Executive Team


Thomas Frey - Executive Director

Thomas Frey - Executive Director

Thomas Frey – As the Executive Director and Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, he works closely with his Board of Visionaries to develop original research studies, which enables him to speak on unusual topics, translating trends into unique opportunities.

As part of the celebrity speaking circuit, Tom continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come.  His keynote talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies including NASA, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent Technologies, First Data, Boeing, Capital One, Bell Canada, Visa, Ford Motor Company, Qwest, Allied Signal, Hunter Douglas, Direct TV, International Council of Shopping Centers, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, and many more.

Because of his work inspiring inventors and other revolutionary thinkers, the Boulder Daily Camera has referred to him as the “Father of Invention”.  The Denver Post and Seattle Post Intelligencer have referred to him as the “Dean of Futurists”.

Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Tom spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received over 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer.  He is also a past member of the Triple Nine Society (High I.Q. society over 99.9 percentile).

Tom has been a columnist for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and  Boulder County Business Report, and is the author of the 1998 book “Inventions of Impact”.  He currently writes a newsletter entitled “News from the Future” and has written numerous articles on a wide range of futurist topics. He has also been a contributing writer for The Futurist Magazine and is the Editor of the Impact Lab, an online emerging technology blog.



Deb Frey - Vice President

Deb Frey is the Vice President of the DaVinci Institute with responsibility for the company’s Global Design and New Business Development. In this role, she continues to advance the corporate initiative, which is, as Deb puts it,  “Creating the future we all want for our children.” As DaVinci Institute’s Vice President, Deb helps to define the key projects and initiatives for resource commitment, keeps her finger on the pulse of the local social climate and prides herself in understanding and embracing a talented and diverse world-wide community.

Deb serves as booking agent for Futurist Keynote Speaker Thomas Frey.  She handles the booking, contracts and travel arrangements to ensure a great experience for both the client and for Thomas. 

Deb also serves as a contributing editor to the Impact Lab, the DaVinci Institute blog billed as “a laboratory of the future human experience.” She is an expert in the latest trends in research, news reviews, topical studies, and all the “crazy stuff” ignored by mainstream media.

In addition to her executive duties, Deb helps to systematize the many faces of DaVinci Institute including DaVinci Coders and DaVinci Inventor Showcase. Innovative and inventive her staff will tell you, “She sparkles”. 


Nancy Slatterly - Operations Manager

Nancy Slattery - Program Manager for DaVinci Coders

Nancy Slattery is the Program Manager for DaVinci Coders and Executive Assistant to Vice President Deb Frey. Equipped with a long and impressive Guest Service background, Nancy exceeds the Institute’s standards for serving the community as a non-profit organization intent on making a difference worldwide.







Teresa Rabenberg - Corporate Secretary and Board Member

Teresa Rabenberg Grobecker - Corporate Secretary and Board Member

Teresa Rabenberg Grobecker is an independent broker specializing in benefits, insurance, asset management and tax and estate strategy planning. She specializes in generational wealth building and transfer strategies through estate planning, primarily helping families with real estate portfolios and business owners with succession planning and advanced retirement planning. Most of her business is referred by attorneys, CPAs and financial advisers. She works closely with her clients  to develop strategies around protection and tax advantages to both preserve wealth and protect assets.

Teresa is also a university professor and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Steve and their two sons.




Tom Franklin - Under Secretary for Intellectual Property

Tom Franklin - Under Secretary for Intellectual Property

Tom Franklin is Under Secretary for Intellectual Property for the Institute and integral member of the operations team. Besides regularly speaking at events, Tom donates his time to advise the Institute on Intellectual Property (IP) legal issues. He can be found at many Institute events giving attendees advice on patent and trademark issues and regularly contributing to the planning and long term vision of the Institute.

Tom is a Patent Attorney with the Denver office of Townsend and Townsend and Crew, the oldest and largest group of IP attorneys in the West. He frequently speaks to groups around the country on the importance of protecting IP. Tom’s technical background is in electronics and software and his IP practice focuses on high-tech companies wanting to sensibly protect their IP.



Darby Frey - Chief Technical Officer

Darby Frey - Chief Technical Officer


Darby Frey is the Chief Technical Officer at the Institute. Besides maintaining the office network and the bank of Institute-owed servers, he spends his time researching emerging Internet technologies and business trends.

Darby brings with him a vast experience as a Systems Developer for Electricshoes Productions in designing computer networks, configuring hardware, programming web interfaces, and in developing e-commerce systems. His extensive technical background gives him unusually good insight into the intricacies of the emerging technologies.

Darby is a Lead Developer at Belly, a Customer Loyalty Company based in Chicago.



Karl Dakin - Under Secretary for Entrepreneurship

Karl Dakin is the Under Secretary for Entrepreneurship at the Institute. Previously he was the Principal at Karl Dakin LLC, a boutique law firm specializing in angel investment and business incubation. In this capacity he provided legal representation for emerging businesses, educational institutions, trade organizations and professional associations in a variety of legal matters including licensing, contracts, employment, intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution on state, national and international transactions.

Mr. Dakin is the co-author of book: Technology Transfer: Financing and Commercializing the High Tech Product or Service–From Research to Roll Out.  Published in 1991 by Probus Publishing Ltd., the book became widely adopted as a primer on the subject of technology transfer. From 1995 through 1997, Mr. Dakin wrote the SoftLaw column for the IEEE Journal on Software.

Within the last five years, Mr. Dakin has participated in raising over $15 million in angel funding and grants for several small businesses and non-profit organizations.