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Our Team

Our leadership team and advisory board enables the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to ignite passion, fuel desires, and fan the spirit and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across our campus and the region.


Dr. David Schneider
BC 350
(859) 572-5931
Dr. Schneider served as the CEO of Rem Brands, Inc., a technology incubator of high performance patented chemistries and proprietary formulas before joining NKU as the CIE Director. Spanning a 30-year career, he brings a wide variety of business experience to the CIE, from launching startups as an entrepreneur to guiding established public and private companies as the president/CEO. He has extensive experience negotiating and executing contracts in multinational environments including North America, Asia and Europe. Dr. Schneider is also the inventor on 29 granted patents as well as several pending patents and has leveraged this technical expertise to help other entrepreneurs pursuing intellectual-based businesses in the region.

Headshot of Zac Strobl
Zac Strobl
Assistant Director
BC 351
(859) 572-7541 
Zac Strobl is the Assistant Director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Zac has been working with startups and small businesses since the age of 19. Zac’s experience includes working as a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center at NKU, as well as a startup medical supply company in Chicago where he worked his way up to the management team, has ran his family business, and is the co-founder of The INKUBATOR. Zac is an NKU alumnus with a BS in Entrepreneurship and Marketing.

Headshot of Jeff Varrone
Jeff Varrone
Assistant Director
BC 305
(859) 572-5931
Jeff Varrone is the Assistant Director for the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and serves as a faculty member in Entrepreneurship.  He also works with students on various events and academic programs to prepare them for business opportunities and to help create awareness of entrepreneurship across campus and in the community.  He joined the Entrepreneurship Program while completing his Master’s Degree with a focus on Entrepreneurship at NKU.



Advisory Board

David Willbrand

Board Chair

David Willbrand, Partner
Thompson Hine, LLP

Brent Cooper, President & CEO
Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

George Hagan, Founder
Progressive Health Care Systems

Stephanie Hughes,
Associate Professor of Management
Northern Kentucky University

Nancy Koors, Entrepreneur in Residence & Chair
Venture Lab

Candice Matthews, Executive Director
Hillman Accelerator

Tim Metzner, Co-Founder

Ray Moncrief, Executive Vice President & COO
Kentucky Highland Investment Corp.

Tarita Preston, Chief Coach
Corporate Consciousness


Christopher R. Schaber, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor

Tim Schigel, Partner
Refinery Ventures

David Schneider, President & CEO
Rem Brands 

Ray Takigiku, President & CEO
Bexion Pharmaceuticals

Ann Thompson, Co-Founder
The Garage Group

Donald R. Wright, Executive Director
Refinery Ventures

Daniela Yoder, Senior Vice President
Valuation Research Corp.

Brad Zapp, Founder & Managing Partner
Connetic Ventures