Meet the National Inventors Hall of Fame Leadership Team

Michael J. Oister, CEO


Since joining the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) in 2004, Michael J. Oister has worked to expand our mission of recognizing and inspiring innovation in America. Mike, who holds more than 20 U.S. patents, first joined NIHF as President of the Invent Now Kids subsidiary and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2009. In 2013, he accepted the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


Mike has overseen a 226 percent increase in children served with over 1.2 million students participating in our educational programming. This growth also corresponds with a 384% increase in teachers trained nationally and a 137 percent increase in school district partnerships. Since Mike became CEO, our organization’s assets have increased by 75 percent while liabilities have only increased by 7 percent and the Hall of Fame museum has doubled in square footage and exhibit space. Our organization has also benefited from the implementation of a high service, user-friendly delivery and training business model for education outreach programs in all 50 states. Mike’s demonstrated success in building strong partnerships, implementing new programs and cultivating sustainable businesses make him a perfect fit to meet the needs of the National Inventors Hall of Fame as we grow and expand our businesses and mission.

Prior to joining the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Mike successfully built Classic Sport Companies from a start-up to a $20+ million manufacturer of sporting goods, supplying team dealers throughout the country while building partnerships with prominent retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Target, Sam’s Club, and Toys “R” Us. During Mike’s time as President and Founder of the company, Classic Sport more than doubled its revenue each year between 1994 and 2000 and was named one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing private companies in the United States in 1999 (#86) and 2000 (#31). The company was known industry-wide as a leader in innovation.

Mike graduated from Colorado State University and now resides in Jackson Township, Ohio, with his wife Melinda and their four children, Sari, Marni, Charlie and Jeffrey. He is active with many of his children’s interests and activities through coaching and volunteering.

Board of Directors

Thomas Wolf

Chief Financial Officer, InstaKey Security Systems

Jon Wood

Partner of Counsel, Dinsmore & Shohl

Gary Sterling

Vice Chairman
Retail Consultant, Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods (Retired)

Stanley L. Apple, CPA

Assistant Treasurer
Principal, Apple Growth Partners

Edward W. Gray Jr.

NIHF Selection Board Ambassador
Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP

James Kraus

Assistant Secretary
Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC

Jean Bailey, Ph.D.

Director and Graduate Professor, 
Center for Drug Abuse Research,
Howard University

Robert W. Briggs

Board Member Emeritus
Chairman Emeritus and Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC

Jasemine Chambers, Ph.D.

NIHF Canada Board Ambassador
Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. (retired)

Raj S. Davé

President and Founder, Davé Law Group

Ray Leach

Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart, Inc.

James E. Malackowski

Chairman and CEO, Ocean Tomo

Steve Sasson

Product Development Manager, Eastman Kodak (retired)
2011 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee – Digital Camera

Michael J. Oister

CEO, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Monica Jones

Vice President
Chief Operating Officer, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Rhonda L. Campbell

Chief Financial Officer, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Hannah Paulin

Chief Strategic Officer, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.