Meet the CIE Team

Somiah Lattimore, Founding & Senior Director

Somiah's impactful tenure at the University of Richmond began in 2021 as the founding Senior Director of the Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship initiative. Her leadership was immediately evident in securing a $1 million gift within six months of her arrival, propelling the university into the innovation and entrepreneurship community. This milestone paved the way for introducing university-wide programs and set a new benchmark for excellence.

Somiah's dedication to making a difference in the Commonwealth of Virginia is palpable in her strategic planning and leadership as a Managing Director at Lighthouse Labs. She led the writing of the largest GO Virginia Region 4 grant awarded, an impressive $1 million. This grant was further amplified by a $1 million match from Activation Capital, leading to the establishment of Lighthouse University. This pioneering initiative provided access to acceleration, capital, and workforce development, creating over 150 high-paying Virginia jobs and developing an award-winning acceleration curriculum.

Her work with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Activation Capital, and Lighthouse Labs has legislatively impacted Virginia's innovation and business community. She is a GMU I-CORP/ICAP mentor and serves on the advisory boards of the Community Foundation of Richmond, Quartr, and CURE.

Somiah's entrepreneurial spirit is a testament to her diverse skill set and adaptability, which is evident in her ventures from CPG to SaaS. She is also an investor with Extra Credit Ventures and co-founded a series of successful ventures, including Carolina Media Publishing (acquired), Shore Life (acquired), Marion Design (acquired), Cupcake Diva Quest, Gokies (licensing deal), and King Tide Supply Co. Her exceptional creative work has been recognized with multiple AIGA and ADDY awards, solidifying her reputation as an award-winning art director and designer.

Her achievements in curriculum development mark Lattimore's 20-year academic journey. Somiah led the VCU da Vinci Center's experiential division, redesigning the pre-accelerator, launching a human-centered design curriculum, and teaching innovation and entrepreneurship. At Virginia Tech, she spearheaded the academic center FourDesign to national acclaim and co-designed a new Visual Communication Design curriculum. Her research focuses on human-centered design as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship. In that vein, Somiah designed curricula and taught at multiple universities, spanning innovation, entrepreneurship, graphic design, and UX/UI.

Lattimore has a BS and MFA from Radford University and an MA in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech. In her leisure time, she enjoys the salty air of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She supports her favorite teams in Lane Stadium and the Dedmon Center with her husband, Adam, and their three lively daughters, Violet, Lilly Blake, and Laney Jane.

Andrew Ilnicki, Experiential Education & Emerging Technologies Director

Andrew Ilnicki headshot

Andrew Ilnicki is the Director of Experiential Education + Emerging Technology at the University of Richmond. With more than 17 years of experience in higher education, he most recently served as the Director of Digital Innovation for the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation and as a faculty member in the Masters of Product Innovation program.

At VCU, Ilnicki worked across departments to cultivate effective human-centered design and change management practices to foster new curricular uses for academic technology. Having established relationships with numerous industry partners, including Adobe, Apple, Capital One, CarMax, Dominion, Snag, and others, Ilnicki connects students with life-changing opportunities focusing on the intersections between art, design, business, engineering, humanities, health, and technology. He is passionately committed to addressing issues related to the future of higher education, the infusion of relevant technology for faculty and student success, and the role of interdisciplinary collaboration in advancing the mission and value of higher education.

Ilnicki has taught graduate and undergraduate courses for the da Vinci Center for Product Innovation, the VCUarts Center for Creative Economy, and the Graphic Design and Kinetic Imaging departments. Ilnicki worked to establish and coordinate new interdisciplinary internship programs in the VCUarts Center for Creative Economy. Ilnicki also spearheaded the push for VCU to become Virginia's first Adobe Creative Campus in 2019.

Ilnicki graduated with an MFA in Visual Communication from VCU in the Department of Graphic Design and has professionally worked as a designer, web developer, and art director in Richmond.

Contact Andrew Ilnicki > 


Geof Hammond, Adjunct

Geof Hammond headshot

Geof Hammond, Design Thinker in Resident combines his passion for business innovation with his CPG brand management experience to help students learn, develop, and address complex challenges in new ways. Geof began his consulting career 23 years ago as a lead consultant for Play, a creativity and innovation consultancy. He is currenlty a senior consultant for Allision Partners. More recently, he was an innovation director with Prophet Brand Management, as well as a brand manager for a Fortune 100 company.

Geof teaches Introduction to Design thinking at the University of Richmond and is also an adjunct professor in Virginia Commonwealth University's da Vinci Center for Innovation, where he teaches business principles of new product development. His other areas of expertise include brand strategy, product positioning, new product development, creative problem solving, and learning and development design.

Contact Geof Hammond.