E X E C U T I V E S
Founder and Executive Director
LINKEDIN | @THOMASFREY | WEBSITE
As the Executive Director and Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, Tom 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.
Vice President of the DaVinci Institute
Responsible 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”.
S T A F F
Jan Wagner is currently a Program Director at DaVinci Coders. In this role she is responsible for managing both internal and external relationships with the instructors, students, mentors, and the tech community at large.
Her responsibilities include recruiting and screening applicants, student testing and interviews, progress reports, maintaining student records, building a strong online and social media presence, newsletters, and a myriad of other tasks that come up along the way. Jan has long been the Executive Assistant and Chief Organizer working behind the scenes to keep everything operating smoothly at the Institute. For many years, she has helped manage the speaking schedule, bookings, meetings, and travel logistics for Futurist Thomas Frey. In addition, she has been the master scheduler of calendars, events, meetings, workshops, newsletters, contacts, and logistics. With over eight years of excellence, her contributions have been endless. Ms. Wagner is a vital piece of the Institute’s day to day operations and we’re proud to have her as a part of the team.
Whenever a potted plant is moved or a light switch is mysteriously flipped, she quickly slips into a nearby phone booth, slips on a mask, and dons her role as Secret Agent Micale Medina.
In normal civilian life, Micale works as the Speaking Agent for Futurist Thomas Frey and Executive Assistant for VP Debra Frey. As one of the newer members of Team DaVinci, she has quickly established herself as a key point of contact for operations, logistics, strategy, and anything requiring a cape.
With a crooked smile and a wink of the eye, she is the one that can be trusted to deliver, no matter what the project entails. When she’s not leaping tall buildings or playing the role of a superhero, Micale assumes the role of mild mannered Assistant Program Manager for DaVinci Coders where you will find her interviewing students, helping the instructors, and nursing some of her own wounds from doing that tall building thing.
DaVinci Coders would not exist without a Master of the Secret Code and that’s where Jessica comes in.
Working at the heart of DaVinci Coders Micro College operation, Jessica Morgan is responsible for managing both the facilities, staff, student body, and community outreach.
In the highly interactive routines at the DaVinci Institute, Jessica has become a critical piece of the equation, carefully assembling every piece of the daily puzzle. And when pieces go missing, that’s when she’s at her best. To her, life is nothing without code, and she remains the Master of the Secret Code.
Director of ViZionarium
Michael Cushman is a Senior Fellow at the DaVinci Institute who loves helping others create the future. Over a 30 year career, as an executive, management consultant and thought leader, Michael has proven results in leading operational excellence. Michael’s expertise is in human development, advanced learning technologies and techniques, as well as business effectiveness. He specializes in creating award-winning products, successfully introducing profitable technology and process improvements at over 50 companies, including Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, BT, Revlon, and Chevron. In his role as an executive, Michael served in leadership positions at several startup companies on their way to market success.
Michael is the President of Key Change Institute. He often speaks on the future of learning, career management, nonverbal communications, and advanced change techniques. He is a sought out expert and has appeared as a spokesperson on local and national TV.
LINKEDIN | @DARBYFREY
Darby brings with him a vast experience as a software engineer and consultant having worked on web and mobile applications for many clients including Groupon, Toyota and Paramount Pictures. His extensive technical background gives him unusually good insight into the intricacies of the emerging technologies.
Darby is currently Director of Platform Engineering at Belly, a digital customer loyalty company based in Chicago.
As the Under Secretary for Entrepreneurship at the Institute. He worked previously as 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.