Setting Sabre apart from any other company around the world is our people. The people at Sabre inspire greatness and relentlessly turn that greatness into reality. There have been plenty of stories I could share with you about the people here at Sabre and what they have inspired, but there is one particular story that is close to my heart.

A few years ago at our office in Krakow, Poland, we started an organization called GeekPark as a way to foster the collaboration between team members across business functions. On a volunteer basis, we organized presentations and training sessions, hosted external speakers, and created a community for people to ask and answer technical questions. In 2014, we organized Sabre’s Global Automation Day for our technology teams. Among our team of volunteers was one standout , Kris. Kris was the type of person who could make things happen! We began working on it, and ironing out all of the details.

Just before the kick-off, Kris was diagnosed with cancer. As he fought his battle, the team continued working to realize his dream. The big day arrived, and I called him to tell him about it. He was in the hospital still talking about how the team could take this event to the next level the following year. He had a dream of making it a Sabre-wide competition, open to all types of ideas across the company’s global community.

So earlier this year, I met some organizers of a similar Sabre group in the US, called BringIt. BringIt and GeekPark share the same mission to foster collaboration for innovation. We discussed Kris’ idea and resolved to make it happen.

During the last week of October, our company will host a monumental event for our employees—the first ever Sabre-wide, Global Hackathon! Every employee has the opportunity to participate and show off their ideas. The hackathon is not limited to our technologists, the goal is for people all over the company to connect and share ideas with each other.

Kris is an example of how one person’s innovative idea can make a difference. Sadly, Kris lost his battle to cancer, and although he will not be with us this year, his passion for innovation will.