THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2022 Hospitality Director Nate Paisley

Name: Nate Paisley
Major: Supply Chain and Information Systems

Past THON Experience:

THON 2019 Hospitality committee member
THON 2020 Hospitality cadet
THON 2021 Hospitality inventor captain
THON 2022 Hospitality director

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

In the sixth grade, I was the star of my elementary school’s play. I played Prince “Edward” in our version of The Little Mermaid.

What made you want to apply for the Hospitality director position for THON 2022?

Without this organization, I don’t know where I would be in my Penn State journey. I want to continue to dedicate myself to THON, its mission, and the families with both emotional and financial support. Every step along the way, I want to celebrate happy memories and persevere through every obstacle that may present itself together —alongside 16,500 of my closest friends. I owe THON and our THON families every ounce of effort I have since, whether they realize it or not, have made me into the person I am today.

THON has given me more than I could ever give it; it has given me a home, a family, a purpose, and a passion. If there is any way in which I can show my appreciation, it is to continue to put tireless hours into this fight, For The Kids.

What are your responsibilites as the Hospitality director?

My main responsibility as the Hospitality director is to work with donors, both corporate and in-kind, to procure food and beverages for THON events. It is my responsibility to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with each of these donors. With these donations, the Hospitality committee serves meals to dancers, families, and volunteers so together, we can fuel the fight against childhood cancer.

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

Similar to many other committees, we found new ways to support our families, volunteers, and dancers last year. In a virtual year, dancers were supported by the Hospitality committee when provided snack boxes that included coupons, treats, and drinks. During the holiday season, Hospitality sent packages to families and hospital staff in Hershey. While returning to in-person events, I believe it is just as important to show appreciation for THON supporters that cannot attend THON Weekend.

By continuing these efforts, we can continue to spread awareness of our mission and extend the impact we have on our community.

What makes the Hospitality committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

The Hospitality committee has the unique opportunity to work with so many facets of THON. As I like to say, every successful event has food. We have the pleasure to establish relationships with large donors and small donors in the State College community. We continue to fuel dancers, families, and volunteers with various meals and snacks throughout the weekend.

We interact with general spectators while staffing concession stands. Finally, each captain on the Hospitality committee leads a committee of THON volunteers. For this reason, I have always enjoyed being a part of the Hospitality committee.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2022?

One of the biggest focuses this year for the Hospitality committee is ensuring that our donors are properly benefited and feel appreciated. Our generous donors continue to support our cause, and we want to highlight these efforts. Whether this be corporate benefitting, promotional events, or personal messages, we strive to support these businesses in any way we can.

During times when small businesses are struggling, our donors are incredibly generous with the food and beverages they provide. Through our stewardship efforts, we hope to give back in any way possible.

Why do you THON?

As for me, it took me some time to find my passion at Penn State. I come from a small town in central Pennsylvania where everyone knows each other by name. My tiny hometown was tightly-knit and comfortable, so when I made the decision to come to Penn State with forty thousand other students, I was a bit nervous. As a first-year student, I made the decision to apply for a THON committee on a whim. I didn’t know much about THON and the families it supports at the time, but I quickly discovered the impact I could have on families navigating through the most difficult time of their life.

Upon joining a Hospitality committee that year, I was welcomed by two captains, and 26 committee members with open arms. The moment my first meeting started, I felt something. I felt at home. I felt shared passion. I felt motivated. I felt inspired. In times where I doubted if Penn State was the place for me, THON has always been there. For this reason, I want to do everything in my power to foster this same passion for this organization in the next THON volunteer. Each day, I consider myself blessed to work with the rest of the executive committee and my 20 amazing captains to help a family in need. These people inspire me each and every day to be a better THON volunteer, a better person, and a better friend. 

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My first year at THON, I was standing in the upper bowl with my committee during the final four hours. We were trying to get the attention of our captains who were on the floor. Despite multiple attempts, there was no way we could get a text or call through to them in the BJC. My entire committee started waving our arms, shining our flashlights, and jumping up and down to get their attention. After searching through thousands of spectators in the BJC, my captains were able to find us and wave. This reminded me that even at a large university like Penn State, you can always find the people that are important to you. THON has helped me cross paths with other volunteers that have served as mentors and friends. Without these people, I cannot imagine where I would be in my Penn State journey.

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

To this question I would ask you, are dinosaurs even real? I personally have never seen one.

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a senior, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)!

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