R&R Games Hires Social Media Manager from The Toy Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Program

gem miller of r&r gamesApril 5, 2024 | Toy Fair® is a premier opportunity for all exhibitors and attendees to strengthen their businesses, bolster their current relationships and develop new ones, and discover products and entertainment experiences. But did you know it has also become fertile ground to recruit college students for internship and first-hire roles?

In 2023, The Toy Foundation’s (TTF) Talent Pipeline Program (previously called the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Pipeline Program) hosted 50 talented, diverse college students for its multi-day education and recruitment program at Toy Fair. Among those students was Gem Miller (pictured right), a senior at the University of Maryland, whose participation helped them secure a social media position at R&R Games.

Now a few months into the new role, Gem sat down with Frank DiLorenzo, founder and president at R&R Games, to discuss their Toy Fair experience, the value of TTF’s Talent Pipeline Program, and the benefits for both students and manufacturers of bringing diverse talent into the toy industry.

DiLorenzo founded R&R Games in 1996 and has grown the business into a leading manufacturer of high-quality card games, strategy games, and party games, such as Time’s Up! and BUG OFF. After meeting Gem in the brand’s exhibitor booth, observing their passion for play and learning about their social media experience – a skillset R&R Games was looking to fill – Frank offered Gem a job.

“It has been so nice to learn about and utilize The Toy Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Program, meet Gem at Toy Fair, and fill a social media role that we’ve really needed at R&R Games,” DiLorenzo said.

TTF’s Talent Pipeline Program is focused on creating a diverse candidate pool of college and university students with a variety of talents, interests, and backgrounds for toy companies to recruit for internship and first-hire job opportunities. Companies’ human resources departments and other team members can engage with the students through TTF’s capstone event at Toy Fair, as well as year-round through collegiate case study competitions held each semester at the University of Maryland.

“The Talent Pipeline Program is great to bring up-and-coming faces into our industry who will help keep our industry fresh and current,” DiLorenzo continued. “We benefit from their creativity and the students benefit from our experience and knowledge. The program is a win-win and something the industry should embrace whole-heartedly.”

The program is a turnkey opportunity for small, medium, and large toy companies to bring diverse and eager young professionals into their workforce and build a more inclusive and stronger toy industry. In addition to R&R Games, the program has had participation from Beacon Media Group; Crazy Aaron’s; The Dr. Lisa Company (formerly World of EPI); Horizon Group; In KidZ; Jazwares; Mattel; Paramount; Target; Thames & Kosmos; The Walt Disney Company; and Women in Toys, Licensing, & Entertainment.

“I’m so glad I went to Toy Fair! I love any opportunity to be creative and share my ideas, and I’m so excited to be part of this really cool community,” Miller said.

To expand the program’s service to the industry and create a greater measurable impact, TTF and a select group of industry principals are developing a formal degree program at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. An industry-validated degree curriculum will help reach a wider breadth of students and better prepare them for success upon entering the toy industry.

There are corporate partnership and employee engagement opportunities available to the entire toy industry to support the Talent Pipeline Program and help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry. To learn more and get involved, visit ToyFoundation.org or contact TTF staff.