for the Durham-based startup and entrepreneurial hub, which opened to include “virtual memberships” last year.

Tim Scales, former founder of CivicRise, is now serving as AU’s director of Growth.

“The AU is ready for its next season as we now have a digital membership in place and way to connect skilled people to jobs while assembling a strong team to serve our members. This accomplishment, no small feat, brings us to a new phase,” said Adam Klein, director of strategy at Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns AU and is the parent company of WRAL TechWire.

“Molly created the AU’s digital arm and ably led the AU over the past year while Justin has played an integral role in expanding AU’s presence throughout the region. He leaves us with an outstanding marketing plan upon which to execute. We thank them for their outstanding work and are pleased to welcome Tim as we enter a new phase; executing on our enhanced offerings.”

Klein added: “Our heads of operations, membership, and growth will run the AU day-to-day and report to me. We have an incredible team, y’all, and are positioned well for 2020 and beyond.”

Demerest said she joined the American Underground in 2013, when everything was still, literally, underground.

“More than one thousand companies later, and most recently, having led the AU’s move to expand beyond our real estate model to engage startups through a virtual membership, I’m confident the ecosystem is on the right track and in excellent hands,” she said.

“I’m proud of the team I’ve assembled to support AU members and its programs, and I know the AU will continue to thrive. I look forward to the opportunities ahead for me in this new season, some of which no doubt will owe their existence to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that the AU helped create.”

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