merchandise
Justin Kauffman
he/him

Merchandise Director

3rd Year Student
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, PA
Majors: Finance
Minor: Economics

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2020: Dancer Relations Committee Member
THON 2021: Merchandise Captain (Special Events Sales)

Why did you want to become a member of the THON 2022 Executive Committee?

I wanted to become a Director to further my involvement with THON, and to keep fighting for these kids and families impacted by this horrific disease. THON has been a part of my life for the past 7 years and seeing what Four Diamonds does to help these families really made me want to join the fight. I was introduced to THON from my best friend's sister and fell in love with the organization from the start. As I got future involved, I began to grow into different leadership roles. These leadership roles allowed me to implement my own ideas, and further help the kids and families impacted. THON truly makes an impact around the world for families in need, and as a spectator, Committee Member, and Captain, THON has made an impact on my life and helped shape me into who I am today. My first THON was when I was a junior in high school, and walking up the steps of the Bryce Jordan Center, made me fall in love with this organization all over again. I was amazed of what a large group of college students could do for these families and was a main reason why I chose Penn State. This university is home for me and getting involved in THON allows me to help others find their home here. Being a Director of this wonderful organization is truly humbling, and such a great experience. I am super excited for what this year has to offer, and also ready for a bigger role advocating and representing this amazing organization For The Kids® and families!  

What are your main responsibilities for THON 2022?

As the Merchandise Director, I am in charge of spreading THON's mission through the sale of clothing and other products throughout the THON year. I have a wonderful group of Captains that lead various parts of the Merchandise Committee, these positions include: Administrative Assistant, Customer Relations, Data Analysis/Forecasting, Distribution, Inventory, Licensing, Marketing, Order Management, Product Development, and Special Event Sales. The Merchandise Committee oversees the THON Store, holds sales in the HUB and at THON's major events, manages the online store, and designs new products for the upcoming year. As the Merchandise Director, I have the honor of overseeing all these wonderful aspects of THON. I am always looking to improve our committee and search for ways to get our customers more involved in our organization. Lastly, I get to offer wonderful products to our customers to spread THON's mission. Merchandise Director is a wonderful role that comes with great opportunities and responsibilities, and I look forward to spreading THON's mission for our customers, kids, and families impacted by childhood cancer.

What is your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is seeing THON Weekend for the first time. Ever since sophomore year of high school, I was begging my Mini-THON Advisor to let me go since the trip was only for juniors and seniors. Luckily, by the time junior year rolled around, I was allowed to go on the trip. As I walked into the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time, I was amazed. All the students and families in the Bryce Jordan Center were all energized and excited for the weekend. As I got to walk up the concourse steps for the first time, I couldn't help but be jaw dropped in awe. I was truly shocked of how great this event was, and never wanted to leave. Doing the line dance was awesome and getting to interact with different college students is a memory I will never forget. When I walked up those steps in the Bryce Jordan Center for the first time, I knew Penn State was going to be my home for the next four years.

What are you most looking forward to for THON 2022?

I look forward to improving the Merchandise Committee as a whole. There is always room for improvement when it comes to any committee, and I am super excited to interact with more customers and continue to spread awareness of THON. I am also excited to lead a group of wonderful Captains and show them how I fell in love with this organization, as well as seeing their passion grow through their work. I look forward to creating more everlasting friendships and seeing myself grow as a leader in this organization. THON 2022 is going to be an exciting time, and I can't wait for the year ahead!

What is your favorite quote?

"Entitled to nothing, Grateful for everything" —Jack Clark

What are your plans after graduating from Penn State?

After Graduation, I plan to start a career in Finance, allowing me to help families with their current and future finances.