Meet the CIE Team

Somiah Lattimore

Somiah Lattimore

Somiah Lattimore joined the Provost's Office as the inaugural Director of the Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship initiative in February 2021. After raising a $1million dollar gift within 6 months of arrival, Lattimore co-launched BenchTop Innovations to help students go from startup idea to revenue within 9 months.

Most recently, Somiah served in a joint role as Experiential Learning Director, VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation, and Managing Director, Lighthouse Labs University Initiative (Lighthouse U). Lighthouse U was funded by the largest awarded GO Virginia grant ($1 million) and matched with $1 million dollars from Activation Capital to strengthen student-founded companies around the Commonwealth of Virginia by providing access to acceleration, capital, and workforce development. This work resulted in the creation of more than 150 Virginia jobs and an award-winning acceleration curriculum.

Before joining VCU, Lattimore held a leadership and faculty post at Virginia Tech. She spearheaded the relaunch of FourDesign and gained national design recognition by winning the 2011 AIGA Grade 6 Award of Merit, Western Virginia Silver ADDY® Award, District 3 Silver ADDY® Award, and National ADDY® Finalist.

Somiah is an internationally recognized design educator and award-winning creative director, having worked with Qualrant, NASCAR, Roush Racing, Novant Health, Commemorative Brands/Balfour, H. M. Terry Co. Inc., and Chatham Vineyards. Additionally, Somiah co-launched and co-founded several products, including Shore Life, Cupcake Diva Quest, Gokies, and King Tide Supply Co. Additionally, she currently serves as an advisory board member for Quartr and Cure.

Lattimore received her B.S. and M.F.A. from Radford University and M.A. in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech. Her academic research explores human-centered design as a creative driver for innovation and entrepreneurship. Somiah enjoys serving her community with Activation Capital, The Community Foundation of Richmond, Lighthouse Labs, Collaboratory of Virginia, and Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Outside of the office, you'll find her cruising the Chesapeake Bay with her husband, Adam, and their three vivacious daughters, Violet, Lilly Blake, and Laney Jane.

Contact Somiah Lattimore or book a meeting.

Geof Hammond

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.