“I feel honored and excited to be a part of the new Business Innovation Hub at Isenberg, an institution that is already acknowledged as one of the best business schools in the country,” says George Ditomassi '57, former Chairman and President of the Milton Bradley Company. “In addition, I believe that the new Hub will allow more local students to receive an Isenberg education and fuel the support for local businesses in Western Massachusetts.”
George, who spent four decades of his career at the East Longmeadow toy and game company, has remained a strong supporter of his alma mater and a handful of Western Massachusetts nonprofits. He was a member of the board of directors of the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield and chairman of the Children’s Miracle Network, and he was involved in the corporate fundraising campaign to bring a Ronald McDonald House to Springfield. He also serves on the UMass Amherst Foundation board of directors.
“UMass gave me a fresh start and an opportunity to become the first in my family to receive a college degree,” George says. He joined Milton Bradley—the company that is known for Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Twister, and Candy Land, among many other iconic games and toys—in 1960 as a production trainee, and became President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in 1985. He was named Chief Operating Officer of the games and international divisions of its parent company, Hasbro, in 1990, before becoming President of Hasbro International in 1997. George was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2004.
“Getting a business degree at UMass not only enabled me to run a major corporation, but also taught me to focus on relationships and the importance of truly loving what you do,” George says. While at UMass, he was vice president of his class as well as president of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. In 2007, he helped his class raise $160,000 for its fiftieth reunion.
“Sixty-two years later, I still maintain close relationships with my classmates,” George says. “We are proud to say that we graduated from UMass, and I am confident that I and my classmates will continue to support UMass and Isenberg students in the years to come.”