TechShop Executive Management Team

Jim Newton
Chairman & Founder

Jim is an uber-DIYer and lifelong maker. A serial entrepreneur, Jim holds several design patents and created TechShop because he needed a place to build his own inventions. Before founding TechShop, Jim was a BattleBots competitor and former full-time Science Advisor on the Discovery Channel's hit show MythBusters. Jim spends much of his time on-site at TechShop and thoroughly enjoys helping TechShop members with their projects. He also enjoys baking sourdough bread, camping with his family, and dreaming up new project ideas.


Dan Woods

Dan Woods
Chief Executive Officer

Dan has overseen the company’s growth from three San Francisco Bay Area makerspaces to 14 locations around the world. Prior to TechShop Dan spent nine years at O’Reilly Media where he co-founded MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire, and by extension helped launch the modern maker movement. He also conceived of and launched the Maker Shed store, growing it to one of MAKE’s fast growing and most important business units. Dan’s career spans four decades of engineering and management roles beginning at Lockheed California in 1980. He has a B.S. in Aeronautics from San Jose State University, holds a commercial pilot license with over 2,000 hours of flight time, and studied business administration at Santa Clara University’s Graduate School of Business.

Louise Larson
Louise Larson
Director of Marketing

Louise is Marketing Director of TechShop, Inc. Having joined the company in 2013, Louise has worked in multiple roles at TechShop, including Senior Manager of Creative Media, Education Coordinator, Instructor, and Summer Camp Instructor. Prior to TechShop, Louise worked in community makerspaces, social innovation nonprofits, and owned a screen printing company. She is the founder of Prototype, a feminist makerspace in Pittsburgh, PA, and teaches digital fabrication at Carnegie Mellon University. Her spare time is spent working on a 1976 Kawasaki KZ400 and sewing.

Robert Thomas Robert Thomas
Director of Strategic Partnerships & Co-founder

Robert joined TechShop as its first Director of Education. He has played a pivotal role in the development of the TechShop model, serving variously as director of Education, of Operations, and of Member Experience before taking on his current position. Robert manages and supports TechShop’s relationships with major sponsors and partners, including Ford Motor Co., Lowe’s, Fujitsu, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He continues to focus on the development of TechShop’s unique staffing structure, the hiring and training of all new location employees, and TechShop Makerspace Academy offerings.

Jon Barbara Jon Barbara
Director of U.S. Operations

Jon believes in the power of "making" and "learning" to shape the future of society and to help build stronger networks and communities throughout the nation. As Director of U.S. Operations and formerly General Manager at two TechShop locations, he understands that driving excellence in operations and customer service are essential to TechShop's success. A student of social science, education and fine art, Jon has been an educator, business manager with IKEA and Pier One imports, and volunteers with nonprofit organizations to help better society.