Camp Invention and National Inventors Hall of Fame Welcome New Leadership

Share Article

Michael J. Oister to lead organization’s mission and continued growth

Mike Oister, CEO, Invent Now

Never before in our nation’s history have innovation, creative problem solving, and technology been more valued – or more needed – in our young people on a national scale.

Michael J. Oister has been named Chief Executive Officer of the national nonprofit Invent Now, Inc. Invent Now operates museums, education, recognition, and independent inventor programs in all 50 states to inspire invention and creativity. These programs include the Camp Invention summer program, Club Invention afterschool program, Collegiate Inventors Competition, National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, and programs in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Collectively, these programs impact over 90,000 children and 60,000 independent and aspiring inventors annually.

Since joining Invent Now in 2004, Oister has worked to expand the organization’s mission of recognizing and inspiring innovation in America. He first joined Invent Now as President of the Invent Now Kids subsidiary and was subsequently appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2009. In that time, Oister has overseen a 114% increase in children served via the organization’s educational programming, a 102% growth in school district partnerships nationwide, a 1,848% growth in net revenue, and the implementation of a high service, user-friendly delivery and training business model for education outreach programs nationwide. In his new role as CEO, Oister will lead the organization with a focus on national growth as well as continuing outreach and support.

“We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Invent Now,” says Oister. “Never before in our nation’s history have innovation, creative problem solving, and technology been more valued – or more needed – in our young people on a national scale. We look forward to continuing to provide the country’s finest programs that nurture the creativity and inventiveness in diverse audiences, from children just beginning their exploration of science to our family of highly-respected patented Inductee inventors whose contributions change the way we all live, work, and play.”

Rob Briggs, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Invent Now, noted, “Mike Oister has been an asset to Invent Now since he first arrived. His demonstrated success of building strong partnerships, implementing new programs, and cultivating sustainable businesses are a perfect fit for Invent Now’s needs as we grow and expand our programs and mission. He embodies the inventive spirit, and under his capable leadership, our commitments to the children and adults we serve remain strong.”

Prior to joining Invent Now, Oister founded and grew Classic Sport Companies from start-up to a $20+ million manufacturer of sporting goods, supplying team dealers and prominent retailers nationwide. During his time with Classic Sport, the company more than doubled its revenue each year between 1994 and 2000 and was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 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, and Oister personally holds more than twenty U.S. patents.

Oister replaces David Fink, CEO since 1999. During Fink’s tenure, the Invent Now team broadened and furthered the mission of the organization by innovating and growing Invent Now’s programs and disseminating them on a national scale.

About Invent Now, Inc.
The not-for-profit Invent Now, Inc. recognizes inventors and invention, promotes creativity, and advances the spirit of innovation. Founded in 1973 as the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the organization has since expanded its national presence through education, inventor recognition, and independent inventor programs. Invent Now operates education programs including Camp Invention and Club Invention, encourages innovation through programs such as the Collegiate Inventors Competition, and recognizes world-class inventors through the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. For more information, visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lara Kretler
Fahlgren Mortine PR
Email >

Monica Jones
Visit website