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‘It’s Not Just A Monetary Investment’: PNC Chief Investment Officer & Former THON Dancer Showcases Impact Of THON Beyond Happy Valley

The choice to attend Penn State wasn’t necessarily a “conscious decision” for Luzerne County native Amanda Agati.

Simply, it just felt like home, she said.

Agati was one of several generations of Penn Staters and pledged to become a Nittany Lion in 1997. She worked toward a finance degree with a minor in economics, operated as a Schreyer Honors scholar, and danced in THON, checking off many bucket list items for any undergraduate in Happy Valley.

Agati danced for 48 hours in Rec Hall — before the two-hour reduction to accommodate Penn State basketball games in the Bryce Jordan Center — and was part of a group that raised $3.6 million For The Kids.

Her future husband was in the “morale” committee, now Dancer Relations, and kept the dancers in Rec Hall energized and loose for the two-day event.

Though staying on her feet and fighting exhaustion was sometimes a challenge, interacting with Four Diamonds children put everything into perspective for Agati.

“The thing that we never lost sight of in the middle of that experience is just getting to meet the children that we were sponsoring and their families and just building a relationship with them. That’s the unforgettable part,” Agati said. “Whenever we had a chance to spend time with the children and their families, it was just such an energizing moment.”

Now, over 20 years later, Agati is uplifting THON from a new perspective.

Agati serves as the chief investment officer of PNC’s Financial Services Group in Philadelphia. She provides products, solutions, advice, and guidance to asset management clients and PNC’s overall investment strategy.

Her background is largely nonprofit-oriented, focusing on clients in which she can make a difference in the output and financial success of an organization.

“If we do right by the organization or get best thinking into those investment portfolios on behalf of nonprofits and missions, that it’s really furthering the mission, right? We have an impact because it’s more dollars to put toward really important cancer research or whatever the particular mission is of the client we’re serving,” Agati said.

Within PNC’s firm-wide operations, it sponsors THON’s annual 5K and the headline performer during THON Weekend. Over 5,000 students, volunteers, and community members registered for the THON 5K powered by PNC in October, and the national performer is scheduled to take the stage the Friday evening of THON Weekend.

PNC and THON are in their eighth year of their sponsorship partnership, which instills community and a shared interest in the fight against cancer within Central Pennsylvania.

Furthermore, PNC prides itself on its ability to maintain a “Main Street bank mentality,” and its presence and collaboration with Penn State and THON showcase those efforts annually.

“The return on the investment that we make in the organization and in the events and Penn State in general just comes back manyfold,” Agati said. “It’s not just a monetary investment. It’s truly having an impact and making a difference. So it’s an important partnership for us and hopefully one that stays strong for many years.”

Agati will return to THON as a supporter to dance in celebration for a cure and promote PNC’s pursuit to invest in its sponsorships. There’s no lack of Penn State pride in her family, and Agati’s eight and 12-year-old daughters are buzzing to know which show-stopping performance THON and PNC scheduled to perform.

Still, community, family, and the love that pours from the Bryce Jordan Center throughout THON Weekend remain at the center of Agati and PNC’s mission.

“I love the way that the organization, as a whole, has pulled it together because it seems impossible, but it’s actually not impossible at all,” Agati said. “You’re surrounded by such a family and community, and that’s really the spirit that emanates from the whole event.”

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a junior journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is Onward State's managing editor. She also talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese and Kevin Jonas. If you'd like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @keeleylammm or send your best joke to her email [email protected].

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