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Bob’s Discount Furniture ‘Career Exploration Day’ with Urban League of Greater Hartford

Bob’s Discount Furniture’s in-house production studio, Connecticut’s very own piece of Hollywood, hosted local students from Urban League of Greater Hartford for interactive tour on November 16, 2022.

Bob’s Discount Furniture, the 10th largest U.S. furniture chain with 164 stores across 24 states and over $2B in annual sales, hosted 20 students from the Urban League of Greater Hartford Project Ready High School Scholars program for a Career Exploration Day. Bob’s in-house production studio peeled back the curtain to showcase career opportunities in creative services.

With Bob’s spokespuppet, Little Bob in tow, Michael Bannon, Bob’s Creative Advisor, led students on a tour of the production facility– referred to as LB&CO which is unique for its all-in-one workflow, including rare stop-motion animation, photography, green screen effects, and more.

Professionals from each department stepped out from offices and from behind cameras and computers to share their work history and career growth. Students paused to ask questions along the way gleaning valuable career insight.

Justine Higgins, Bob’s Marketing Operations Coordinator, commented to students, “You can stay local and get a great job in production, marketing, or advertising. There are opportunities here locally that can satisfy those career goals.”

During the studio tour, creators explained how they can conceive and execute for all channels ranging from TikTok to full-blown production.

“Opening LB&CO to the students of the Urban League of Greater Hartford allows us to offer a look behind the business and showcase career opportunities from traditional stop motion animation to our evolving omnichannel-focused marketing strategies,” said Stephen Nesle, Bob’s Senior Vice President, Chief Brand Officer.

“At its core, Bob’s is a creative organization so whether it’s marketing, merchandising or sales, it’s exciting to see young people’s eyes light up when they see the passion and talent that’s possible here or anywhere in this industry,” added Nesle.

Bob’s Senior Animator Jesse Gurtowsky shares the magic behind what makes Little Bob come to life.
Bob’s Director of Animation Daniel Driscoll speaks to Urban League students.

Students who hailed from the greater Hartford area were surprised to see a little bit of Hollywood in Connecticut. The highlight of the tour included a behind-the-scenes look at the stop motion animation effects used to bring the beloved Little Bob spokespuppet to life. These effects were first brought to the furniture company to set the business apart with memorable commercials featuring talking furniture, which entertained viewers for decades, explained Bannon.

Bob’s Creative Advisor Michael Bannon holds Little Bob at the ready for student selfies with the famed spokespuppet.

The student-visit concluded with a stop in the puppet fabrication workshop glimpsing a rare peek of how Little Bob is built, followed by an opportunity to take selfies with the one and only spokespuppet.

Urban League of Greater Hartford’s President and Chief Executive Officer David Hopkins accepts a donation from Bob’s Director of Communications Lindsay Ruszczyk; also pictures are the Urban League’s student event attendees and Kyrinda Richardson, Youth Development Manager.

David Hopkins, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, attended the event with students. “This hands-on career experience with Bob’s Discount Furniture is only the latest collaboration with the Urban League of Greater Hartford,” Hopkins stated, adding that the partnership began in 2020 with Bob’s intent to make a positive impact on the Urban League’s efforts to promote racial equity and economic empowerment.

“Over the past three years, we have worked together on youth development, workforce, and diversity initiatives, engaging their volunteers in our events and programs,” said Hopkins. “Bob’s does so much across the country, and we are honored to be an important local social responsibility partner.”

Before students departed, Bob’s presented a $10,000 check benefiting Urban League of Greater Hartford’s 2022 Equal Opportunity Day (EOD) Celebration.

About Bob’s Discount Furniture

Founded in 1991, Bob’s Discount Furniture is one of the fastest growing furniture retailers in the country. Keeping true to its founding principle that everyone deserves quality furniture, Bob’s provides unsurpassed value with honesty and integrity. Through all the work that happens behind the scenes, Bob’s engineers this value, offering its discount on a wide variety of stylish, quality furnishings, mattresses, and home accents.

With 164 furniture stores across 24 states, the Manchester, Connecticut-based company has become the 10th-largest U.S. furniture chain. The company also offers a unique and enjoyable shopping experience, featuring cafes in each store with complimentary gourmet coffee, ice cream, cookies, and candy.

Bob’s is committed to supporting local communities through a variety of charitable giving efforts. Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation has anchored the company’s philanthropic work for more than 20 years. Additionally, the Bob’s Outreach program was created as a separate entity to help schools and children-related charities. In total, Bob’s and its Foundation donate more than $2.75 million to charities through these programs each year. For more information on Bob’s charitable programs, visit Bob’s Cares, and follow Bob’s on Twitter @MyBobs, on Facebook, and Instagram.

About the Urban League of Greater Hartford (ULGH)

Established in 1964 as the National Urban League’s 66th affiliate, the Urban League of Greater Hartford, Inc. is a community-based, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to reduce the economic disparities in Greater Hartford’s communities through programs and services in the areas of youth development, adult education, workforce development and training, economic enrichment, health equity, social justice, and racial equality.

The Hartford-based organization works locally to promote the National Urban League’s “All In” campaign to help combat the Covid-19 pandemic by helping to inform communities of color about the vaccines so they can make the best, most informed decision about receiving the vaccine. For more information, visit or call 860-527-0147.


Media contact:

Nichole Keough

Stanton PRM

[email protected]


Laura Soll

Urban League of Greater Hartford

[email protected]

(860) 688-4499