Our Team Staff Dr. Amber Epps (she/her)Executive DirectorDr. Amber Epps brings twenty years of experience teaching at the college level. Outside of academia, Dr. Epps worked in community development, focusing on commercial district revitalization, workforce development, and youth education and employment. She is also a maker, artist, musician, mom, member of the #NotWhite Collective, and co-owner of Arts & Crafts: Botanica & Occult Shop. Marvin Touré (he/him)Education CoordinatorMarvin is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Pittsburgh, PA. He has a BA in New Media Arts with a minor in Architecture from Southern Polytechnic State University (now KSU Marietta, Georgia) and an MFA in Fine Arts from The School of Visual Arts in New York City. Eriko Hattori (they/she)Communciations CoordinatorEriko is an artist, designer, and communications coordinator. They’ve done marketing and design work for Casey Droege Cultural Productions, The Art Supply Co., and Small Mall. Instructors Adam NelsonDesign & Wood TurningAdam Nelson is the founder of Daggerfish Gear. He designs high quality handcrafted outdoor recreational products. Cord MerrellFabrication & WoodworkingCord Merrell is a multi-disciplinary maker with years of experience. He’s eager to share the lessons he’s learned along the way. Karen KocherBlacksmithing & MetalKaren Kocher is part blacksmith, part fabricator, and full-time artist. She makes warm, joyful pieces using a mix of traditional and makeshift tools. Valerie HildenbrandTextiles & LasersValerie Hildenbrand is the founder of Grove Avenue Design. She makes intricate art that combines traditional techniques with new technology. Sarah NielsenWoodworking & DesignSarah Nielsen is a Pittsburgh-based artist and co-founder of Tree Overboard. She makes warm, eclectic, works in wood from her shop in Lawrenceville. Nathan BrooksCNC Embroidery & Design Nathan Brooks is the founder of Rebel Bred Clothing. He creates locally crafted streetwear enlaced with spirituality, culture and history. Jeff BearerCNC Router, Electronics, 3D Printers & LasersJeff is a hobbyist maker who primarily uses his skills to solve everyday problems, often creating functional parts using digital fabrication technologies. He has a passion for teaching and helping others learn new skills in digital fabrication. Brian RookerLasersBrian is a long-time artist, designer, stitcher, and maker who loves to ply modern techniques and technologies to craft medieval and fantasy artistry. He’s the proprietor of Fortune’s Foundry, a handmade hobby & game accessories shop for tabletop gamers and medieval enthusiasts. Lizzee SolomonLasers & GraphicsLizzee is an artist, designer, and educator who fell in love with laser cutting 10 years ago. She is passionate about spreading the love to other artists and makers. Lizzee creates vibrant bold works using CNC technology, blending traditional and manufactured materials. She is also a commercial artist specializing in digital fabrication, sign making, and onsite mural painting. Shop Techs Matt Germaine Shannon Bearer Jeff Bearer Kennedy Deen Ori Golding Morgan Swatrz Karen Kocher Valerie Hildenbrand Reggie Raye Amy Boots Butler Svi Roussanoff Michael Gregory Board of Directors Joshua RolonChairpersonJosh first was connected to Protohaven when he was the Main Street Manager in Wilkinsburg. Now he helps nonprofits access City of Pittsburgh grants as the Program Supervisor at the City of Pittsburgh’s Budget Office. He is a part-time grad student at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School and has a BS in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Angelica CiranniVice-Chairperson Angelica is a building science expert and sustainability advocate. She is the Director of Sustainability at Advantus Engineers. She has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. TJ JohnsonTreasurer TJ is the Director of Programs at Community Forge, TJ has the pleasure of providing technical assistance to program participants, piloting workforce development programs, and youth afterschool programs. He oversees entrepreneurial coaching and a mentorship program for thirty small business owners and fifteen resource providers. TJ is also a skilled bookkeeper and has been building his business for over five years. He intends to continue to grow that business and assist scores of small businesses with their accounting needs. Shannon RughSecretary Shannon is cofounder of Commonwealth Press, a screenprinting and design studio. She executes financial strategy, manages accounting procedures, manages human resources, and rings register in the brick and mortar retail location of Commonwealth Press. She has a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Shenandoah University and has completed certificates from Harvard Business School. Jeff GreeneDirector Jeff has been a maker for over 50 years, and is the founder of Deep Greene Woodworks which produces architectural grade spalted maple. He is also the building manager for the Center for Civic Arts in Wilkinsburg. Lizzee SolomonDirectorLizzee is an artist, designer, and educator who fell in love with laser cutting 10 years ago. She is passionate about spreading the love to other artists and makers. Lizzee creates vibrant bold works using CNC technology, blending traditional and manufactured materials. She is also a commercial artist specializing in digital fabrication, sign making, and onsite mural painting. Shannon BearerDirector Shannon is the Business Administrator for the Microsoft Pittsburgh Engineering office. She attended Polk State College for Business Administration, and has a background in operations management, finance, employee relations, compliance auditing, and cultivating small business growth opportunities. Prior to relocating to Pittsburgh in 2010, she served on the city’s Housing Authority Board and Planning and Zoning Board Fran FlahertyDirector Fran Flaherty is a Deaf artist, curator, and educator practicing in Pittsburgh, PA, USA and Rochester, NY, USA. As a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, her work is centered in issues surrounding migrant family relations and assimilation, maternal feminism, & disability aesthetics that synthesizes traditional media and physical computing. Flaherty is the founder of Anthropology of Motherhood, an ongoing curation of artwork and design that engages in the complex visual, material, emotional, corporeal and lived experiences of motherhood, care-giving, parenting, nurturing and maternal labor. She is also the Director of Dyer Arts Center for the Advancement of Deaf Culture at RIT/NTID, serves on the Advisory Board of the Office of Public Art in Pittsburgh, and is a proud member of the #notwhite collective. Sarah NielsenDirectorSarah Nielsen is a Pittsburgh-based artist and co-founder of Tree Overboard. She makes warm, eclectic, works in wood from her shop in Lawrenceville..