Meet the THON 2014 Directors: Alex Snopko, Finance Director

With THON season in full swing, we conducted a series of interviews with each member of the THON 2014 Executive Committee in order to better connect the Penn State community with the leaders of the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This week features Finance Director Alex Snopko.

Alex Snopko, Finance Director

Current Year: Senior

Major/Minor: Enterprise Risk Management

Fun Fact: When I was four years old, my twin brother and I signed up to be in an Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial.

1. Why did you apply to be a part of the Executive Committee for THON 2014?

This is a pretty typical answer, but I think just the will to do more was at the core of that, and you get more involved as you continue to grow through the THON organization, but there’s something to be said about being in the office every day. I think it really comes down to just doing what you love. Nowhere else in the country or even in the world are people doing what we do as college students. We see that day in and day out, and it’s truly special. That’s why I wanted to be on the Executive Committee.

2. Summarize some of the responsibilities of the Finance Committee, and then the role you play as Director within those responsibilities.

The first responsibility is processing all funds made on behalf of THON, and then really ensuring that all of these funds are being transferred to the Four Diamonds Fund. That’s a huge responsibility of Finance. Beyond that, a huge part of what we do revolves around tracking organization fundraising totals, so making sure that they’re properly credited and then correctly posted to THINK. Those are kind of the major roles of the Finance Committee.

My role is really to support my captains throughout the year, so I don’t necessarily directly process anything, but I make sure that any questions they have are answered and really just support them. My role is also to maintain the budget of THON and to protect the 96% donation ratio to the Four Diamonds Fund and to ensure that THON is seen as a legitimate organization.

3. What are your overall goals for this year? What are you looking to change and improve to make the Finance Committee the best it can be?

My first goal starts with committee wide fundraising. I think in the past there really wasn’t a focus on the actual committees of THON fundraising, and when you think about that it doesn’t really make sense. We’re doing things day in and day out to support this organization but we’re not fundraising, and so especially within the Finance Committee, I think it’s really crucial to start fundraising for THON as a whole.

Focusing in on that integrity aspect of THON, I really want to input the security around our processes — our canning drop-offs, our deposits to the banks that we use — and again, this really is just honing in on the integrity aspect of THON Finance.

Finally, I’m really thinking towards the future. I want to make sure that the 2015 Executive Committee is set up for the implementation of the physical THON Store. Beyond that, I’m always looking toward the future in terms of our canning drop-offs, and making sure that as we continue to grow, THON Finance can continue to process things correctly and efficiently and just be a resource to all of our organizations.

4. What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during the upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you’d like.

Definitely our first canning drop-off, and for people who don’t know what that is, it’s where Finance Captains and committee members sit in a room on campus counting the funds from the canning weekend. Last year the first canning drop-off took us 23 hours, which would seem super overwhelming, but it’s actually ridiculously fun. It’s one of the first major bonding experiences for me and my captains, so that’s one moment.

Another moment would obviously be Harvest Day, just really getting to know the families. We’ve had some interaction with them, but it’s really exciting to be back in the fall, be in our roles, and get to see the families that we met last spring and talk to them about how they’re doing. I think that’s really special.

And then probably the theme and logo reveals, just because the community will finally see where we see THON this year and what our goal is and our vision for THON 2014.

5. Why do you THON?

I THON really based off of the relationships I’ve made. The relationship I’ve made with every Four Diamonds family that I’ve come into contact with. Those are relationships that I’ll literally never forget, and I think they just teach you so much about their strength and how to go about challenges, and I think that’s really special. And then every relationship that I’ve made with student volunteers, the members of the Executive Committee, or my captains from the past two years. Those are relationships that I’ll take with me wherever I go, so that’s why I THON.

6. Name an event or two that you think will make this year’s line dance.

Something about Miley Cyrus for sure, because she’s kind of crazy right now. Maybe Amanda Bynes.

7. If you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?

Probably a triceratops. I think we all look towards Land Before Time for this. I forget her name, but she was super sassy, and that’s kind of how I see myself as well. But she also had a huge heart. So I’d probably be a triceratops.

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About the Author

Anna Ungar

Penn State Class of 2015 Visual Communications major, Onward State photographer, THON 2014 Public Relations Captain, Camp Kesem of Penn State Marketing & PR Coordinator, anglophile, lover of chocolate milk, bows, cats, The Office, photography, Morgan Freeman, and british accents. Orders a side of pickles with everything.

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