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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2022 Supply Logistics Director Julia Semmer

Name: Julia Semmer
Major: Supply chain management

Past THON experience?
THON 2019 OPPerations committee member
THON 2021 Supply Logistics captain (inventory coordinator)

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself.
I have been to more countries than states!

What made you want to apply for the Supply Logistics director position for THON 2022?
THON and Penn State have been in my life since I was born. Growing up, I knew I wanted to get involved in THON when I came to college, but I didn’t know how big of an impact THON would have on me. When I came to Penn State, I found my family in THON, both as a committee member and as a Supply Logistics captain. Coming into my senior year, I knew I had more to give to THON. I wanted to be a director to help others find the same family at Penn State and give back a little bit of what this incredible organization has given to me. It has proven to be the best decision I’ve made during my time here at Penn State and THON has continued to be my home throughout my senior year.

What are your responsibilities as the Supply Logistics director?
As the Supply Logistics director, I oversee the organization, upkeep, and data tracking of all of THON’s inventory locations. I work with nineteen Supply Logistics captains to contact donors and obtain all in-kind donations used at every event throughout the year. Additionally, I work with my inventory team to ensure supplies are readily available and provided to all other committees so they can function to the best of their abilities. Finally, Supply Logistics organizes the THON Raffle and other THON initiatives. Personally, I work with a variety of large corporate donors and maintain strong relationships with our in-kind partners. I am also responsible for all of THON’s printing needs, from the corporate packet and impact report to the THON 2022 logo banner.

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?
For THON 2022, I want to continue building off the successes from the past years. In the last two years, we have implemented new data tracking and inventory management systems, and this is the first year we have really been able to implement them. Specifically, we have a new inventory management Excel system that has been able to be fully used and keeps track of where every piece of inventory is at all times. This helps increase our sustainability efforts because we know what items we have and what can be reused. We also implemented a poster library that allows the entire THON community to reuse posters and signage used at various events throughout the year. Generally, the same posters are remade year after year, so we have been able to laminate some of the most used ones and reuse all of them.

What makes the Supply Logistics committee so cool, fun, and/or important?
The Supply Logistics committee has a completely behind-the-scenes role in every event each year. One of my favorite facts about the impact of the Supply Logistics committee is when you look at any THON picture, you’ll always see a supply that was provided by the Supply Logistics committee! Supply Logistics also has a role in every pre-THON and THON Weekend event, and we have the opportunity to work closely with every committee throughout the year. Our goal is to help other committees make their events as successful as possible and bring their visions to life!

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2022?
One of my biggest goals for THON 2022 was to increase the success of our initiatives: Supply the Fight, THON Raffle, the Hershey Holiday Toy Drive, the Gift Card Initiative, and the Costume Drive. This year we re-branded the Supply the Fight initiative and have saved THON almost $6,000 with just this initiative alone. I also wanted to improve our different storage units around campus to try to maximize all our space because we are quickly running out of it. Finally, sustainability is always something we are working towards, so lowering the number of single-use items has been important and a goal of mine this year.

Why do you THON?
As cliché as it sounds, I THON for the families and For The Kids. In my eyes, one of the most magical parts of THON is the impact that it has on each family that we touch. Families have been the centerpiece of my THON journey and the interactions I have with each one are some of my favorite THON memories. Seeing kids running around playing and having fun allows me to see how important what we do is. THON is more than the monetary impact or the total raised at the end of the year. THON is a place where kids can be kids and a space of hope, love, and magic moments.

What’s your favorite THON memory?
My favorite THON memory is the first time I did the line dance on the floor during my freshman year THON. Growing up, I had always watched the live stream and [watched] all the THON volunteers doing the line dance every hour. I remember looking around me and seeing thousands of dancers, volunteers, supporters, and families all dancing to the same song. I was able to see the magic of THON that everyone talks about.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?
When I asked my mom this question, she said I would be a stegosaurus “because I am spiny,” but I’m not sure I agree with that one. I’d have to go with a brachiosaurus. That was my favorite dinosaur in our dinosaur unit in elementary school and the cutest dinosaur emoji!

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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