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THON Director Thursday: Meet Supply Logistics Director Brendan Flanagan

Name: Brendan Flanagan
Major: Industrial Engineering
Past THON Experience:
Freshman Year: Hospitality Committee Member
Sophomore Year: Supply Logistics Captain
Junior Year: THON 2019 Supply Logistics Director  

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

I know this might come as a surprise to many people, but I have never had ranch dressing. My Captains always joke with me that after THON they are going to make me try it.

P.S. It’s not going to happen.

What made you want to apply for the Supply Logistics Director position for THON 2019?

I wanted to be a Director for the largest student-run philanthropy in the world to inspire our volunteer base to become strong philanthropic leaders, spread awareness of childhood cancer all across the corners of the world, and provide emotional and financial support to the families we interact with every day so that in the future no parent will have to hear the words, “Your child has cancer.” I recognize that this organization’s success starts with the leaders who are placed in these positions. My passion and dedication for this organization stretches far beyond the THON and Penn State communities and I am excited to bring THON to new heights in 2019 and beyond.

What are your responsibilities as the Supply Logistics Director?

My main duties as Supply Logistics Director include overseeing all in-kind (non-monetary) donations for pre-THON events and THON Weekend. I work with several donors ranging from local companies such as ProCopy and Penn State Multimedia Print Center to large corporations including Nike and Dell. All of whom are dedicated to continuing THON’s mission every day. This year the Supply Logistics Committee has cut down on over $110,000 of expenses through in-kind donations. As the Supply Logistics Director, I am also responsible for all of THON’s printing needs. This includes printing projects such as donation box labels, the corporate packet, and the logo banner displayed above the stage during THON Weekend. I also lead a committee of 20 devoted captains who are working to acquire in-kind donations and manage THON’s vast supply inventory system.

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

Last year, in my position as the Toys, Games, Technology, and Sporting Goods Donor Contact, I worked on the Hershey Holiday Toy Drive Initiative. This initiative collects toy donations for children currently undergoing treatment at Penn State Children’s Hospital. As part of this campaign we created an online registry to send out to alumni who could support the drive. Our Alumni Network spreads far across the United States and this year, with the help of AE, Supply Logistics has begun to look at areas and alumni who would be willing to donate back to THON with a physical donation or resource their company has to offer. This has been very successful, and we have received hundreds of in-kind donations from alumni across the country.    

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

Supply Logistics is so cool because of all the items we provide to every committee within THON. At all our pre-THON events and THON Weekend you can look around and see items that the Captains have procured as donations. It is a special moment to see that item have an impact on a child and make their experience that much better. The SL Captains work tirelessly to call and email donors every week with donation requests, so we can continue to donate $0.95 of every dollar to the Four Diamonds. Additionally, Supply Logistics has a vast inventory of over 245,000 individual items. All of those items are managed by a team of Inventory Liaisons who distribute them at various events.

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

At the beginning of the year I set out several goals to reach for Supply Logistics. Some of those included: engaging more alumni in donations, improving SL user-ability on THINK, more efficient storage areas, adding a donor contact coordinator position, and showcasing our donor network.  

Why do you THON?

I THON for my cousin Nicholas Pagano. Growing up Nicholas and I were the same age and would hang out with each other at family holidays and birthdays. At a young age Nicholas was diagnosed with cancer and battled heroically for eight strong years. When I was in fifth grade Nicholas passed away at the age of 11. It was hard losing someone who was so close to me, especially at such a young age. Over the years I have been inspired by his battle with childhood cancer and after coming to Penn State and learning about THON for the first time I knew this was an organization I wanted to be a part of. Although Nicholas is no longer with us, there are more children and families who need the emotional and financial support THON offers and that is why I continue to THON each and every day.    

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory was last year when my Co-Captain and I traveled to Penn State Children’s Hospital to deliver all the toys that had been collected from the Hershey Holiday Toy Drive. Although we did not get to see any kids while we were there, the look on the child life specialists faces when we opened the trunk of the car is something I will never forget. They were so overwhelmed by the vast number of brand-new toys that had been donated and continued to thank all of the Penn State students and alumni who made it possible.

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

I would choose a brachiosaurus because they seem mellow and always in a good mood. It would also be very easy to reach all of the supply boxes on the top shelf of our storage unit.    

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About the Author

Cassady Potts

Cassady is a sophomore English and journalism major and Onward State's Assistant News 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 ([email protected]) and follow her @cassady_potts on Twitter.

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