In many ways, Melanie Augustin has been the backbone of Zip Code Wilmington since she came on as executive director in 2016, not long after the coding bootcamp launched.
As the nonprofit got to the point where it seemed like it was thriving, when some might want to settle in, Augustin decided it was time to seek new challenges.
“I had loved every minute that I’ve been here, but at the same time, things are moving really smoothly now, and I think the school can benefit from having someone put a jolt of energy and a fresh perspective behind it,” she said in an interview with Technical.ly. “And I needed some fresh challenges as well.”
When she made the decision about four months ago, she notified the board right away — before she even started looking for a new job.
“I wanted to be here, I wanted to make sure the transition was smooth, I wanted to wait until they had the right candidate,” she said. “I didn’t want them to be jumping at anyone who was available.”
Her successor, Desa Burton, is someone Augustin had worked with closely over the past two years on Zip Code’s veteran scholarship program through Liberty USO. She encouraged Burton to apply for the position when they learned that they were both were considering a change.
“When I knew I was going to be leaving, I couldn’t help but have her name pop into my head,” Augustin said.
Her last week at Zip Code, next week, will overlap with Burton’s first as executive director.
“I’m just going to be here transitioning out for her,” Augustin said. “I want her to be set up for success.”
After that transition (and a few days off), Augustin will start her new job as the managing director of business development at Epic Research, a marketing firm in downtown Wilmington — just a couple of blocks from The Mill, where Zip Code resides.
“It’s a change, but at the same time, I think there is going to be a lot of overlap,” she said about the new position. “One of the main things that I did at Zip Code was business development — making relationships with our corporate partners and the community — and I think I’ll be able to use some of those skills in my new role as well. There’s going to be a lot of learning involved, too. I like to be learning and challenging myself, and this is going to be a challenge, understanding the direct marketing environment.”
“I think that’s exciting.”