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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2019 Merchandise Director Thomas Andrews

Name: Thomas Andrews
Major: Accounting

Past THON Experience:
Freshman: Finance Committee Member
Sophomore: Finance Committee Member
Junior: Finance Captain
Senior: Finance Captain

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:

I did ballet for 8 years.

What made you want to apply for the Merchandise Director position for THON 2018?

The reason I wanted to apply for the Merchandise Director stems from the work that I did on the Finance Committee. I spent a lot of time working on improving efficiency with Finance in terms of counting and depositing the money that was brought into the office. Additionally, for THON weekend (2018) I assisted with the tracking of all of receipts from merchandise sales. This was my first exposure to the Merchandise Committee and is what sparked my interest in continuing to make THON Merchandise into a highly profitable and efficient business.

What are your responsibilities as the Merchandise Director?

The THON Merchandise Committee is composed of 19 Captains and 49 Committee Members. The 19 Captain positions are broken into facets that collectively make up the business. My priority is supporting the MerchandiseCaptains in efficiently running the business and offering customers the best possible experience.  

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

The Merchandise Committee is trying to implement a perpetual inventory tracking system that enables us to have an exact count of inventory at all times. This will help ensure that we are always fully stocked with our popular items by letting us know when to place reorders. We are also working to improve our online order management by ensuring that packages are shipped quickly to make that process as smooth as possible for the customer.

What makes the Merchandise Committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

The unique thing about the Merchandise Committee is that it is its own business within THON. On top of ordering all of the THON-wide orders, such as quarter zips, 100 Days shirts, All Sports Shirts, etc., we are constantly trying to improve our processes of predicting trends and forecasting sales. Every day the captains are striving to figure out ways to improve operations so that we can cut costs and fix flaws in our systems.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2019?

My main goal is to help my captains set up sustainable systems for their positions so that we are not reinventing the wheel each year.This comes from thorough documentation of things that went well and areas in need of improvement. Quickly in the year, the THON 2019 Merchandise Captains were running the store autonomously and I think that set the bar for this year incredibly high. This has enabled us to make changes to the way that we count and sort our bulk orders, how we prepare for our big sales, and how we interact with customers.

Why do you THON?

I have a million answers to this question, but something that really stood out to me this year was volunteer dedication. Seeing how much effort people put into this organization while expecting nothing in return inspires me to put everything I have into my position. Watching volunteers count thousands of shirts on a Saturday morning is just a really surreal sight to see.  

What’s your favorite THON memory?

I think my favorite THON memory was from this year’s grab bag sale in the THON Store. It was incredible to see how well the Merchandise Captains were able to handle the huge volume of sales and the sea of customers that were lined up outside of the store the entire day.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

I’d say I would probably be a Pterodactyl because I’m very loud and do a scream/screech type thing for absolutely no reason.

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a junior English and journalism major and Onward State's Student Life Editor. She is from York, Pennsylvania and loves iced coffee, books, and women's volleyball. You can find her on campus by looking for the girl who always wears stripes. Feel free to send any questions, comments, or memes via email (ca[email protected]) and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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