I love blogging here. It’s a great excuse to interview very cool people like Jill Moore who handles inventor relations for Disney Consumer Products, is an actress, founded a theater, paints and practically explodes with energy!
I met her at the TAGIE Conference last year and we have become friends. She and Steve Rehkemper (also a very cool person – in addition to inventing great stuff, he races cars) will be giving the Welcome Presentation at the Conference this year – I can’t wait. They will be a great team. But, I digress; this is about Jill’s role in Disney’s new relationship with the inventor community.
Jill, how did you go from acting and founding a theater company to Disney Consumer Products?
I founded the Porchlight Music Theater in Chicago while working in the education dept. on special events for the Nat’l Association of Realtors. When I moved to California, I wanted to work for Disney, so I took a job as a receptionist through a temp agency. I was hired full-time, but left for a bit to raise my two daughters. When I went back to work, I took a job at a hospital organizing fundraising special events. In 2005, I mentioned to a friend at Disney that I was hoping to come back. There was a position open for an Executive Assistant to the VP Finance in Toys. We really clicked and I got the job. I recognized immediately what a great learning opportunity it was. I sponged up a lot of info, worked hard and became the go-to-girl, so when a job opened up in Project Management and Creative Operations, I got it. Disney as a company promotes self-development and living up to your potential – a great company to work for all around.
Jill, that is a terrific success story! What is your current role at Disney Consumer Products?
My role is two-fold. I plan and facilitate toy and game brainstorms with our internal teams for our licensees. The second piece of my job is to develop our inventor relations program globally. We meet with a select group of inventors globally. Among my many travels, this year I’ll visit inventors around the States as well as in London and Japan twice each. Creative tweaking and the synergy with inventors and internal teams is the best part of what I do. I will project manage the idea from start to finish, working hand-in-hand with inventors, our creative and category teams and our licensee partners.
I have been fortunate to meet so many phenomenally talented and creative inventors with fantastic ideas that tell our properties’ stories through toys and games. An example of an inventor I enjoy working with is Mary Jo Reutter, who came to us with game ideas about a year ago. We really liked what she had and worked with her to come up with something for our Disney Princess characters – a Disney signature game. The result is Disney Princess Friends Forever. We shared it with Cardinal Games, one of our licensees, who loved it and took it to Wal-Mart. You’ll see it on the shelves this fall. The most rewarding feeling in the world is to have an inventor concept that we all loved and shaped together hit the market. It’s like winning the Lotto!
What type of games do you like to play?
I have 9 and 11 year old girls who love to play what’s new and hot like Scrabble Slam. I love live action games – launching things at people!
Thank you, Jill. I can’t wait to play Disney Princess Friends Forever and we look forward to seeing more of your collaborations with the inventor community!