Dr. Kenneth B. Kahn, Executive Director
Kenneth Kahn is a nationally recognized scholar and consultant in the field of product development. Kahn previously was at Purdue University, where he was a professor and director of Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Kahn authored the books, “Product Planning: Essentials” and “New Product Forecasting: An Applied Approach.” Kahn’s industrial experience includes serving as an industrial engineer and project engineer for the Weyerhaeuser Company and a manufacturing engineer for Respironics Inc. He has consulted with and facilitated benchmarking sessions with numerous companies, including recently Acco Brands, Coca-Cola, ConAgra, Honeywell, John Deere, Lego, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever.
Allison Schumacher, Program Director for Product Innovation
Allison Schumacher’s career has been a mix of professional and academic experience. Before joining the da Vinci Center full time, Allison held the position of Student Services Coordinator in the VCU Department of Graphic Design, with active rolls as faculty and undergraduate advisor. Her passion for student success and cross-disciplinary education is what led her to the da Vinci Center. In Spring 2010, Ms. Schumacher began serving as a faculty mentor for the da Vinci Center’s Product Innovation culmination course: INNO 460: da Vinci Project. She has since completed seven da Vinci projects with various sponsors including, Pfizer, MWV, State of Virginia Agency for Aging, Science Museum of Virginia and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce. Allison is a practicing freelance graphic designer with a client base focused in the Southeast U.S. Her academic research centers on cultural and memory studies with considerations for authenticity in the design. In teaching, she emphasizes the importance of research, experimentation, efficiency, and attention to craft. Ms. Schumacher holds a MFA in Visual Communication from VCU and double-major BFA in Graphic Design and Printmaking from Appalachian State University.
In her spare time, Allison enjoys gardening, book making, cooking, camping, and travel.
David Holland, Program Director for Venture Creation
David Holland’s career spanned global strategy consulting, foundation management, and fund development in the U.S. and U.K. before he transitioned to academia. At the da Vinci Center, he oversees academic and co-curricular activities in the new Certificate in Venture Creation program and collaborates with colleagues across the university to encourage an entrepreneurial culture amongst VCU students. Holland was previously Director of Grant Coordination and Entrepreneurship with VCU School of the Arts. In this role, he collaborated on the development of their Creative Entrepreneurship curriculum; taught a new cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship course, The Creative Economy; facilitated faculty research development and mentored student researchers. Formerly, he developed and evaluated innovation and entrepreneurship programs internationally while a Senior Consultant with BOP Consulting, Commercial Consultant with Arts & Business, and Innovation Programmes Learning Manager with the innovation think-tank Nesta (formerly the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts). His research has been published in the Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning. Holland is a Salzburg Global Fellow, an Evan Carroll Commager Fellow, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. He holds a BA in Economics from Amherst College, and MA degrees from the University of London, SOAS.
Somiah Lattimore, Director, VCU Innovate
Somiah Lattimore recently joined Virginia Commonwealth University as Director of Innovate Living Learning Program (Innovate LLP). Before VCU, Somiah served as a creative consultant and student mentor for Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech. Previous professional positions include Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Salisbury University, Director of FourDesign and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design for the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech, and Creative Director for Carolina Media Publishing.
Somiah is a professional and academic entrepreneur and has established new curricula and pivoted business models in her prior positions. She is also the Founder and Creative Director for Straight Up Creative, a collaborative design house with partners along the east coast and Shore Life, a tourism-based business headquartered on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, as well as co-founder and consultant for several gaming, academic advising, tourism, and commerce driven start-ups. Lattimore is an award-winning designer and creative director that has worked with clients such as NASCAR, Roush Racing, Commemorative Brands/Balfour, H. M. Terry Co. Inc., and Chatham Vineyards.
She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design from Radford University and an M. A. in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech.
Amy Shankle, Program Coordinator
Amy Shankle is a Virginia Commonwealth University alumna and has worked in a variety of capacities for the university. Beginning her career, she started out collecting data for the Survey and Evaluation Research Laboratory. She then accepted a position with Records and Registration, working to assist students in graduating from the university among other responsibilities within Records. Upon leaving that position, she is now doing various administrative duties for the da Vinci Center to maintain the programs and assist students, staff, and faculty.
In her spare time, Amy enjoys helping others to train their dogs and going on adventures with her own two special pups.
Allison Stevens, Student Services Coordinator
Allison comes to the da Vinci Center from the Buckeye state.She is an alumna from The Ohio State University, with a BA in Speech and Hearing Pathology. Allison is currently in school full time working on an Associates in Applied Science in ASL-English Interpretation and is hoping to begin a career as an American Sign Language Interpreter. Allison supports both the Director of Product Innovation as well as the Director of Venture Creation in program efforts and is the first line contact for hopeful students seeking to learn more information about the certificate programs.