Meet the National Inventors Hall of Fame Leadership Team

Michael J. Oister, CEO


Since joining the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2004, Michael J. Oister has worked to expand the organization’s mission of recognizing and inspiring innovation in America. Michael first joined the National Inventors Hall of Fame as president of the Invent Now Kids subsidiary and was appointed chief operating officer in 2009. In 2013, he accepted the role of CEO.

Michael has overseen a 276% increase in children served with 1.6 million students participating in the organization’s educational programming. This growth also corresponds with a 490% increase in teachers trained nationally and a 173% increase in school district partnerships. Since Michael became CEO, the National Inventors Hall of Fame organization’s assets have increased by 78% while liabilities have only increased by 20%, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum has doubled in square footage and exhibit space. The organization has benefited from the implementation of a high-service, user-friendly delivery and training business model for education outreach programs in all 50 states. His demonstrated success of building strong partnerships, implementing new programs and cultivating sustainable businesses are a perfect fit for the National Inventors Hall of Fame’s needs as it grows and expands its businesses and mission.

Prior to joining the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Michael successfully built Classic Sport Companies from startup to a $20 million-plus manufacturer of sporting goods supplying team dealers throughout the country in conjunction with building partnerships with prominent retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sport Authority, Target, Sam’s Club and Toys R Us. During Michael’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 (No. 86) and 2000 (No. 31). The company was known industrywide as a leader in innovation, and Michael holds more than 20 U.S. patents.

Michael 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

Stanley L. Apple, CPA

Assistant Treasurer
Principal, Apple Growth Partners

Jean Bailey, Ph.D.

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

Wesley Brown

Publisher, Daily Record, Inc.

Rhonda L. Campbell (Non-voting)

Chief Accounting Officer, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

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

Edward W. Gray Jr.

NIHF Selection Board Ambassador
Partner, Thompson Coburn LLP

Monica Jones (Non-voting)

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

James Kraus

Assistant Secretary
Partner, Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLC

Ray Leach

Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart, Inc.

James E. Malackowski

Chairman and CEO, Ocean Tomo

Michael J. Oister (Non-voting)

CEO, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Hannah Paulin (Non-voting)

Chief Strategic Officer, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Steve Sasson

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

Frank Steininger

Senior Vice President
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Civeo Corporation (retired)

Gary Sterling

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

Chen Wang

Co-Founder & CEO, Steelike, Inc.

Thomas Wolf

Chief Financial Officer, InstaKey Security Systems

Jon Wood

Partner of Counsel, Dinsmore & Shohl