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 debt has only increased by 7percent 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

Executive Director of Innovation, 
Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

Gary Sterling

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

Robert W. Briggs

Chairman Emeritus
Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

Stanley L. Apple, CPA

Assistant Treasurer
Principal, Apple Growth Partners

James Kraus

Assistant Secretary
Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

Edward W. Gray, Jr.

Partner, Thompson Coburn

James E. Malackowski

President & Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Tomo

Jean Bailey, Ph.D.

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

Jasemine Chambers, Ph.D.

Of Counsel, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (retired)

Ray Leach

Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart, Inc.

Steve Sasson

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

Michael J. Oister

Chief Executive Officer, 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.

Maggie C. Petrush

VP, Administration & General Counsel,
National Inventors Hall of Fame, Inc.