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 our mission of recognizing and inspiring innovation in America. Mike, who holds more than 20 U.S. patents, first joined the National Inventors Hall of Fame as president of the Invent Now Kids subsidiary and was appointed chief operating officer of the National Inventors Hall of Fame parent company in 2009. In 2013, he accepted the role of CEO.

Mike has overseen a 503% increase in children served annually with over 286,000 students participating in the organization’s education programs in 2022. This growth also corresponds with a 573% increase in teachers trained nationally each year and a 131% increase in school district partnerships. Since Mike became CEO, the National Inventors Hall of Fame organization’s assets have increased by 217%, 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, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. 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, Mike successfully built Classic Sport Companies from a startup to a $20 million-plus 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 (No. 86) and 2000 (No. 31). The company was known industrywide 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

Jean Bailey, Ph.D.

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

Patrick Bravo

Executive Director, Summit County Land Bank

Renee DuBord Brown

Director, Intellectual Property, LinkedIn Corp.

Wesley Brown

CEO of Wesbro Communications LLC

Communications Lead for Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3 Harris Technologies company

Deborah Cohn

Senior Director of Government Relations for the International Trademark Association (INTA) (retired)


Moussa Coulibaly

Vice President Omni-Channel Pricing Strategy and Execution,
Dick’s Sporting Goods (retired)

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

Sandra K. Nowak

Associate Chief IP Counsel, Health Care Business Group

Vice President, 3M Innovative Properties Company

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.

Richard W. Pogue

Senior Advisor, Jones Day


Steve Sasson

Product Development Manager, Eastman Kodak (retired)

2011 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee – Digital Camera

Joseph Schuman

Director, Government Affairs, Qualcomm (retired)

Taylor Smith (Non-voting)

Executive Vice President, Finance, National Inventors Hall of Fame Inc.

Frank Steininger

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


Gary Sterling

Vice Chairman    
Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Dick’s Clothing and Sporting Goods (retired) 

Retail Consultant

Chen Wang

Co-Founder & CEO, Steelike, Inc.

Thomas Wolf

Chief Financial Officer, InstaKey Security Systems (retired)

Jon Wood

Director of Waldron Center of Entrepreneurship and Family Business, Harding University